Top 3 Headshot Mistakes

Do you want to get a good headshot that you will love? First, you need to be aware of the 3 major mistakes when it comes time for a professional headshot session. A few weeks ago I talked about how your professional headshot is an important part of your personal branding and why you should one (read it here if you missed it: WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT ). You want to come across as friendly, professional, and approachable in your headshot—not unprofessional and intimidating (unless that is really part of your brand). So how do you achieve the perfect look? Here’s a list of some of the most common mistakes people make when getting their headshots taken that you should try to avoid:

1. MAKE-UP – Too Much or Too Little

If you’re the type of person who considers yourself a “natural beauty,” then this mistake might not apply to you—but it still is an important one to keep in mind. Makeup shouldn’t be overdone in general; there is a delicate balance when it comes to camera-ready makeup. The goal of makeup should be to accentuate your best features, not hide them.

Here are three of the most common mistakes people make when applying their makeup for their headshot:

Too Much Makeup:

1) Using too much blush

2) Using a foundation with too much of a matte effect or using a foundation that has too much shine

3) Applying too much lip gloss

4) Eyelashes too long or too much mascasa

Again, it’s all about that delicate balance.

Too Little Makeup:

The whole point of a headshot is to show your best self, so it’s important to put your best face forward. That means you should apply the same amount of makeup as you would if you were going to an interview—after all, it’s the same thing! You don’t want your business portrait to look like a 1980’s glamour shot nor do you want to look like you just got out of bed.

Whether the headshot photographer of your choice uses flash, natural light, or a combination – too little make up can make your skin look washed-out. My best advice on make-up is to find a professional make-up artist who is trained for camera-ready makeup application.

splendora headshot photographer

2. Choosing The Wrong Outfits

In addition to the headshot itself, your wardrobe choice is one of the most important parts of a successful shoot. Not only does it help you look great, but it also helps establish your brand and identity in viewers’ minds. Your clothes should be clean and well-kept of course, but also reflect your personality and lifestyle (both personal and business). How do you do that? With multiple outfits!!! I always recommend that my headshot clients bring in multiple outfits. This way you have a nice variety to choose from.

When choosing your headshot outfit(s) think about the message you want to convey to your clients. Is your brand super professional, very laid-back, or somewhere in between? Choose what represents your brand best, but feel free to bring a few “just in case” outfits. And don’t try to force yourself to wear something that feels uncomfortable and that just does not represent your real brand of yourself.

cleveland texas headshots

Part of my process in helping my headshots clients is a session consultation where we talk about their business, brand, and all the little elements that will bring everything together. I give my best tips on what colors they should wear, the best background to compliment the look they are trying to achieve, and the best outfits that will make them feel and look the best.

3. Wearing a Fake Smile

When it comes to smiles, there is a fine line between looking natural and looking like you’ve got something to hide. In my experience, I’ve found that the best headshots are those when someone is smiling slightly (and sometimes not at all). But when those lines get blurred between a “natural” smile and an overly-staged one, it can be tough to know where exactly the line should be drawn. When it comes to photographing headshots, I like to think of myself as an “expression coach” – helping my clients “smeyes” (smiling with their eyes), instead of a giant, cheese, grin. Seriously, go practice in a mirror and you’ll see what I mean.

kingwood headshots

Get A Good Headshot

The first key to a headshot you will love is to know and avoid the three key mistakes to avoid:

  • Not smiling with your eyes.
  • Wear clothing that doesn’t flatter or fit comfortably AND that doesn’t represent your brand.
  • Overdoing or underdoing makeup.

I sincerely hope this helps you plan for your next headshot session. If you’d like more guidance on getting the perfect headshot, fill out the form below to get in touch with me

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    Sheila hebert photography

    Hours mon - Fri 10a-5P


    splendora, texas

    Sheila Hebert Photography is located in Splendora, Texas and serves East Montgomery County & the surrounding communities (including Kingwood, Porter, New Caney, Splendora, and Cleveland, Texas). Sheila Hebert also serves clients from all around the Greater Houston area including Houston, Humble, Atascocita, Conroe, Spring, The Woodlands, Huffman, Dayton, Shepherd, Livingston, Katy, Pearland & more. Sheila Hebert specializes in babies, high school seniors, and family photography.