Preparing for You Headshot Session

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

Our quick tips for getting ready!

First, we recommend getting a good night sleep before your shoot. Get hydrated and allow for plenty of time to get ready.

You’ll also want to pick out an outfit or two! Think comfort, and think layers. There is a changing area with mirrors for your outfits. If your clothes need it, a quick ironing goes a long way for your headshot.

Consider getting a professional haircut or style and light makeup to enhance your features. If you are not used to a makeup and hair routine, consider giving yourself a few minutes to apply foundation and a quick style.

Got a favorite playlist? You can listen to your own music playlist during your session. We’ve got speakers that fit most iPhones and androids so you can create your own vibe during the session.

Lastly, if it helps having someone with you to help organize or just for support, feel free to bring a friend!

Once we are on set we’ll take it from there and guide you through some simple poses, postures and techniques that can get us ready for your new headshot.

Natural Light Indoor Headshot

Want to know more?

Below you’ll find

  1. Tips on getting ready.
  2. Things to expect during your session.
  3. How to get to the studio and a view inside the studio.
  4. A few common outfits that we see most often worn by our clients.

More tips for getting ready for your headshot session.

Whats should I wear? We suggest focusing on your clothes that you love to wear, that you feel comfortable in, and that align with your professional style, brand colors or industry.

When picking outfits, think layers! Feel free to bring an additional jacket, scarf or cardigan, and/or bring another top. I personally prefer black long sleeve tops layered with a denim short sleeve button up. For outdoor sessions, it’s suggested if needed to wear a tank top for easy changing. Don’t forget to iron your clothes!

What colors should I wear? Solid neutral colors translate the strongest in photography. Bright colors can work great, however, I suggest avoiding tops are bright red or bright green when shooting outdoors. In the studio these colors don’t reflect as much and can be very complimentary. Most popular colors are black blazers with solid colored tops in blue and white.

Textures such as linen, silk, sweaters, or knits work great. When working with patterns, choose a design that is smaller in print. Large dots or stripes can distract from your headshot, but with that being said, don’t be afraid to bring your favorite patterned top just in case!

When choosing tops, focus on complimentary neck lines. For example, I prefer a black V-neck line or turtleneck for myself. Other clients will have a round neckline blouse in auburn with a black blazer.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time if you are using a professional hair and makeup stylist or if you are doing it on your own. For minimal makeup a few things to think about:

1. I’ve found that foundation and mascara are the most important when being photographed.
2. For outdoor sessions when styling hair consider a setting spray or style for possible windy conditions.

And if you’d like to play your own music during your studio session, feel free to prepare a playlist or bring your favorite one! We have two cords to speakers that fits iPhone and a C port for all others. 

A client getting ready for an outdoor headshot session.

One of our amazing assistants helping with modifying light on an outdoor headshot session.

During your Session

We will use a posing stool for easy sitting shots and standing poses for natural movement. There are several other posing stools, chairs, couches, lounges and other types of objectst for posing that we can play with.

Most shots are portraits only, above the waist unless requested.

I may have an assistant with me to use modifiers to control light.

For outdoor sessions, it is highly recommended to wear walking shoes!

Be ready to relax and have some fun 🙂

Getting to the Studio

The light and bright natural light studio located in NW Portland called Studio Northwest. To learn more visit About Our Studio↗

Studio Northwest is inside the New York Building that uses a call box to allow guests to be buzzed in to use the elevator to the 5th floor.

Let’s take a tour of the natural light studio we use for our clients located just north of downtown Portland Oregon. You’ll see:

  • the outside of The New York Building
  • how to get to the natural light studio
  • and inside the studio!

How to enter the building.

  • There is a large metal call box in the lobby facing towards the off-street parking lot.
  • Call the studio by using the code is 0017 to ring for Studio Northwest.
  • Once answered, you’ll be buzzed in for access to the elevator to take the 5th floor.
  • The studio will be down the long hall, the second to last door on the right, #511.

Pro tip: Rolling cases are great for transporting session luggage if necessary.

Entrance to the lobby. If the lobby is locked there is an outdoor callbox on the north side of the building, perpendicular to this location.

The callbox in the lobby to ring Studio Northwest.

Inside the Studio

You’ll see large windows to allow the south facing light to illuminate the space. You can choose from a handful of background colors as options for your portrait.

The studio is equipted with a private changing area and station for optional hair and makeup services. Enjoy getting ready with our beauty station that includes beauty lights, a full length mirror and an area to hang your favorite clothes.

Want to learn more?

Learn more through one of our quick-start guides about our high-quality headshots, session tips, our process, what to expect and more from our Resources Tab.

View our studio, learn about outdoor and on-site headshot locations, browse our frequently asked questions and visit our terms and conditions.

Natural Light Indoor Headshot


Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions, tips and guides about photography for businesses, clients and photographers.

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Headshot Guides

If you’re in the market for a new professional headshot, visit our helpful guides.

  • Guide to Company Team Headshot
  • Best Backgrounds for Headshots Guide
  • Studio Background Headshot Guide
  • Booking FAQ
  • How To Prepare For Your Upcoming Headshot Session
  • Selecting from the Proof Gallery
  • Retouching for Headshots
  • Specialty Headshots