I get many questions when I book a Headshot Session like: What should I wear? What colors work best? So, I pulled a list together that I found very helpful and wanted to share it with you so you can be prepared for your next session and love the results! Keep in mind, I work with a lot of models and actors, but most of this can apply to Commercial or Corporate Headshots too.
You want to look your best during your shoot but you also want to be comfortable. Comfort isn’t just about how the clothes feel on you it also has to do with how you feel in the clothes. Depending on what you discuss with your photographer will determine how many outfits you want to bring along with you. If you are limited you want to ensure you have something casual and something more dressed up. Also consider what add on's you can easily bring like belts, hats, scarves, vest or jackets that can give your wardrobe a whole new look and feel.
Think outside just black and white options, which sometimes can really look good, and choose colors to bring with you that compliment your skin tone. If you are doing a shoot say to expand your acting portfolio consider what your ideal character would wear and choose outfits that the type of character you want to be cast in would wear. Do try and avoid patterns, which can take the viewer away from your face. Another good tip is to try and aim for more form fitting clothes - not too tight - but a good fit.
Nerves may get the best of you the night before your shoot but getting enough sleep is essential. Try to have everything set out, pressed, and ready to go the night before and get to bed a little earlier than you typically would, especially if you have an early shoot. Not only does this ensure you have the energy to perform your best in front of the camera it is also great for your skin. Lacking sleep will leave you skin looking puffy and irritated so be sure to get plenty of sleep before your shoot.
Keeping your skin hydrated will also keep it looking its best for the day of your shoot. When you don’t drink enough water your skin will look dry, dull, red and puffy. Leading up to your shoot you want to drink at least eight glasses of water each day to ensure your skin is well hydrated.
If you are planning on having your haircut or a facial, schedule these appointments a few days prior to your shoot. While you want your hair to look flawless you want to avoid the just freshly cut look. If you are getting a facial you want your skin to have time to recover and reduce the risk of your skin looking red or irritated. Men should shave the night before the shoot to avoid any skin irritation that shaving can cause.
While you can do your hair and makeup yourself to save some extra money it is always a good idea to leave these tasks to a professional. A professional hair and makeup artist will not only allow you to achieve the look you are going for they can also give you a confidence boost and assure you that you look your absolute best.
It is always a good idea to know what type of poses you want to try out during your shoot. Doing the research to have posing ideas in mind can make you feel more prepared and confident during your shoot. Looking through other headshots of models and actors to see which poses would best fit with the type of roles or jobs you want to be booked for can help.
While there is plenty that you can do to prepare for your photoshoot the most important thing to remember is to trust your photographer. While you may have a clear idea about the poses and look you want to accomplish with your images your photographer has the experience, knowledge, and professionalism to know what makes you look best. He or she will know how you should be positioned so you are perfectly lit and how to create the mood so your personality really shines through in the images.
When it comes to your headshot, it is important to always keep in mind that these 1 or 2 photos are everything. They are part of your first impressions, and how people will likely see you for the first time, so you want to make sure that your photos are the best representation of you. Taking these important steps into consideration will most certainly help in rendering the best outcome.
"...and if you are to love, love as the moon loves; it does not steal the night, it only unveils the beauty of the darkness..."
The month of October is a great time to showcase my creative side. As an artist and a photographer, I love taking some "down time" and creating art and beauty. As a lover of contrast, I love taking one light and shaping it around my subjects and creating very painterly and artistic images. As a few already know who follow my work, I also love telling stories with my images. I think every photo should tell a story, but I usually take it a step further and create a story in my head beforehand and then look for the right lighting, person, styling and wardrobe to make the story come alive. It is actually a process that can take years to come to fruition, but so worth it in the end.
A few weeks ago, I was able to create this story as you will see below. It is the story of a woman in the streets of the French Quarter just struggling to survive. Some in the area who pass her by call her a witchy woman and say she is in to voodoo magic. Whomever she is...she has a story to tell. She is beauty amongst the darkness - where only those who dare will seek her out. Once they do however, she will cast them under her spell and they will be lost forever.
This is the story I wanted to tell...through photographs....and what better time of year to add a little magic then in the month of October.
I hope you enjoy the story....
Peace and Love and a Little bit of Magic.... Donna
PREPARING FOR YOUR PHOTOSESSION: THE BEAUTY CHECKLIST
When having your portrait taken, there are five areas where a little advanced preparation can make a huge difference. Neglect them, and an otherwise perfect photo could end up with distracting elements which take the focus away from where it should be. (*Ahem* Your beautiful eyes, of course.) The five areas are: Face, Hair, Hands, Skin, and Clothes.
The week before your shoot (or sooner, if you’ve booked ahead) is a time for planning. Decide on outfits, choose which beautification steps you will take, and schedule the appointments (even if they’re just with yourself). Remember, these tips are here to help you think of ideas for preparing for your shoot, but are definitely not required, or even necessary for everybody. Just choose what fits in with your budget, lifestyle, and current beauty regimen, and go from there!
