Actor Headshot Pre-Shoot Tips

Men & Women

Sleep with an extra pillow – When you sleep, gravity pools fluid around your lower eyelids, where the skin is soft and elastic, causing under-eye puffiness. Chilled spoons also work. The contour of the spoons will fit perfectly over your eyes, and the metal will remain cold just long enough to be effective in about 10 minutes.

Don’t starve the day of the shoot – Eat a power breakfast of oatmeal (not a sugar-laden instant variety) topped with chopped nuts, raisins, sesame seeds, and low-fat milk. The long-burning carbs and protein will fuel your body and brain for hours. I don’t want you to lose your energy during the shoot or it will show in the photos.

Avoid the following items 72 hours before your photo shoot (They can cause flaky dry skin that will show in  your photos)

Follow these Actor Headshot Pre-Shoot Tips and you’ll be ready to have a fantastic session!

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Spicy Foods
  • Limit your salt intake.
  • Retin-A and Alpha Hydroxy creams (they can cause flaky dry skin that will show up in your photos.)
  • Drink lots of water, carry it with you everywhere you go, and drink it during the shoot.
  • Exfoliate your skin at least once a week and the morning of the shoot.
  • Don’t get a haircut or trim the week of the photo shoot. It is not a good idea unless you know your stylist very well.


  • If you want several looks from your sessions, arrive unshaven and hair unstyled. Bring shaving supplies and a face towel. You will be able to shave midway through your session. Bring your favorite hair products. Do not put them on your hair before the session; wait until you discuss your looks with me.
  • Hide thinning hair with a haircut – It instantly makes you look younger. And if you are balding or have fine hair, remember that less is more. Gravity causes longer hair strands to lie closer to the scalp, which exposes more skin on the top of your head. By getting your hair cut shorter and more layered, you won’t see the scalp, which is the point. It’s an optical illusion.
  • Add some beer for fuller hair- Any number of voluminous shampoos will give body to your hair. A light lager also works. The yeast clings to each strand, making hair look fuller.


  • It is a good idea to bring your own mascara to the shoot. I always use disposable applicators to minimize infection.
  • Dark hair roots will look even darker in the photos so refresh them a few days before the shoot. If you trim your hair do it with enough time so your hair can “settle down” before the shoot.
  • Have your eyebrows professionally done if you can’t do it yourself, one week prior to your shoot. I may fine-tune them when you arrive, but I will not reshape them.
  • Fingernails and toenails should be well manicured and the polish should look very natural. Please avoid the new French manicure. Nowadays it is too white and that can be very distracting on camera. Remember you want your eyes and face to be the focal point, not your white nail tips.
  • If you are having your makeup professionally done by me, please arrive with a fresh face.
  • If you are doing your own makeup or having it done by someone else, please come make-up ready.
  • If you have a favorite brand of make-up, bring it to the photo shoot.
  • Don’t over condition your hair before a shoot. Your hair must be dry before you arrive at the shoot. Don’t use leave-in conditioner for the shoot, it makes hair very unmanageable.
  • Avoid dry lips by using Vaseline before bed and the morning of your shoot.
  • Avoid tan lines.

Get a good night's rest!!!

If you are new to taking headshots, it is a good idea to let me help you make the decisions on professional makeup. I know what looks best on camera and I am used to applying makeup for my photographic lighting scenarios.

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