Preparing for a headshot photography session - Dan Cantero Headshots
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Preparing for a headshot photography session

For many people, headshot photography is an important part of their personal branding. Whether you are looking to improve your online presence or simply need a new photo for your business card, it’s important that you prepare ahead of time. In this blog post, we will discuss what you can do to prepare for a headshot photography session in Sydney and ensure the best possible outcome!

My name is Dan Cantero and I am a professional corporate headshot photographer in Sydney. I photograph a lot of people and I can say without a doubt that preparation for your headshot session plays a major determining factor in the success of your photograph.

With this in mind, I have prepared a list of things that I think are essential when preparing for a headshot session.

If you have not yet found a photographer then the first bit of advice is to research headshot photographers in your area. The first step is to look at a range of different styles and make notes about which ones you like best. When considering the style, think about what it is that makes you feel comfortable and confident when looking at a photograph? If necessary, ask friends or family for their opinion on people they know.

Once you have found the right photographer for you and you have a session booked, you should do the practical preparation steps. The steps I ask my clients to follow are:


Preparing for a headshot photography session

  • What to wear
  • What colours to wear
  • Which accessories you should bring
  • Makeup
  • Skin products
  • Hair
  • Sleep


What to wear

I always speak to my client on the phone and we discuss wardrobe. A photograph is very different to real life so just because something looks great on you doesn’t mean it is going to translate well onto an image so I encourage them to bring a lot of different items so that we can experiment on the day. It also depends on where the photo is going to be used. A LinkedIn headshot photo might be different from a yearly report corporate headshot.

What colours to wear

Colours are really important. Some colours will make the skin look flat and not very flattering. There are also colours that will make you look bigger which is also not flattering. The colours of your clothing will also need to take into account what colour background you pick for your photos. All this is discussed on the phone and on the day we go through all the items and make our selections.

Which accessories you should bring

I normally don’t like accessories in photos but I understand that everyone is different so again we discuss and experiment together to make sure that any items that you are wearing are going to make the photo better and not take away attention from you.


Make up for photography is very different to the kind of make-up that you were on a date today basis. Because of this, I always recommend to my clients that they get their make-up done by a professional make-up artist. Makeup artists know how to apply makeup for photography and it’s not something that you can do on your own unless you’re trained as a makeup artist.

Skin products

When it comes to skin products, I always recommend to my clients that they stick to the regular routine. This is not the time to try new products as you may end up with a skin rash or some other type of reaction that would look good in your photograph. The best thing to do is to just stick with your regular routine.


Just like with make-up, I always recommend to my clients to get their hair done by a professional hairstylist. Styling your hair to go out and styling your hair for a photography session are very different things. Having your hair done professionally by a stylist can make a massive difference to the look of your photographs. In most cases, clients will insist that they know how to style their hair but in just about every session where I’ve had a client that is not happy with the photos, it is always been because of the hair. I now have a rule where I will not photograph someone unless they have had their hair and makeup done professionally.  For guys, I always recommend that you if you need a haircut, make sure you do so a few days before the shoot.  The “I just had a haircut” look is not great for guys.


The final thing that I ask my clients to do, is to get a good nights rest. Bad sleep is something that is very apparent when I’m photographing someone. The eyes will look puffy and a little red which is something that can’t really be fixed in Photoshop very well. This can also result if there was consumption of alcohol the night before. Drinking alcohol dehydrates the skin which can make it look puffy and can make someone look a little heavier than they are.


So there you have it. These are the things that I coach my clients on for a headshot. When clients follow these steps, we always end up with amazing photographs. Not only will you look your best, but you are also going to feel your best. Feeling good about yourself is one of the main ingredients in having a fun and successful photoshoot session. I hope this article was useful for you. If you have any questions or you need a headshot photographer to help you get a great image, then make sure that you reach out and get in touch. Even if we don’t end up working together, I will be happy to guide you in the right direction.

Dan Cantero

Headshot Photographer Sydney