Headshot Style Guide

Types of Headshots

Photographers have different styles of shooting, but are also conscious of the style that you want. Headshots come in different orientations and styles and below you can find some of these different combinations. What you prefer, will ultimately determine the final images you receive. Before booking, Let me know what colour background your prefer and the style you are aiming to portray.

Portrait Orientation

This is probably the most common style of headshot. Most headshots are typically close to the face, but some people like to show their clothing in the shot letting the viewer get a better sense of who you are and what your style is. The backgrounds can come in a range of different colours to match your brand.

Landscape Orientation

Landscape orientation instead of the traditional Portrait. This style I find works great for the internet. It will look great on a website or as your avatar (profile image) on different social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The background can be any colour you choose (subject to availability of backdrop)

Environmental Headshot

Environmental headshots are basically shots that are taken outside of a studio. It can be indoors or outdoors, and be shot with natural light or artificial light. This style of headshot is great if you’re looking to show a more laid-back side of you.

Getting Ready

So, you’ve booked your photographer and chosen the style of shots you want. Now what? A few days before your shoot you’ll want to start getting prepared. If you’re properly prepared for the shoot you’ll not only have an easier and more stress free time during the shoot, but the resulting images will look a whole lot better than if you just wing it.

1. Clothing

Clothing is a form of expression and the clothes that you pick to wear will reflect your personality in the images. My best piece of advice when choosing clothes is the simpler the better.

  • Solid colors look great in headshots.
  • If going with a pattern keep it simple.
  • Start with a simple shirt or blouse and slowly add layers.
  • Make sure that ALL clothes are ironed and pressed before. 
  • Don’t worry about shoes if just shooting headshots. Be comfortable.

2. Hair

  • Bring a brush and some hair product (gel/hairspray) with you to the shoot to help calm fly-aways. 

3. Makeup and Face

  • Start natural. Just enough to cover up any blemishes. 
  • Try not to use matte styles of makeup. It will dry out your skin.
  • Bring your makeup and moisturizer with you to the shoot in case your skin does get dry or you need touchups.
  • Bring lip balm or lip gloss with you to help keep lips looking soft.
  • The night before brush your lips with your toothbrush to help get rid of any dead skin.
  • Don’t do any extreme beauty regimens right before your shoot, like facial peels, tanning or extensive exfoliating. Your skin can look very irritated.
  •  Get rid of any unwanted hair a few days before your shoot. Clean up brows and upper lip hair.


  • Shave right before you leave for a shoot. Use cooling gel or aftershave to help with skin irritation.