Photography Preparation

How To Prepare For A Professional Portrait Or Headshot


Clothing Choices

Clothing should suit your objectives in terms of how you would like to look, particularly with the level of formality you have in mind. Organizations may also have guidelines for a consistent staff “look”, so it is a good idea to check on that. Dynamic high contrast combinations, such as a dark jacket, white shirt and bold tie, scarf or accessories are often a good choice. For men, light coloured suits are not advisable. Jewelery is best kept minimal, and bare arms or short sleeves are sometimes not advisable for corporate photos.

Very light, or skin toned colours, such as pink, peach and yellow, and busy patterns are best avoided, however light to medium colours that are reasonably strong can work well. Flattering necklines on blouses are a bonus, so worth considering those before the shoot. Asymmetrical garments can look somewhat accidentally lopsided in a portrait. Clothing should be well ironed, particularly men’s shirts, which also look best if new or nearly new. During the shoot clients are welcome to vary their clothing, jackets, tops, ties etc.

Hair Preparation

Hair, particularly for women, is one of the most important things to prepare for a good portrait outcome. Recently styled hair is great, but may hold better if done the day before, and given a final touch up on the day of the shoot. Its generally best to use a style that you are familiar with rather than trying out a new style on the day. Flyaways can be distracting, and it’s best if the hair sits as a solid mass. For men a recent haircut, about a week before, and freshly shaven is also a good idea. If the photo is being done later in the day, a second shave may be advisable.

<h4>Makeup and Skin

Makeup is important, and most women are quite adept at applying makeup that best suits them. A bit more makeup than usual is good, matte, but not too powdery, and in natural skin type tones. Eye makeup is desirable, but again, not too heavy or brightly coloured eye shadow. You may choose to have professional makeup applied for the shoot. Your local salon should provide services for both hair and makeup preparation should you need them, in much the same way as one might prepare for evening or wedding photographs.

For men no makeup is required, and any skin issues are best resolved in the retouching.


Glasses do vary according to the size, coatings, tints, and shape, and some do flare from lighting to some extent. If you can do without them that is a bonus, otherwise we will try to arrange lighting to minimise any flare, and can also remove it during the retouching.

… Final Retouching!

As all photos are retouched, any skin blemishes etc can easily be removed, along with a range of other retouching tweaks, to ensure you look your very best!

You are welcome to phone on (02) 9358 2086 or 041 4555 731 for any portrait preparation queries or to email us click here: email

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