You always want to look good in headshots but, what does that really mean? What “good” is depends on the goal of the headshot. But for our purposes here we’ll assume the question is about a headshot for common commercial use.
Get Professional Headshots
First, be sure you hire a professional headshot photographer. Headshots are an investment and they are directly or indirectly to influence others to do business with you. So, don’t settle for a selfie.
Much about looking good in headshots is about the choices a photographer makes in what lighting to use, which lens to put on, and angles of approach. All these elements, and much more, are brought together by a professional headshot photographer to be sure you look good.
The Clothes You Wear
Most headshots are from around the chest up. So, usually only your top matters. If you’re planning a more lifestyle headshot then you may need to worry about your entire outfit. But, not usually.
Keep things very simple. Avoid things that distract from your face, like wearing busy plaids or stripes. Be careful to choose colors that complement your skin, hair or eye color. Also, wear clothes that fit your work role, or desired work role.
Your Hair and Glasses
When styling your hair, again consider your work role or the work role you desire to go after. Be sure your hair style matches the amount of makeup and clothes you wear. If you’re planning a haircut, consider doing so at least a few days before your headshot session. This gives it time to grow back just a bit into a more natural state. It also gives you time to reschedule if you got a bad haircut.
If you wear glasses and can’t decide to use them in headshots or not, do what you usually do. If you usually have them on at work, then wear them. If you usually have them on only when driving, for example, you might opt not to wear them. As for sunglasses, you usually don’t want to wear these. Tell your photographer up front if you will wear glasses as it might impact how they light you.
How Much Makeup Should You Use?
Wearing makeup can be useful, even if just to mask things such as a shiny forehead. Most women, in my experience, wear makeup. Some get their makeup professionally done before arriving at a headshot session. Others bring a makeup artist to the session.
Like with all other factors, being careful to not overdo it is important. Again, wear as much makeup as you commonly wear for your work role or for the work role you’re after.
Choose Your Best Side
Some people hate getting their photograph taken. So, getting a headshot made can be daunting. This is why it’s important to find a professional headshot photographer you can be comfortable with. Putting your guard down can be a big difference to looking good in headshots.
Further, some people find they have a best side. And this means they only want to be photographed from that side. Try and be open about this and have your photo taken from multiple sides. This way you have options to consider. You might find one from your not-so-great side actually is the one. It happens.
There are other things that can help. Being a self-confident natured person often shows in headshots. Drink lots of water in the days leading up to your headshot so you appear naturally hydrated. Play some music you like to help get you in a good mood as you go to and during your session. This also helps make the headshot session fun and comfortable.