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.

 

CVS Takes a Stand Against Airbrushing Models

“We will not digitally alter or change a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color or enhance or alter lines, wrinkles or other individual characteristics,” CVS said in a press release. The watermark with a heart will start appearing on beauty photos produced by CVS in this upcoming year, so be on the lookout.

Hmm. I have a lot of thoughts about this movement. I really love that CVS is promoting healthier body images by taking a stance against airbrushing and photoshopping models in their stores and print ads. It sends a great message to children because now the beauty standards portrayed by these ads will be attainable.

Although I love this idea, here is some food for thought. I am a pageant girl and have been in modeling for a while. I have had my photos edited to remove blemishes, smooth my skin, and adjust the lighting. I prefer these adjustments to my photos, especially because I am using them for pageant headshots that are sometimes judged. But how much editing is TOO much? How do we decide this? If you were in an advertisement for millions to see, would YOU want to be airbrushed? Or are you okay with everyone seeing your natural flaws?

It takes a brave model to proudly broadcast her full natural self to the world. I give these models and CVS credit for their courage! But what about Ulta, Sephora, and other major beauty brands? Will they follow suit, and are they embarrassed for not taking the initiative on this movement? I would be. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below. 

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