Headshot Photoshoot Tips

This article is for all of my pageant girls and aspiring models!
Photoshoots can be overwhelming because there is so much to think about, like outfits, hair/makeup, posing, photographers, and preparation. Here are a few of my tricks that I’ve learned throughout my years of modeling and pageantry to make sure you get the best shots possible!

My #1 tip: Have photos you want to recreate. If you are not experienced with posing, having a few images that you want to recreate will help immensely to create your “vision.” I always find photos of celebrities or models that I love, so I bring a similar outfit and pose the way they did in the photo! Works every time for me, and I am always satisfied with the image.

Practice posing often with a photographer or friend. I shoot often with my friend David of DSW Photo in Cleveland, and I’ve become so comfortable with posing because of the practice and seeing how I look in images. Learn your own style and learn how YOU work the camera!

Get a spray tan a few days before, and bring lotion so you don’t look dry or ashy in photos. Unless you have naturally darker skin, you should consider getting a spray tan or using self tanner before your shoot so you don’t look washed out in photos. Make sure you shower at least once before your shoot so you don’t look orange! Also, make sure your nails are done.

Bring LOTS of outfit options. You may discover that a certain outfit you planned doesn’t photograph well, so bring a backup! DO NOT wear small, detailed patterns in your photos. These will not show up well and are very distracting, especially for a headshot. Solid colors are the way to go. Also, bring appropriate jewelry options (sparkly earrings, hoops, studs, etc!).

Ask to look at a few of your photos during the shoot. Some photographers don’t like to reveal your photos right away, but they are YOUR photos that you are paying for. Make sure that you don’t have a stray hair in your face or something silly!

Ask to use natural lighting if possible. Trust me, studio lights are awesome, but natural light beats them every time!

Ask your photographer about how they retouch or edit images. Its personal preference: some people like lots of retouching, others do not want themselves edited at all. Some photographers charge extra for certain types of retouching which may include: smoothing out flaws, skin retouching, teeth whitening, and hair editing.

Have a mirror nearby to check up on your hair/makeup and outfit every so often. You sometimes can’t tell if something is out of place, but when a mistake shows up in your photos, you will be very upset! This has happened to all of us, guaranteed!

Finally, make sure that you are getting the photos you want, and you should feel comfortable with your photographer. Remember that YOU are paying for these photos (unless the photographer is using you as a model to build his/her portfolio), so you need to be happy with the final images. Read reviews of the photographer and look at their past work. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

Safety tip: Make sure you are shooting somewhere safe, like a studio or in public, or else bring a friend/parent with you. Especially if you don’t know the photographer.

Below are some of my photos from past shoots. Photographers have very different styles, as you can see.


Introducing Miss Buckeye State! Learn My Pageant Secrets: Airbrush Makeup

It’s been an exciting (and overwhelming) week…I am your new Miss Buckeye State!!! This July, I will compete for the title USA National Miss in Disney World! Nationals week in the happiest place on Earth?? Thrilled is an understatement! Thank you to everyone who supported, voted, and rooted for me, it meant the world to me. Now about my hair and makeup…people sent me messages and asked me all weekend about who glammed me up, and of course the answer was…ME! I am happy to share how I got my FLAWLESS pageant face without a professional makeup artist! 

Marc Harvey Exclusive Air (my airbrush kit)

The most important tool of how to have perfect skin on stage and in front of the judges is an airbrush foundation kit. I bought mine from a Miss Universe makeup artist, Amin Kabani, and it was around $300 for everything (Marc Harvey brand), but I know systems like Dinair, Luminess, and TEMPTU sell them for even cheaper! The price is worth it because I’ve saved hundreds of dollars since I don’t have to pay for an artist to airbrush me for every event/pageant. Airbrush is better than traditional foundation because it is sweat/water proof, meaning you won’t get shiny at all for the entire day, and the stage lights won’t reflect harshly on your face. It comes with an air compressor, an airbrush pen, and the liquid makeup. It may look intimidating at first, but I promise that anyone can successfully apply airbrush makeup, even on the first try. 

  1. After turning on the compressor, simply put 5-6 drops of your foundation color in the funnel of the pen.
  2. Press back the pen’s trigger about halfway to start spraying the makeup on your face. It will come out like a gentle mist (not like a power washer or anything crazy), so use elliptical/circular motions with the pen about 3-4 inches from your skin. KEEP THE PEN MOVING so you don’t get heavy splotches on a patch of skin. 
  3. Once you run out of liquid makeup solution, you can add a few more drops, but you shouldn’t need more than 12 drops total.
  4. You may have a lighter color solution as well. Using 5 drops, spray the lighter color under your eyes, along your cheekbone where you would put highlighter, and down the bridge of your nose.
  5. Now, bake your face (learn how HERE), and put on other makeup on top of your foundation as you would do normally! 

    No filter or editing needed. THAT’S how flawless airbrush makeup can make you, too!

Leaving for USA National Miss Ohio!!!

In less than 48 hours, I will be on my way to compete for USA National Miss Ohio! After lots of practicing, coaching, videoing, and writing, I can truly say I am prepared to compete. I can’t thank my sponsors and coaches enough for believing in me and challenging me to think outside the box to present the best version of myself possible. Wish me luck!!!

FYI…Gowns and Cocktail Dresses FOR SALE

In case you’re looking for a dress for a pageant, prom, formal, etc…I have many that I am selling for a good price right now. Brands like Sherri Hill, Jovani, and Faviana! If you are interested, check out my Facebook (icon link on home page), Poshmark app, or Mercari app. All in great condition and willing to negotiate prices! The collage above only shows some. Happy hunting!