Looking Your Best for Corporate Headshots, Part 2: Grooming Properly

Last week, I addressed how important a crisp professional outfit can be in the pursuit of a good first impression. A clean, pressed outfit simply comprised of solid colors can transform an average picture into an exceptional corporate headshot. And while this is a vital bit of advice, I have a few more suggestions up my sleeve. This week, you’ll learn a few tips and tricks behind the significance of properly grooming for a professional business headshot.

Ladies, let’s talk makeup. It’s not always necessary to wear make-up. But, like everyone who gets a corporate headshot, you should look clean, fresh and most important natural. If you feel you don’t look this way, makeup holds a great deal of leverage that can make-or-break your appearance. Maybe you want to smooth your skin or remove a blemish, or just do a little general touch-up? A good rule of thumb when applying cosmetics for a headshot is to start as natural and basic as possible and build from there, only if you must. Your goal should be to look as if you’re not wearing any makeup at all! It might even be a good idea to practice applying your makeup before the day of your shoot if you aren’t feeling confident in your skill in this department. Remember to bring with you any beauty products you’ll be wearing to the shoot in case there needs to be any last minute touchups. Adding stress to your session day is the last thing you need.


To help keep everyone’s skin looking pristine and blemish-free for their shoot, these are a few tips I’d like to share with you all. Don’t make any drastic changes close to your shoot date. A simple example of this is to avoid any last-minute tanning salon visits to eliminate the possibility of having tan lines or appearing burnt in your photo. This goes for haircuts as well! I’m sure we’re all familiar with Murphy’s Law, so if you need a haircut, it’s better to have it done a week prior rather than hours before. Another great trick to keep the skin healthy is eating and drinking correctly during the days prior to your shoot. Salty and greasy foods like fried chicken, pizza, French fries and, yes, deep-fried Oreos can easily cause your skin to break out and appear oily in front of the camera. It would be wise to bring an oil-absorbent cloth with you for this reason and because the additional lighting may cause sweating. Drinking plenty of water gives your skin a nice smooth texture. Avoid sugary drinks, especially sodas. Lastly, get rid of those dark circles under the eyes with some much-needed rest during the few nights before a headshot session.

Guys, to shave or not to shave? The choice is yours! But, you’ve got to keep it maintained either way. If you choose the clean-shaven look, make sure you shave on the day of the shoot, as you don’t want a five-o’clock-shadow creeping in during your 10am appointment. On the contrary, some may want to sport the shadowed look. If this is you, just be sure to keep it neat and even for your shoot by trimming beforehand. For those about to rock the full beard, I salute you; but remember to keep it under control. There’s nothing more off-putting to potential clients than a scraggly castaway-inspired beard “do”.


Now, I know many of you are secretly asking yourselves, “Can’t many of these issues be fixed in Photoshop?” Well, the simple answer to that question is yes. However, less post-production work is necessary when you look the best you possibly can for your corporate headshot. Believe me, the less amount of Photoshop the better. If you focus on the details beforehand, you’ll feel great about yourself in the photo, knowing you looked your best for your existing and potential clients and your company. This is a big part of feeling relaxed and worry-free during your photo shoot, which in turn allows you to be yourself and open up in front of the camera.

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