Pre-Session checklist

Thanks for considering your headshot session with Headshot Laboratory. To ensure we have the most successful session, here are some suggestions for you, to help you plan and arrive well prepared for our shoot. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Before the session ::

• Make sure you are healthy - and drink your quota of water and get plenty of sleep

• Get your hair cut / coloured / trimmed / revitalised if necessary

• Tackle any unwanted facial hair (eyebrows / lip for the girls; shave for the boys) - avoid doing this on the day of the shoot to prevent any skin reactions

• Use lip balm in the days before the session to ensure lips are well moisturised

• If you wear glasses please bring in an alternative pair in case we have issues with the shape and reflectivity of the lens

• Watch the 2 short video links below to help you understand expression management (it’s easier than it sounds)

Headshot Laboratory - Meme
Headshot Laboratory - David

On the day of the session ::

• If you have booked a hair / makeup artist, please arrive with clean hair and face - no sunscreen

• If you are doing your own hair / makeup, please prepare yourself with a clean, professional and natural look - as you would for an interview or casting session - no sunscreen

• Prepare the clothing you will bring to the session - select carefully and please ensure tops are clean, and without damage or creases - or pet hair :)

• Please do not bring along jewellery for your shoot - studs or loops are OK but no neckalaces

• Think positively

What to bring along to the shoot ::

necklines copy

• Please bring LOTS of tops for us to select from (no less than 6)

• Avoid strapless tops (see the guide for what NOT to wear)

• Select SIMPLE tops (avoid making a big statement)

• Avoid sleeveless tops unless you are very confident with your upper arms - if you are then go for it, these are great!

• A variety of necklines please - see the guide here for what works well but consider your neck and chest area and the shape of your face

• Avoid any text and visible brands

• Avoid vibrant colours and busy patterns

• Avoid pictures or single designs

• Select neutrals as well as colours that suit your eye, hair & skin colour

• Tops that you feel confident and comfortable in

• Hair ties if you want a hair-up option

• Retouch makeup as required

Necklines ::

Here are some reasonably common necklines. You may already know what style suits you best, but it is worth reflecting on what options are available. Perhaps you haven't tried alternative styles that may actually be more flattering?

I've put a cross on the styles that are not suitable for a headshot - not because they are not flattering, but because they make too big a statement. Please avoid these for your session.

I've put a question-mark on those that may look OK but could also be too complex and distracting. By all means bring these along but please don't rely on them exclusively.

The rest are all great - try to make sure you have a RANGE of different necklines that we can work with. If you only have one style option that will make our session too limited.


Things are a lot simpler for you. Please bring at east 2 difefrent necklines for your shoot. Try the traditional round / crew neck and also a v-neck. A scoop neck could also work. See this link for more information.

Here is an interesting guide for collars and suits - lots of handy tips. Please make sure that jackets are a good fit. Jacket collars shouldn't stand away from the neck. Please make sure all tops are clean, and crinkle-free.

Helpful Links ::

Sam Oster (principal photographer at Headshot Laboratory) has trained under international headshot guru Peter Hurley, and is an active member of his Headshot Crew, a group of professional headshot photographers from around the world. Here are some of Peter Hurley's videos that can really help you to pose better for your headshot session. Don't worry, you will be carefully directed during the session to help you look your best.

• It’s all about the Jaw (Peter Hurley) -

• It’s all about the Squinch (Peter Hurley) -