A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Best Headshots

Every photographer has his or her own style and flow, but after over 1000 photo shoots, my method for getting the absolute best headshots is tried, tested, and true. Make sure you choose an experienced photographer who offers not only a standard photo shoot, but also wardrobe consultation and makes you a part of the process by keeping you informed and at ease. If you’re thinking of booking your professional headshots in San Francisco, here’s what you should expect.

Step 1- Wardrobe

Before you arrive for your headshots, the photographer will let you know the colors and styles that work the best based on the lighting and the camera. It’s a good idea to bring 4-5 different wardrobe changes. When you arrive at the studio, the photographer will likely hold each outfit up to you in order to get an idea of how it will look on camera. After discussing the options, you’ll likely decide on a couple of outfits to wear during the shoot.

Step 2- Background

Now it’s time to start the shoot! The photographer will try various background options to see which makes your colors and expressions pop. Here are some of the various indoor and outdoor background options:

In the studio:

·     Grey

·     White

·     Black


·     Stairs

·     A brick wall

·     Greenery

Outdoor options are commonly blurred in the background to add emphasis to the subject of the photo. 

The background doesn’t only depend on the color of your clothes. The photographer will also take your skin tone into consideration. Darker skin tones look great against dark or black backgrounds, while fair-skinned people tend to be brought out the best in front of greenery or dark studio backgrounds. Olive skinned people have the advantage of being quite flexible with their background color.

Step 3- Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important tools used to bring out your features and personality. The most flattering light is typically soft, studio lighting. If your shoot is outside, the photographer will let know exactly where to stand and may add additional lighting if necessary.

Step 4- Feeling Comfortable and Relaxed

Your headshots are going to say a lot about you, so you want to make sure you’re calm, composed, and in a great mood for your shoot. Your photographer will help you through the process step by step so you always feel confident and in control. They should coach you on some breathing and visualization techniques before the shoot, which you can then use if you start to feel awkward or nervous in front of the lens.

A lot of the success of a photo shoot comes from the rapport that the client has with the photographer. Your photographer should be kind, relaxed, and confident in their abilities. If they seem insecure or unsure during the consultation, then that’s probably how you’ll feel during the shoot! To be safe, always choose an experienced photographer for your Bay Area headshots and take the opportunity to chat with them beforehand.    

Ready for your professional headshot? Schedule a consultation today.

©2017 Slava Blazer Photography

810 Gonzalez Drive, Suite 4F

San Francisco, CA 94132

(415) 269-6347