How to Prepare for a Headshot Session


You’ve booked your new headshots session. Now it’s time to think about how to prepare.

I recommend getting a good night sleep before your shoot, drink water and allow for plenty of time to get ready. If you are not used to a makeup and hair routine, consider giving yourself a few minutes to apply foundation and a quick style. You’ll also want to pick out an outfit or two! Think comfort, and think layers. Once we are on set I’ll take it from there, I’ll guide you through some simple poses, postures and techniques that can get us ready for your new headshot.

One of my amazing assistants and clients on location for a headshot session.


  • When selecting outfits, focus on your clothes that you love to wear, that you feel comfortable in, and that align with your brand colors or professional style.
  • Layers are great! Feel free to bring an additional jacket, scarf or cardigan, and/or bring another top (it’s suggested to wear a tank top for easy changing if needed).
  • When choosing tops, focus on complimentary neck lines, colors and textures. For example, I prefer a black high V-neck line with a washed out denim jacket. I like the contrast between the top and jacket and the texture of the denim. Other clients will have a round neckline blouse in pale green with a black blazer. Bring along your top or jacket options if you are unsure which would work best.
  • Doing your own hair and makeup is great, make sure to give yourself enough time. A few things to think about: I’ve found that foundation and mascara are the most important when being photographed. When styling hair consider a setting spray or style for possible windy conditions.


  • We will use a posing stool for easy sitting shots.
  • Most shots are portraits only, above the waist unless requested.
  • I may have an assistant with me to use modifiers to control light and help carry personal items while we move around.
  • It is highly recommended to wear walking shoes.
  • Be ready to relax and have some fun 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help provide any additional support for you to prepare!


It’s raining. Now what? Use the Natural Light Studio for Business Headshots

When it rains, it pours right? Well, in Portland, Oregon it does. And this year even snow. This presents challenges in booking an outdoor on location headshot.

So what do you do when it’s raining or even worse snowing the day of your headshot photoshoot?

Our solution is the light and bright natural light studio located in NW Portland. With a few light modifiers, a couple poses and you are all set with a new headshot.

The photographs below were made using the studio with large windows to allow the south facing light to illuminate the space.

The Natural Light Studio

Natural Light Studio Examples

Interested in an outdoor or on location photography session?


What Images Do I Need For My Business?

Portraits of Practioner Liisa photographed on location at the Lan Su Chinese Garden and Tanner Springs Park in downtown Portland Oregon. View Portraits

How Does It Work?

Photography is a tool to tell a story without words that adds depth to your marketing message. Businesses use photography specifically to build a brand and to use as a way to reach their customers.

My goal is to create photography to show the viewer your product or service. Your images show them where you are and what you are doing, they then resonate and become familiar with the work. Ultimately, we want our images to sell our work when we aren’t showcasing it in person.

There is a way to photographically tell your story to grab the attention of your ideal clients. Let us look at how.

Rhythm on the Rails Johnnie Mazzacco by Erica J Mitchell Photographer

Published editorial images of Rhythm on the Rails writing retreat with Johnnie Mazzacco. A Rhythm on the Rails participant enjoying the expansive river views via Business Class. View full post

First, what images do I need for my business?

Photography can be a creative new way to grow your business, attract and stay competitive in the marketplace. Let’s take a look at your story and answer these photographically to be able to share your business with your target audience.

Who are you?
What do you do?
What do you offer?
How do you do it?
Why is it important?
What does it look like?

Women with Moxie Networking in Portland Oregon

Marketing photography for the networking business Women with Moxie during their 2018 promo video. View Women with Moxie’s promo images

What’s Your Story?

Business Portrait – Who are you?
You’re a consultant and expert in your field, find a location you love, and outfit your feel amazing in and show off that smile. This image is the most important because it tells your viewers who you are. If there is only one image you need, it’s this one. The traditional headshot can be a portrait that you use in all your advertising and social media needs.

Service or Product Feature – What do you offer?
What you sell needs to be seen. If you sell the most amazing chocolates or the best website customer service, your product and your service can be photographed. For example, if you create websites, details of your brand or working style can be a source of understanding for your clients. We want to know how you work. If you sell chocolates, of course we want to see what we are getting, yum!

Development and Production – How do you do it?
Sometimes how we do our work is the highlight. If we are creating one of a kind hard wood pieces by hand, the tools we use can bring in interested buyers.

Lifestyle and Culture – Why is it important?
Perhaps your mission is the driving force behind your images. You take a stand for women’s health and wellness. Focusing on images that empower women can inspire a connection and bring you opportunities to make a difference.

Storefront, On-location – What does it look like?
The classic brick and mortar. If you have a fantastic spot nestled in the neighborhood or on the corner in the city, we want to know where you are. Your place in the community can be a source of connection and can make it easier to reach you.

Event Coverage – What happened?
One of my favorite types of images for a business are the events the business hosts or participates in. Events are a place for connection to community members, a space for bringing like minded people together or a place to celebrate. Event photography is a way to spread your brand and reach your community.

Kathy Stanley Portrait Photography by Erica J Mitchell

Artist and education Kathy Stanely walks in Laurelhurst Park, a favorite spot of hers, for her portrait and branding session to add to her collection of images to promote her upcoming art projects and classes. View her session images

Time To Share Your Story

Being Published?
Use Your Photography in Printed or Online Articles

Need Photography for Your Website?
Be Visual and Professional Online

Want to hand out that amazing card?
Elevate your Digital or Print Presentations, Business Cards and Brochures

Need to make a post to your channels?
Use Your Photography in Social Media Platforms to Market to your Fans

Meeting new clients or have business networking opportunities?
Have Personalized Photography when you are Networking In person 

Inspiring Women's Conference in Portland, Oregon

Inspiring Woman Leaders was an annual conference held in Portland, Oregon whose goals were to promote women in leadership positions, as well as those who lead women. View their event

Need new images of your business?

Let’s chat! 

EJM provides commercial photography services for businesses looking to promote, advertise or connect socially to their community, network and customers.

We will discuss your photographic needs and collaborate on our upcoming session. 

Book Now with Erica J Mitchell Photographer

March 2020, Closed Portland Movie Theaters

Where do you start? March of 2020 will be the most written about month a year for a long time. Just like September of 2001 and the flu of 1918. This year is marked.

It has been 20 days that Alex and I have been self isolating and social distancing. We began the Friday before the Oregon order the following Tuesday. 20 days seems like such a long time. 20 days seems like this has gone so fast. 20 days is probably only a small portion of how long we will be doing this, of which we are still defining, for. 20 days of a new way of living seems like barely a beginning of a new life.

During the week the Oregon order was placed, Alex and I did a old fashioned cruise. We took our sedan out, turned on the tunes and went from theater to theater looking for messages. We wanted to know, what do you have to say right now? You have a rare space out this physical world we cannot go into socially and there you can communicate in written word. So analog.

Anyway, in conclusion, I’m still photographing but my subjects have changed. Below are four of Portland’s Movie Theaters, closed.

Hollywood Theater
Laurelhurst Theater
Bagdad Theater
Clinton Theater