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.


Photoshoot Makeup-Mariah

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Need new headshots but aren’t sure how to do your makeup for them? No problem! So glad my friend from Miss Ohio USA last year contacted me for her photoshoot makeup! Mariah slayed the camera at her most recent photoshoot with DSW Photography in Downtown Cleveland.

Rose gold soft smokey eye with a pink glossy lip

Like this look? Contact me, and I can teach you how to do it!

Check us all out on Instagram! @firstaidmakeup @charlene_westfall @dsw_photo @mariahantoinette__


Ohio girls, BOOK ME!

Hey Ohio girls! Feel free to contact me if you need awesome makeup for any special occasion in your life! Photoshoots, pageants, weddings, school dances, lessons…I can do it all! All of my new clients get a makeup or lesson session with me for just $50. It will be worth it! I go back and forth from the Cleveland area to Columbus.

I would be happy to work with you! Contact me so we can schedule a session! Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!

Ohioans…Meet Hair Miracle Worker, Brandon Michael Mayberry!

There aren’t too many artists in Ohio who specialize in pageant hair styles… I am very picky about my pageant hair, and when Brandon assured me that we would “tease it to Jesus,” I knew I would be just fine.

When I saw photos of a prom-gown photoshoot that this amazing 20-year-old, Brandon, styled the models’ hair for, I knew I had to contact him right away. After a little Instagram stalking of each other, Brandon and I started talking about some of my dream pageant looks. Even with just a quick glance at his professional Instagram account, (@brandonmichaelhair) I KNEW that he belonged at Miss Universe, doing the hair of 80+ of the most gorgeous women in the world. And trust me, this dream of his will soon undoubtedly become reality. He, along with Miss Universe stylists Albert Luiz and Amin Kabani, and artists Cassidy Klein and Yazmin Torres, did the hair/makeup for the winner of Miss Ohio USA this year! That being said, at just 20-years-old, this man is on his way to the big league.

I feel so fortunate that Brandon agreed to come out to my photoshoot with DSW Photography (@dsw_photo) in Downtown Cleveland to give me two different looks, one casual, one glam! He is SO personable and had me laughing and feeling comfortable the whole time. He truly cares about what his clients want and is very flexible which ensures a successful shoot, pageant, or special event. However, his skills do not stop at simply styling. He is giving my blonde color a makeover next month, and I cannot wait to share the flawless results! I have full faith in him. Literally, I trust putting my head in his hands. PLEASE give Brandon some love and book him for your next pageant or photoshoot!!! You will NOT be disappointed. Just take a look at how MY photos turned out! I can only imagine this hair on stage!

P.S…I did my own makeup. I can definitely do makeup…I don’t even try with hair anymore.

P.P.S…None of these photos have been photoshopped or airbrushed. Lighting edits only.