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  • Writer's pictureAlex Villa

Top 6 questions to ask your portrait photographer before your shoot...

Going through life, you have an epiphany one day. You need to start over and you need a fresh start. You have entered a new phase of your life and you want to try your hand at another career. Perhaps it’s teaching or marketing. Or you’re thinking of going back to school. Maybe it’s time to make your coding hobby into a full-time job. But where do you begin the transition? It may sound odd, but a new professional headshot can usher in a new energy that will fuel you to boldly make the move into your dream career.

A headshot presents you to the world, and you’re about to embark on a new journey. A headshot taken by a professional photographer will capture your essence as you put your best foot forward. You can put it on all your social media channels plus LinkedIn where recruiters can find you and your profile as you sleep. But what does a professional portrait photography session entail? How do you prepare and how do you wow the camera? Here are six questions to ask your professional photographer before your portrait shoot:

1. Do I have to smile? The simple answer to that is no. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do or that makes you uncomfortable. Some of us smile with our eyes and some of us feel, we look our best when we don’t smile. It’s up to you.

2. What do I wear? If it’s a professional portrait, more than likely you want to convey a professional appearance. Men may need to wear a suit and tie, or a button-down shirt. Women may want to wear a top they would wear to work. Depending on the background being used by the photographer, you may want to wear a flattering color that compliments and differs from the background, so your features pop. If you work in a creative field, maybe you can consider featuring a prop in your portrait. For example, if you paint, maybe you hold a paintbrush.

3. How long will the session be? This varies. The longer the appointment, the more pictures the photographer can take and the more you will have to choose from when selecting your favorites. Ask your professional photographer if they offer portrait packages.

4. Where should we hold the portrait session? This can be discussed with the photographer. Maybe your boss wants it done outdoors. Perhaps there are no parameters and you prefer it done in your home or at the photographer’s studio. Please convey to your photographer your preferences and any employer parameters and your photographer should be happy to accommodate you.

5. How long before I receive my pictures? Depending on your photographer’s workload or what has been communicated prior to committing to the shoot, you should be able to see some pictures from your shoot within 72 hours, unless another timeframe has been stated.

6. What should I emphasize in a portrait photography session? If you’re a male, perhaps you look into grooming your hair and facial hair prior to the shoot. Obviously in a headshot, your face will take center stage, so perhaps consider shaving or a facial. For women, hair might need extra attention. You can style it up or down and it may need touchups in between shots. Makeup might also need some refreshing with special attention paid to the eyes.

Don’t forget, this photoshoot is about you and putting your best foot forward. So have fun and make it an experience.

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