Have you downloaded our Headshot Photography Guide?  The guide explains about hair and make-up for headshot photography.  We also cover what to wear for your business headshot photography session.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be made-up like a supermodel and you certainly don’t need to look like you’ve just stepped out of the salon.  But you do need to look groomed.  You need to look like the best version of yourself when it comes to your headshots.

Remember, a headshot is focused primarily on your face.  This coupled with the fact that people are generally very critical of the way they look means that you need to feel as though you’re giving it your best shot when it comes to your headshot.

Here we give you the lowdown on hair and make-up and how to nail it before your corporate portrait session.  And guys, we’re not leaving you out, there’s a section below on male grooming too!


Woman smiling at the camera for her corporate headshot photography session

Hair needs to be clean, neat & tidy

You need to look and feel yourself so hair is best left up to you.  Freshly styled hair can feel a little unnatural and what if your hairdresser styles you in a way you don’t feel reflects who you really are?  If you’re a regular at the blow dry bar, go for your life.  For everyone else, we know time is tight so just make sure that on the day hair is clean, neat & tidy.  And if you use products, take them along to the session.  You can always play around on arrival or switch up your looks during the shoot.

Good Roots

If you have added colour, get that appointment booked in before your headshot session.  If your roots need refreshing, book in to see your colourist.  We cringe when clients say “I know my grey’s coming through but you can sort it out in Photoshop can’t you?”.  Well, yes we can but it’s much easier if you can get your hair the way you want it before your session.  Most photographers will offer a retouching service but some are better than others and hair is generally difficult to tidy up in post-production.  All those wispy hairs can take time to erase and some photographers may charge you.  Often it’s easier, more natural, and cheaper to get your hair as you want it before the shoot.

Woman receiving a Golden Rose award at Lancome event


Make-up should be considered, even if you don’t wear it.  It can even out skin tone, reduce dark circles, add a healthy glow, and reduce shine.  You may feel confident doing your own make-up and that’s fine.  But take a little extra time on the day of your shoot to get it right.  We would also advise that you take your make-up bag along to the shoot so that you can refresh your look before stepping in front of the lens.

Go Pro

If your photographer offers professional make-up before your headshot session it might be worth considering.  We work with a number of make-up artists and they really do make such a massive difference.  But make sure you check out their work first or ask to have a chat with them before the shoot.  You want a make-up artist to bring out your best in a natural way, not in a ‘make-over’, ‘over-done’ type way.   For a corporate portrait, make-up needs to be polished and professional without being too unnatural or over the top.   If you do opt to go with a professional, we even suggest taking along your make-up bag so that you can discuss what you usually wear.





Wishing you’d booked that appointment on the day of the shoot is too late.  So we recommend that male clients get their hair cut (if needed) 4 or 5 days before the session.  Be clean-shaven if that’s your look or well-groomed if you’ve got some facial hair going on.  Digital cameras show everything so pay attention to detail.

If you have a beauty routine, fantastic.  But if not, please drink lots of water.  Men tend to opt against make-up on a shoot day so you’re relying on your natural skin tone.  Drinking water regularly in the days leading up to your shoot can brighten eyes, reduce dark circles, and give a much brighter, clearer complexion. And if you do want make-up guys, go for it.  You’d be amazed at the number of male clients who do opt for a light base or concealer for corporate portrait sessions.  Not that you’d guess.  The look just evens out skin tone, reduces redness or shine, and gives a natural, healthy look.

And don’t forget to SMILE

We would always encourage our clients to smile, even for a formal, professional headshot for LinkedIn.  As soon as you smile your face opens up, your eyes light up and you look connected.

With this in mind, perhaps a trip to the dentist or hygienist before the shoot will make you even more confident when it comes to flashing a smile during your photoshoot.

For more information on how to prepare for your corporate headshot, pop over to our website and download our factsheet Corporate Headshots A Business Essential.  Or do get in touch if you have any questions about headshot photography.  We’d love to help you.

All images Jon Bradley Photography