How To Prepare For A Headshot Session| Clarksburg Headshot Photographers

Here are a few tips on how to prepare for your upcoming headshot session with Armato Photography.

If getting in front of a camera makes you anxious, or more like you want to catch the next flight to the arctic, there are a few things you can do make your session smoother. I’ll outline a few tips that will help you be relaxed and ready for a rocking headshot session.

1. Clothes. If you have multiple outfits that you’d like to shoot, have them dry cleaned, ironed, pressed and ready on a hanger by at least the day before. The last thing you want to do is scramble all over the house looking for your favorite shoes or  tie.  Have all your makeup in your bag ready to go, or better yet, schedule to have our stylist at your session, then you don’t have to worry about it at all. Jus come in and be taken care of. Men, PLEASE do not shove your clothes in a backpack. Yes, even if it’s just a T-shirt.  Have your suit cleaned and pressed and in a suit bag for protection.  For clothing selection, if you’re not sure if you want to bring something, bring it. Better to have it and not need it. Keep clothes simple and classic. Stay away from busy patters and colors that are close to your skin tone. Since the classic headshot is generally from the mid-chest up, you can often get away with just wearing a formal top and comfy pants or shorts. I will say that there can be a difference in the way you feel when you’re in a complete suit and not just the top half so I suggest coming in with the complete suit.

2. Facial Hair. Men, make sure that beards are trimmed the way you like before you come. If you prefer to be clean shaven, do it in the morning before your session.  We can take out little missed beard hairs but we can not “give you a digital shave”.  Ladies, if you plan to have eyebrows plucked, remember that plucking can leave red marks behind and that can add to the post production timeline.  If you’re planning on a haircut before your session, plan it for 1-2 weekd prior to the session. That way your hair has a chance to settle in and look natural.

3. Skin. Drink plenty of water during the week before your session. This will help keep your skin healthy and clear. Stay away from fried or super salty foods as this can lead to bloating and water retention. Hit up Chik-Fil-A on the way home! Be careful in the sun. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause redness, sun-burn and other irritations. Lastly, get plenty of sleep! You want to avoid circles under the eyes and you want to be fresh and rested for your session.

4. Teeth. Avoid drinking anything that may stain your teeth. I know, I know, what!? No coffee! Just for the morning of your session. If you have time and your teeth already slightly yellow or have some discolor, consider having them professionally whitened. If you don’t have time, don’t sweat it, we can deal with that with a tiny bit of editing magic.

5. Know what you want to get from your headshots. Are these for your LinkdIn, your website, are they acting headshots or modeling headshots. We can approach all of these slightly different so it’s helpful if you know going in exactly what you need your headshot for. For actors, I like to have brief conversation about what kind of roles you are reading for and getting called for now versus the kinds of roles you’d like to be getting called for. This will greatly influence how we shoot and what outfits we choose. With actors I like to run a wide variety of looks and expressions anyway 

Okay, here are a few guidelines on what not to do.

1. Stress out. I know that getting in front of the camera can be a stressful experience for a lot of people.  As a musician I understand this kind of stress and take great pride in being able to help clients relax and be themselves in front of the camera.  We take our time and interact, get to know each other and have a good time. This is not the JCPenny stuffy uptight portrait posing center. 

2. Practice. I know, practice makes perfect right. Not always. Practice makes permanent. There is quite a lot of litterature on the web saying that you should spend a day practicing your smiles and expressions in the mirror. I don’t like memorized, practiced expressions because they are never natural. NEVER! I like to interact and extract real, honest expressions from clients. I will never say “okay smile” to get you to smile. I might however say something like “okay, thats gorgeous, now just a little less manson like and we’re in business”. I love big natural smiles that come from laughter. I work hard to make sure our smiles are genuine and really show off what kind of personality you have. You can relax knowing that you don’t have to get it right, I do, and I have to capture it. It’s not up to you to bring in expressions and be able to throw them out when I ask. It’s my job to elicit them and capture them. 

One more thing to consider when booking a session.

Our portfolio has both studio styled and outdoor environmental headshots. Take some time and consider which of these best sells you and your brand. What matches your personality better.

Here are some recent outdoor sessions.

Environmental headshot for a professor at American University Law School

Outdoor environmental headshot for a small business owner in Georgetown

Outdoor headshot for a D.C based architect

And here are some recent studio sessions.

If you have any questions about our headshots or our sessions, please reach out and ask! We are available for both individual and group headshot sessions. If you have a team that you would like to have photographed, call for our group rates. Looking forward to working with you!  