- FACE -
Whiten Teeth. Crest sells white-strips that whiten in a week or less for a quick whiteness boost. I hear dentists can whiten teeth, too. Many even do it for free for new clients. If you’re due for a cleaning, you might consider going all out.
Don’t Pick. A pimple is very easy to cover with makeup, but scabs, wounds and flaky patches are more tricky. As soon as possible, stop picking at your skin. If you’re like me and scratch and squeeze at every bump and flake on your face, it’s time to pull out the big guns. Do whatever it takes. Stop examining your face closer than 2 feet from a mirror. If you distractedly pick while you’re doing something else, try wearing bandaids on your fingertips. Go for some with a really sassy print, like Barbie or Dora the Explorer.
Exfoliate. A nice, soothing session using a grainy scrub (or gently rubbing your skin with a washcloth) on your face and body is an indulgent way to spend an evening. Plan to exfoliate a couple times before your appointment, but be sure to allow a few days between ‘treatments’, as well as a couple days after the last one before your shoot.
Get a Facial. If you’re going to go all out into pamper mode, be sure to do your facial at least a week before your shoot. Since facials tend to cause redness, a week usually allows enough time to heal.
For those of us on a budget, an at-home facial with a gooey, florescent masque is always a fun alternative to a night on the town. Throw in a delicious book and recharge your psyche. Repeat as necessary.
Wax Eyebrows. If you decide to have your eyebrows waxed or threaded, be sure to schedule the appointment for at least a few days before your photoshoot. Otherwise, an eyebrow trim/touch up at home could be done a day or two before the shoot.
Touch Up Your Roots. If you dye your hair, touching up your regrowth three days before your photoshoot is ideal. Take my advice: this is not the time for drastic changes. Trust me.
Get a Trim. Neat, healthy hair is youthful and vibrant. If it’s been a while since your last haircut, even a subtle trim can make a world of difference.
- HANDS -
Get a Manicure. While you’re at it, toss in the pedicure. If you’re hard on your manicures, book the mani/pedi for the day before your shoot.
Minimalists can stick with neatly shaped, clear nails. Soft, neutral colors work well for fingertips. Toes can get away with any color. (Think about the outfits you’re bringing and be sure to choose a color that will compliment your choices.)
If wearing a wedding band or other rings - have them cleaned. Using a toothbrush and toothpaste is a great day-to-day way to clean your bling, but most professional jewelers have sonic cleaners that make it sparkle like the day it was born. Many will even clean your ring for free. Especially if you return to the jeweler you bought it from.
Him, Too. If you’re bringing your man to your shoot, make sure his nails are neat and his ring is clean. Bonus points if you can get him to wear the genie masque.
- SKIN -
Wax or Shave. If you go the waxing route, give yourself a few days to heal before your shoot. Shaving can be done the night before. Be sure to get your legs and underarms, and if you’ll be wearing a swimsuit or lingerie, go for the bikini area as well.
Spray Tan. If you usually have a faux glow, get a spray tan a couple days before your shoot. Honestly, though, I love fair skin. If I had my way, you would skip the tanning salon and embrace your inner pale.
Remember that, while Photoshop can hide a multitude of sins, you’ll love knowing that your pictures have captured your most perfect self. At the end of the day, there are some things no amount of preparation can change, (and maybe you wouldn’t want to). A couple of examples are birthmarks or scars. Some people feel that these markings are part of who we are, while others would rather have them “photoshopped” away. Which is right? Whatever you want. It’s your face, your body, your photos.
- CLOTHES -
Bring 5-6 outfits. Your portraits should be a reflection of you, just more polished. Choose outfits you love. Think of those special pieces you might not wear often because they’re impractical for day-to-day use, or the go-to blouse you always wear when you’re going somewhere nice.
Something Dark. Bring at least one dark outfit or top. Black, Navy or Charcoal work best here.
Something Light. For your light outfit, think angelic. Soft, gauzy, maybe even layered and sheer. It doesn't have to be white, you could go with cream, nude, light pink – whatever.
Something Fun/Funky/Whimsical. This outfit is your chance to really show your personal style. If you tend toward more conservative tastes, choose a different adjective. Instead of Funky, try Structured, Soft, Elegant, or Formal.
Something Sexy. This one is entirely your call. You could skip sexy, and that’s up to you. But if you’d like to, you can be an understated sexy in a backless formal dress, or a more overt sexy in a pretty pinup-style swimsuit. Beautiful lingerie is lovely and empowering.
Consider Necklines. I love to be able to see your collar bone, so boat neck, scoop neck, square neck, deep V and off-the-shoulder are my favorite necklines. Whatever you choose, try to make it more interesting than the basic T-Shirt neckline. If you love turtlenecks, go for it! Feel free to bring whatever calls to you. Mixing up the necklines will add variety to your shots, so try not to bring all of one style.
Think Texture. Sumptuous textures lend a rich, tactile element to your photos. Delicious.
