First Impression: Ready, Set, Go!

You probably already know that a good headshot or professional portrait helps make an authentic connection and jump-start that first impression with new customers, employers, and people you hope to impress. 

You would certainly prep for that big interview or client presentation, so make sure you get this meeting right as well!

Here are some tips to help you prepare for this big day and look your absolute best for all those new clients and customers you're going to meet soon!

Kimberly Won Branding Session Final-34.jpg

You probably thought we'd start with what to wear, but that's not how I roll!   Let's start with some personal stuff!

Seriously, your dog knows how important sleep is!- Image courtesy of  Jacob Ufkes

Seriously, your dog knows how important sleep is!- Image courtesy of Jacob Ufkes


Get plenty of sleep the night before your session.  It's amazing how much this can make the whole thing come together and make everything just feel right.

Eat Breakfast- Image-  Brooke Lark

Eat Breakfast- Image- Brooke Lark


Eat breakfast and lunch, and bring a small snack for a quick energy boost if you need it. Nuts, a protein bar, anything that will give you a quick lift and keep away any underlying frustration from being hungry. 

The Water Story by  Konstantin Stepanov

The Water Story by Konstantin Stepanov


Water is your Friend. Drink plenty of water during the few days in advance of your shoot and bring some to the shoot as well.  It's a great habit anyway, and will help your skin to look its best in your photos. 

My Friend Kelli, with her fantastic, thick hair framing her face, beautifully!

Hair - Frame your Face

Do you usually pull your hair back or push your hair behind your ears? Do yourself a favor -  Look at yourself in front of a mirror with good lighting and try it both ways to see how it looks. Most people prefer the shape of their face with it NOT pulled back/ tucked behind their ears. 

Now what are You Gonna Wear?

Reduce Stress : Plan Your Look in Advance

 Pick out your looks the day before the shoot.  This will give you time to run it by a trusted friend or partner and choose a few pieces that work in different combinations.  Think: Layers

 You want to eliminate the stress of making those choices on the day of the shoot. It also gives you the chance to spot stains or any wrinkles that need to be steamed or ironed out in advance. 

Makeup image courtesy of  Manu Camargo

Makeup image courtesy of Manu Camargo

 Be Ready to Primp.  

Don't forget to bring all the stuff you need to make touchups before and during the shoot.  Brush, comb, mirror, makeup, hair product, hair clips and elastics.  

Shine Blotters can work miracles. If you want to avoid shiny foreheads and noses, these will get the job done, and leave your makeup intact. 

A couple of classy ladies from Portland's Urban WAXX

A couple of classy ladies from Portland's Urban WAXX

Keep it Simple & Classy

Generally, fairly neutral, solid colors are going to work better than busy prints. They will bring more life and interest to your photos without distracting the veiwer or drawing attention away from your face.  

A great way to add interest or color is with tasteful jewelry, scarves or a sharp tie. Also, avoid brand logos. These photos are meant to promote your brand!

Choosing the Right Clothes

Picking out the Outfit- Image courtesy of  Artificial Photography

Picking out the Outfit- Image courtesy of Artificial Photography

There are two really important things to consider here:

  • What makes *you* look great?

  • How are the Photos going to be used?

You probably already have an idea of what outfits make you look and feel great.  If in doubt, ask a close friend for a second opinion. Consider the message you are trying to portray when choosing. 

It's also a good idea to really consider the backdrop, lighting and where your photos will be used. Is the photographer using a white backdrop?  If so, lighter shades can blow-out causing you to look like a floating head. Conversely, darker clothing can cause problems if you have darker hair or there's a dark backdrop. 

Good old Converse AllStars

Good old Converse AllStars

Comfortable Shoes and a Jacket.  

If you are going to be outdoors, and perhaps walking around with your photographer looking for great backdrops, bring good shoes for walking and whatever outerwear you need to be comfortable. Nothing ruins a shoot quicker than a subject who isn't comfortable or is too cold. For business shots, your feet likely won't be in the frame, but you can always bring something fancier just in case. 

Number One Rule:  Have Fun!


There's a really good reason not to break this one.  You smile doesn't lie, and being relaxed and prepared is the best way to create amazing images that will show the world that they should get to know you!


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...and If you are looking for an updated headshot or portrait for yourself or your company, I'd love to hear from you.