Getting a professional high quality headshot is a worthy investment in yourself and in your brand. We all can come up with all kind of  reasons why we don’t want to have a headshot done right. And I get it! Nobody likes to be photographed. I mean, some people like to be photographed, but most of us don’t. Let’s talk about the 5 biggest headshot mistakes you can easily avoid.


But it doesn’t have to be a bad experience. Hiring a professional who knows what they’re doing is the key to a great shoot and a great experience. looking natural, good lighting and genuine expressions are so important to a great headshot and a professional photographer should be able to help you guide through the process.

Choosing A Photographer


The 5 Biggest Speaker Headshot Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

There’s all kind of photographers out there so make sure that you hire a photographer known for taking portraits. Make sure that they are a headshot photographer and know how to shoot headshots. Do your due diligence. Ask around especially if you know of someone who recently had a headshot taken. Get a referral from them and check them out on the internet.



Take a good look at the people that they’ve taken headshots on. Do you like those pictures? Do you see that photographer being able to capture you with a great headshot?


Make sure that they understand you and listen to what you have to say. Every photographer is NOT going to be a match for you. They should want to know things about you  like what is that you don’t like about yourself? It could be something as simple as you don’t like your forehead, or you don’t look good being photographed from a certain angle. If the photographer is not showing any sympathy for your requests then they are not the right photographer for you.


Ask about copyright and ownership of the pictures. The photographer owns the rights to all of your photos unless they are released to you in writing. You are paying for the work of the photographer. So if you don’t have the ownership of the pictures you can’t use them for marketing purposes. Ask the photographer to give you a copyright release so you can use your images for marketing, promotions and in the media. Just be aware that there could be an additional fee for this.

Should You Wear Makeup or Not to Wear Makeup

The 5 Biggest Speaker Headshot Mistakes You Can Easily AvoidNo matter how beautiful your complexion is, you definitely need to wear makeup for your photoshoot. The lighting of the camera will show off all your deficiencies. Now just think if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before and you have bags underneath your eyes. The camera is going to show that the lighting will pull out all of your deficiencies in your pictures like freckles or blemishes or marks or whatever imperfections that you have on your complexion. The lighting will pull that out.


Now if you don’t like to wear makeup, I can understand that everyone doesn’t like to wear makeup. You will still need to wear makeup. Keep your makeup natural, meaning that you you know that your lips should be a soft, neutral brown. Don’t use a lot of contouring on your face. Don’t contour your nose, your cheeks or your forehead. Don’t use any bold or shiny, shimmery eyeshadow on your eyes because it could come out looking harsh on your pictures. Keep that in mind when choosing your makeup colors. Remember the camera is very unforgiving.

Should You Hire a Makeup Artist

The 5 Biggest Speaker Headshot Mistakes You Can Easily AvoidI would say YES, definitely hire a makeup artist. You’ll be spending a lot of money on these professional pictures which will be a huge investment and you want to look your best. I would let a professional makeup artists apply the makeup for the sure. No matter how good  you are with applying your makeup, hire a professional makeup artist for your shoot. He or she knows how to bring out your best features and will do a much better job of applying your makeup then you can.


Plus a professional makeup artist has years of experience and they know how to work with all kinds of complexions, skin tones and face shapes. They know what products and techniques will make you look your best on camera and over the counter products are not the same as professional makeup. Your over the counter makeup is not made to work well under the hot lights and the camera can make you and  you look washed out.


They will be there to do touch ups in between photo changes and touch up any shine, sweat or taking makeup without you having to even think about it. Most people come in for a photo shoot stressed out anyway and nervous about their headshot. You know your makeup will be top notch by hiring a makeup artist.

All your attention should be on the photographer and not on your makeup. Think of all the places you are going to use your pictures. You know you’re going to use them on

  • your social media
  •  your website
  • on your email signature
  • print articles
  • your one sheet
  • any articles written about you

So you definitely definitely want to have a makeup artists do your makeup for you.

What Not to Wear and What to Wear for Your Photoshoot

The 5 Biggest Speaker Headshot Mistakes You Can Easily AvoidFirst of all let’s start out talking about colors and what you should bring to your photoshoot. Most people are confused as what to wear on their photoshoot. Should I wear solid colors or prints okay to wear should I wear my brand colors. Let’s talk about what colors you should not wear. White and any other pale colors like pink, yellow, light green sky blue excetera do not wear those colors. Especially white because a lot of photographers do not know how to photograph you with white. I mean if you’re wearing all white, like a white top it just could blend into your face. These colors can overexpose and distract from your face and have a negative effect on your skin tone.


And don’t wear tops in flesh tone colors like cream, beige, pastels, or peach as these colors will blend into your face too. Solid colors are a safe bet and the best colors to wear. Prints and patterns distract and they might date your photos so don’t wear any prints or patterns.

Wear mid tone colors like blue, green, wine, and purple because these colors are universally flattering. And now if you’re still unsure what not to wear, choose black, you can’t go wrong wearing black. Black is a good go to choice for your everyday wardrobe attire. It’s bold, elegant, clean, and professional. Plus black look good looks good on mostly everybody.

Bring Someone With You

The 5 Biggest Speaker Headshot Mistakes You Can Easily AvoidThink about bringing someone with you to help you dress and to keep you organized. Bring a trusted girlfriend with you. A girlfriend can make sure that your clothes are not wrinkled and if any lint is on your clothes. They will take care of that for you. They can have your wardrobe laid out set and already for you to go. You don’t have to go searching for your earrings or a necklace for your next photo scene which will be a HUGE time saver for you.

Remember, you only paid for so many hours in your package. So you don’t want to go over those hours and get charged extra, Your girlfriend can be there to help you relax your nerves and make it fun for you. So once you get over being nervous and get into the photoshoot, it really will be a lot of fun. Trust me, I’ve had photoshoots before and it definetly turned out to be fun.

Bio: Speaker Support Consultant

Deborah Northcutt is the CEO of  I am a Speaker Support Consultant who helps new and aspiring speakers find their ideal speaking opportunities. I help free you up to speak so that you can make more money and live the life that you dreamed of.


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