Avoid Prints. Patterns and prints are distracting. We want people to look at you when they see your portrait, and even the most beautiful print will steal that attention.
Fit Your Form. Fitted clothing that shows your shape work best for photographs. Skip that billowy, blouson top, or anything with dolman or batwing sleeves. While they might be flattering in person, they will not be slimming in camera. This applies to any body type. Choose outfits that will hug your curves, especially your waist, hips, arms, and chest.
Forget Shoes. Unless you have a special pair you’re dying to photograph, there’s really no need to worry about the shoes you’ll wear. Most images won’t show your feet at all, and if some do, bare feet will add an organic feel to your portraits.
- THE DAY-OF CHECKLIST -
Bare face (wash and apply your usual moisturizer)
Clean, dry hair
Comfy outfit (to sit in while you’re being styled if getting your hair and makeup done)
5-6 fitted outfits to wear in photos
Pretty nails (Neutral fingers, fun toes)
Touched up brows
"...Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish that life is never ending
All good things, they say, never last" Prince
Three years ago, this world lost a legend. A talented artist, singer, songwriter, performer, musician....a man. He was at times so very shy - an introvert. Very rarely gave interviews, but when he spoke it was like a whisper. He spoke about life, love, God, and the world. He did so much for so many without asking for any accolades - a silent giver to his community and the world. Even though he was a man who privately liked to keep to himself, when he got up on that stage, he came alive! The stage and his fans were his fuel....once that adrenaline kicked in, look out. He rocked your world and always left you wanting more.
Prince Roger Nelson lost his life back in April of 2016- but his music and legacy will forever be engraved in history and in our hearts.
As a huge Prince fan, I wanted to do something to honor the man - this fellow artist - but what could I do. Well, I knew I couldn't write him a song, like he might have done, or paint a picture of him. I am not that kind of artist. So, I decided to do it through photographs instead because well, that is what I do - how I tell the story.
Now, I originally planned on finding a man who looked a bit like him or at least would if I made him up a bit - the right clothes etc... But, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't find the right person. Nobody matched up to the artist and man I thought Prince was...just didn't match up in my mind. Then one day, I stumbled across a young woman - fellow artist - who shared the same passion as I about Prince. She adored him as much as I did and his music. So, we decided to meet up and chat about the possibility of a collaboration. I decided after our talk that maybe I was just going about this the wrong way. It really isn't about finding someone who looked like Prince, but the fit his persona. So, with some back and forth discussions, Maddeson and I took it in a whole different direction. Since Prince himself was always such an androgynous man, why not have a woman portray him artistically. Not the Prince look, but more so depict his charm, sexiness, and charisma. The way he looked within his soul, not his outward appearance.
A few months later, we gathered in my studio and well, the rest is history!
Hope you enjoy some of the photos from this session as much as we did creating them. Two women, one mutual love, and a whole lot of Prince playing in the background!
Peace and Love,
'People often say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.'
Two months ago, a beautiful young woman approached me with a project she wanted to work on. She is a Stylist and MUA who also models for a living. She said that she never leaves the house without makeup on, it is part of her job and her life and something she loves to do and wear. However, she has been watching the circuit recently and celebrities such as Christina Aguilara and Demi Lovato are doing these photo shoots without any makeup. They are showing the world that they are beautiful on the inside as well, which in turns makes them beautiful on the outside. So why be afraid to go without makeup. Those who love you should love you know matter if you wear makeup or not, right? Beauty is only skin deep they say. So why is it that most women wouldn't be caught dead going out in public without at least their favorite shade of lipstick.
Well, beautiful Kat (her real name is Katie but for the purposes of this transformation I changed it up) was very reluctant to do this but at the same time wanted to do this so badly. She came to me and said she loved my work and trusted me enough to bring her vision to life. She felt comfortable around me and really wanted me to do this with her. Of course, I am one to never turn down a creative challenge and agreed.
Now, we didn't want to just show her with makeup and then without but wanted to do this in a creative and dramatic fashion. So Kat suggested that we take a few with her makeup on and then she would jump under water real quick and let the water slowly wash off her "mask." I was intrigued and also a bit nervous about getting water all over my studio! But, off we went and after setting up the lights we began. I took a few face shots with her makeup on and then - clothes and all - she jumped in the shower. We knew we only had a short window in which to capture these shots before the makeup was totally washed away and the effect we were looking for was gone. With a little assistance, we were able to wrap her quick in a towel so she wouldn't drip all the way to the set and I began to photograph her face as the "mask" slowly faded away. Leaving her naked faced and out there for the whole world to see. She finally faced her fears to be photographed without her makeup and now the only thing left was to be able to look at the photographs when they came back. She wanted to be able to see past the fact that she had no makeup on - which she dreaded - but to see the beauty that shone from within her eyes and soul. She also couldn't wait to see what I came up with from her vision.
I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed bringing this to life for her and I thank Miss Kat for trusting in me and having the ability to love herself enough to show the world her naked beauty.
Here is what we entitled: The Deconstruction of Kat