A Guide To Your J&A Headshot Session

Forever Sessions

Jul 1, 2021

What Do I Need To Know Before My Headshot Session? // Headshot Photography in Huntsville Alabama

Huntsville Headshots

You may be surprised to see this blog post about headshot photography! You’re totally right – our photography focuses primarily on weddings, engagements, and bridal sessions. It’s what fuels our hearts! But during the week, it’s such a fun experience for us to exercise our creativity and skills with family sessions, product photography, and headshot sessions! It gives us more opportunities to serve others beyond the wedding journey!

With all the new headshot session requests we’ve been having lately, I thought it would be the perfect time to share this ultimate FAQ guide to our headshot sessions!

Power in Perception

Whether you’re a small town entrepreneur or the CEO of a famed aerospace engineering company, you want a headshot that you’re proud to share! From your resume, business card, or simply a Google search, your headshot is often one of the first impressions you give to potential clients or employers. A quality headshot elevates their perception of your professionalism and expertise. There is true power in perception!

This guide will walk through what you can expect at your headshot session, as well as answer the frequently asked questions. A little preparation goes a long way in creating your best headshots!

What can I expect at my headshot session?

You’ll be welcomed to our home studio setup with a cold bottle of water and friendly smiles! We want you to feel relaxed and right at home from the very beginning. We have hooks for you to hang an extra outfit and a basket to hold keys, phone, and accessories. You’ll have a few minutes in the privacy of our guest bath to freshen up and fix any flyaway hairs before we begin. 

Once you feel confident in your appearance, we’ll spend a few minutes talking about your goals for this headshot session. For example, do you need these headshots in any particular format or for a special purpose? Do you need a pull-back option for a billboard or simply a standard head/shoulder image?

You’ll be coached through flattering headshot poses that are customized to your goals. We’ll capture a variety of angles and compositions so you can have a well-rounded collection. If you have any specific requests, we always do whatever we can to accommodate them!

If you’ve chosen to bring a bonus second outfit, you’ll have a chance to change partway through the session. We’ll finish up with just a few shots of your second outfit. (See the How many outfits should I bring? section below for more on this.)

Once we’ve finished your session, you’ll have a chance to choose your favorite images to be edited for your final gallery. We’ll make the process simple and easy for you! 

After your session is finished, we’ll give you all the details on gallery delivery and send you home with a fun little gift!

What do you mean by choice of studio or natural backdrop? Which is right for me?

A studio session is an indoor session in our home with a professional backdrop and studio lights. It creates a very professional, polished, executive look. A studio session is our most popular headshot style, so that’s what we’ll plan for unless you decide on a natural backdrop option instead!

A natural backdrop refers to an outdoor location with natural light. We often use a spot just outside our house with greenery in the background and pretty afternoon light filtering through the leaves!

Studio sessions have a polished look that highlights professionalism. One benefit to a studio session is that natural forces like rain, wind, or extreme temperatures don’t affect the session. Natural backdrops bring a more relaxed vibe to your headshot. It’s more casual and can feel a little more friendly and approachable. They’re both great options! If you’re not sure which you should do, we can recommend one or the other based on your specific goals for the session.

Do you offer group headshot sessions?

We do! If you have 4 or more people in your company who need updated headshots, we have an option for an on-location group headshot session. We come to you so your employees can pop in, get their headshots, and be back on their way with no need to commute. If preferred, we can opt for a natural light location instead of your office. You pay a set fee per person, which makes it customizable based on your company’s unique needs!

What should I wear?

  1. The Fit

One of the most important style tips for headshots is to choose well-cut clothing with a modern fit. Outfits that are baggy or too tight are unflattering in headshots. 

2. Complimentary Colors

Think about colors that compliment your skin tone and eye color. Because headshots typically focus on your face, you want all the secondary details (like your outfit) to set your face to its best advantage. 

Not sure what colors are most complimentary for your coloring? There are several fascinating online articles that help you figure out your coloring and which outfit colors will look best on you. Google “What color looks best on me” for quizzes, articles, and more. One easy tip: if you typically go for gold jewelry, you probably have a warm skin tone. If you gravitate toward silver and rose gold, you likely have a cool skin tone.

3. Keep It Solid

You want to stay away from patterns because they can easily distract from your face. Solid colors are by far the best for headshots!

4. Bonus Tips

Long or 3/4 length sleeves are the best option for headshots. With tight headshot poses, you’ll only see your upper arms in the image. The small bit of arm that will show is distracting. You want an elongated look for your arms, which is easily accomplished by wearing long or 3/4 length sleeves.

Avoid extremely low-cut shirts and very flashy colors. For really easy outfit variety, you can use layers and take off the outer layer (suit coat, blazer, jacket, scarf) for a completely different look!

How many outfits should I bring?

Choose one main outfit for your headshot session. We’ll do most of your portraits in this primary outfit. If you have a second look that you’d like to incorporate, there’s time for a quick outfit change and a few bonus shots with your second outfit. An example of a second outfit would be a company polo or uniform, or a slightly more casual outfit. For example, one of our clients just opened his own insurance office and changed from his suitcoat to his State Farm shirt. 

What should I bring to my session?

~Touch up styling products (such as a comb, lipstick/chapstick, etc)

~Second top as a bonus outfit (optional)

~Confidence! It’s your best accessory.

Should I invest in professional hair and makeup?

If doing your own hair and makeup is not your strong suit, we truly think you’re going to love your pictures even more when you invest in professional hair and/or makeup. These pictures could be a potential employer’s first impression of you, and it’s worth looking as polished and professional as possible. It’s best to keep your look elevated without feeling completely unnatural. (If you would never wear bright red lipstick on a regular workday, it’s not the best look to choose for your headshots.)

Professional hair and makeup is totally optional. You can even choose just one or the other! I personally like a natural makeup look for myself, but having a professional style my hair helps me love the way I look in pictures!

What can I do to prepare?

Looking your best in a headshot actually starts several days in advance! For clear skin and eyes, drink extra water for 2-3 days before your scheduled session. Try it – it really does make a difference! Limit sun exposure to avoid sunburn and other skin effects (like peeling, blistering, or tan lines from sunglasses).

Plan your outfits well ahead of time to avoid last-minute stress. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your session so you can have a relaxed, confident start. 

Think about where you want to use your headshot images. Are they for your resumé? LinkedIn profile? Award submission? Website? Social media? Just to have? 

How will I get my images?

Your final images will be delivered via an online gallery. You’ll be able to download your edited, full-res images directly from your gallery. Once they’re downloaded, you can use them anywhere you wish without needing explicit permission from us!

What if I want more than 5 images?

That’s not a problem, and you’re not alone! Especially if you want to use your headshots in multiple locations, having a variety of compositions and outfits can be valuable. You get a chance to choose your 5 favorite images to include in the final gallery. Additional images are available for purchase if you want more!

I want headshots I’m proud to share!! How can I book you?

It’s easy! Send us an email at contact@joelandamberphotography.com to get the process started! We’ll find a convenient date and time that works well with your schedule.

That’s it!

Headshots are a simple, easy way to elevate your professional image! We’re here to answer all your questions, walk you through each step, and make it easy and stress-free!


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