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What to wear for your headshot sessions| Clarksburg, Maryland Headshot Photographers.

What should I wear? One of the biggest questions I get after booking a headshot session. This and “what can I bring?”.

I’m going to lay out a few guide lines that I find work really well for headshot sessions.

For Men

If you’re headshot will be used for your company think classic. Choose a suit that you love and that fits you well. If it doesn’t fit well, you’re not going to be comfortable in it and that can lead to some anxiety during the shoot. So, make sure everything fits properly and feels great!  Choose a dark colored suit, Nay, Black, or even grey are great colors. 

You’ll want to stay away from bold, busy patterns. Solid colors are always best.  Pin stripe suits or solid suits are best as well. Sometimes small check or herringbone patterns can cause an odd pattern effect on camera, though now we do have tools to deal with that. The tie should be somewhere in between the tone of the coat and shirt. 

If you’re not the tie and jacket type, still stick with a non-white solid shirt. Consider a causal sport coat or sweater to create some layers and different looks. 

For actors that are looking to create different looks, the idea is similar. Keep to solid colors. Bring T-shirts, polo shirts, button downs, and jackets and sweaters to create a variety of looks. If you have a type of role that you’re going for bring in what you think that character  might wear.

Keep facial hair well groomed as that can be very difficult if not impossible to deal with in post.

I’m putting this in bold because I see this way too often. DON’T SHOVE YOUR CLOTHES IN A BACKPACK!

I can’t tell you the number of times guys have come in and started pulling suits and shirts out of a backpack. Have everything ironed, pressed and ready to be photographed. If we have to spend time ironing here, we could be taking precious time from the shoot. I do have an iron here ready to go in case we have some last minute wrinkles to deal with.


For Women

You’ll want to choose a professional suit or business type attire. Keep the look classic, you shouldn’t be able to tell what decade it is. Bring in coats and sweaters to create multiple looks with layers. 

The most important thing when choosing an outfit is that everything fits you well and makes you feel great! You don’t want to wear anything that makes you feel self conscious or uncomfortable during your session. If you have outfits that you’re just not sure about, bring them in and we can decide together what works and what doesn’t, if we’re both not sure, we’ll shoot it anyway and see what we think as the images pop up.

Keep jewelry and make up light. Jewelry can be distracting so keep it small, and minimal. Bring in options if you aren’t sure and again, we’ll see how it shoots.

I have an amazing hair and make-up stylist that can join you on your session. She will take great care of you from start to finish. If you’re not comfortable doing your own make up definitely have her there. I’ll have a before and after at the bottom of this post with a recent client.


So just to sum up for both men and women. Keep outfits looking classic, fitting well and feeling great! If you want to have a professional stylist there to pamper you during the shoot, just ask and we’ll work to fit her in on the session. Megan is a ninja, super sweet and professional.  When in doubt, bring it it. We can always shoot a few sets and see if we like what we have.

So, book now if you’re ready to create you first impression with new professional headshots.

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Before her visit with the stylist.

After her hair and make-up. Megan will often stay during the whole session to take care of you.


Headshot Session with A Thunderbird Pilot | Clarksburg, Maryland Headshot Photographer

Generally when I get inquires for my headshots I see many of the same backgrounds. I’m an actor looking to update my headshots, I’m a public speaker and want to update my social media sites, I’m opening a new law firm. Well Tuesday morning rolled around and I got an email from a lady who is starting to get into public speaking. She’ll be speaking about diversity, overcoming adversity and how to be a strong leader. The she sent a video saying “here’s a little about me”. 

It started with a clip of her in an office in a flight suit, “Hi, I’m Lt. Colonel Niclole Malachowski and I’m a combat F15 pilot and squadron commander for the United States Air Force. I’m also the first female Thunderbird pilot”. Needles to say my eyes were wide open. I was prepared to call her and say, “oh yeah, your new headshot should be in the aircraft, at about 15000 feet, flying upside down at a million miles an hour”. I called my make up artist and said “guess what”. 

Well, the two of us “fan-girled” over her while we waited for her to get to the studio. When we heard her pull up we peaked through the drapes, I said “she looks like a badass”, she said “yeah, she’s gorgeous”. 

Working with Nicole in studio was an amazing experience. We have aviators and military in our family history so we had something in common to talk about during our shoot.  She knocked the session out of the park, and made my job so easy! Alas, no headshots at mach 3, but we did get some amazing headshots for her.


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