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Headshot Photo Session Tips for Women

Tracy Wright Corvo Photography business headshots portraits - Honolulu, Hawaii


The Experience Revealed 

When it comes to your upcoming business or actor headshot photo session, there are a number of ways you can prepare in advance to make sure you have the most successful and positive photo experience. Every shoot is different, so what you’ll need to prepare might change based on your unique photography needs, but overall, these are my top headshot photo session tips for women to ensure you look and feel your best during your photo session. 

MAIN TIP: Simple is better.


Wear what you think looks best on you and bring two alternate choices. Contrary to popular belief there are no absolutes when selecting clothing for headshots and portraits. If you feel good in what you are wearing your confidence will come through. 


  • In general, neutral solids are better than patterns.
  • Fitted and tailored clothing works best. Loose or baggy tops will make you look larger than you desire.
  • Try on your top(s) with your bra in front of bright light and mirror to check for transparency. Studio lights may shine through thin fabrics.
  • Model your tops for a friend and take some quick photos with your phone so you can see yourself in your tops.
  • If you love your arms, tank tops can work nicely. However, long sleeves often work better than short sleeves.
  • If you have long dark brown or black hair, your may hair blend into darker clothing, so consider wearing a lighter colored top.
  • As we age, lighter colored tops may be more flattering and fresh.
  • Darker colors close to face, can draw attention to wrinkles.
  • White or Off-White can work nicely unless you feel it washes you out.
  • Make sure your jacket buttons or closes or else you will look WIDE!


• Busy patterns, plaids or stripes.
• Short sleeved tops where the sleeve is loose on arm.
• Shiny fabrics like silk or satin.
• Loose or baggy tops. Or jackets that are too small and do not button!
• Pastels – the light color washes out in studio light.
• NO Jewelry if you are getting an actor headshot.


Wear makeup that makes you feel comfortable and look camera-ready but natural.


  • Do wear mascara as well as lipstick close to your natural lip color.
  • Do consider having a professional do your make-up for you. Tracy can book this for you. ( Tracy’s stylists do both hair and makeup)
  • If you have a makeup session, arrive with a clean face.
  • You should only use an oil-free moisturizer and an eye cream prior to your session and do not use any sunscreen.


  • Sun exposure for 1-2 days prior to headshot session.
  • Don’t worry about blemishes. They are easily retouched!
  • Don’t wear too much face powder over foundation – digital is sharp and too much powder will show and be impossible to retouch.
  • Don’t wear sunscreen or any SPF to the photoshoot.


Consider hiring a professional to do your hair when you have your make- up done. This can be particularly helpful if you have unruly hair. Tracy can book a session for you. And her stylists all do both hair and makeup for one great price!


  • Whether or not you work with a stylist, make sure you wear your hair in a way that you think looks most like you!
  • Adding some wave or curl to the hair usually looks great in headshots.
  • Most cuts look better after one week. It is usually NOT a good idea to get your hair cut or hair colored the day before your session. 


  • In most cases, wash and blow-dry hair the night before.
  • If you are getting an up-do, wash your hair the day before so it is not too soft. This way your hair will better hold the style. Apply all the
    products you normally use and blow dry.
  • If you are getting a blow out in your hair session, wash your hair the morning of your appointment and use your regular styling products, but don’t overdo it.
  • If you have long hair and you want to put some curls in it, wash it the night before and then wet it again in the morning, apply products you normally use and then blow dry with your head down. This way your hair won’t be too soft to hold the curl and it will have some volume from the root.


  • It is very helpful to wax and manicure your eyebrows and remove facial fuzz prior to your photo shoot. BUT make sure to do this 3 or more days before your session, just in case you have a skin reaction.
  • Removing hair from the facial skin ensures that your foundation goes on smoothly and prevents applied powder from becoming attached to those fine hairs, which are very visible in your close-up digital photographs. 
  • A drug store depilatory cream will easily remove facial fuzz. Popular brands include Sally Hansen and Oil of Olay. To make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction, conduct a patch test a few days before the photoshoot.
  • You can also use a traditional disposable razor and just shave it. Yes, shave it! It is a myth that by shaving the hair it will grow back darker and thicker. Plus, shaving removes the top layer of dead skin sells and exfoliates your skin. This can tighten and plump your skin through constant cellular rejuvenation.

Ready To Book Your Next Headshot Session? 

Are you ready to book your next headshot photo session? Contact me today and let my team and I help you have the most successful headshot experience. 

Tracy Wright Corvo Brand Photography

Hello, I’m Tracy Wright Corvo.

I am a headshot and personal brand photographer based in Honolulu, Hi.

I work with industry-leading professionals who approach their work with a creative and innovative perspective. I have been running my portrait photography business since 2005 and have over 20 years of experience as a professional photographer. Are you ready to put your best face forward?


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