Damon Bowe Photography


Maybe you have done a few photoshoots before and have ended up slightly disappointed with the way you look or the quality of the images. Great photographs can happen on a whim, but usually they require careful preparation and work with a professional who knows how to achieve the best look for you. When it comes to your headshots you want to ensure you are well prepared from what you wear to your appearance to how to pose.

How a headshot session works

For our headshots we will take photos and review them together on the spot, repeating as necessary. I will share my tips and tricks for posing and we will implement them together to achieve a look you enjoy. This approach allows you to see how you look and helps to identify which photos you like before you leave your session. By reviewing photos together you will not be surprised by the the outcome of the session and you are an active participant in producing the final photographs.

For your next headshot session be sure to consult this quick checklist to better prepare so you look and feel confident for your headshots.

Headshot preparation checklist:

A few days before your session

It is a great idea to hydrate your skin with moisturizer. It's often a good idea to have your hair cut a few days prior to a photo session so that it has time to relax again. Lacking sleep will cause your skin to look puffy and irritated, so make sure you are getting a good night's rest before your session.

Practice Posing

Be coachable, be okay with your fitness level on the day of the shoot, be ready to play with your expressions and have fun! The goal of headshots is to look confident, approachable and natural, and we will work though achieving a confidence and approachability in your expression by squinching/smizing with a slight smile. It might help to prepare by googling these ideas and practicing in the mirror before your photoshoot.


You want to look your best during your shoot but it's essential that you are comfortable. Comfort isn't just how clothes feel on you, but how you feel in your clothing.

Try to select solid colors that compliment your skin tone and eyes. If you want to wear a jacket or multiple layers, make sure the colors complement each other as well as your skin tone. Consider what your ideal character would wear and select attire that the type of character or job you want to be cast in would wear.

You do not need nice shoes or bottoms for a headshot. Also please note that you can wear minimal patterns, but patterned weaves such as can cause Moire and loud patterns tend to look unprofessional.

Please consider that in some instances attire may be determined by office policy, so check to determine if you are concerned.


Select something small, classic, and not very reflective or flashy. Earrings shouldn’t dangle more than an inch from your earlobe. Simpler is always better. If we notice your jewelry before we notice your face, we may ask you to remove jewelry. Generally it is best to avoid necklaces.


I ask my clients to wear the amount of makeup they would use on a regular work day.

Do not wear heavy makeup; a close headshot will show clumps of mascara or dark lipstick. Choose light to medium eyeliners, eye shadows, and lipsticks that are only a shade or two darker than your skin tones. This brings your features out in a subtle manner without making it look like you're wearing lots of makeup.

Avoid layering on heavy foundation, or wearing shiny eye shadows or lip gloss: too much shine is distracting on camera and looks wet. Blemishes can be fixed in post processing of your photos.

It is important to communicate with your photographer about what you do and do not want edited on your photographs.


Removing glare from glasses can be extremely difficult. If you can take the lenses out, that would be best. Alternatively consider wearing contact lenses.

When it comes to your headshot, keep in mind that a single photograph is your first introduction. These are part of your first impressions, and how people will likely see you for the first time, so you want to make sure that your photos are the best representation of you. Taking these important steps into consideration will most certainly help in rendering the best outcome.

Based on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
(202) 567-7004 · inquiry@damonbowephoto.com

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