Is it time to update your headshot? As a professional headshot photographer in Victoria, BC, it’s my job to make sure you’re feeling comfortable, confident and prepared for your headshot photo shoot. Preparing for your shoot ahead of time will give you the best headshot results. 

If you want to learn more about how to book your headshots and prepare for your shoot, please keep reading! 

STEP 1: Identify what type of headshot you need

I like to separate headshots into these three categories:

  • Professional
  • Creative
  • Casual/ Lifestyle 

There are different professions that suit these different headshot types. I’ll go through them all, so you can decide which one sounds best for you and your business.

Professional Headshots

Professional headshots are your ‘standard’ headshot type. Think powerful posture, business professional clothing and simple backdrops. These can be outdoor or in a studio, and generally are waist-up, with the subject looking directly into the camera.

Most suitable for: 

  • Realtor headshots
  • Actor and model headshots
  • Business owner and entrepreneur headshots
  • Employee headshots
  • Lawyer headshots

Creative Headshots

If you have a job in a creative field, it’s best to showcase your creativity and personality through a creative headshot. These have less ‘rules’ and can be catered to your unique profession. They allow more room for experimentation with lighting, composition, expressions, poses and locations.

Most suitable for: 

  • Artist headshots
  • Author headshots
  • Creative director or designer headshots

Casual/ Lifestyle Headshots

These types of headshots are all about giving your clients a peek into your everyday life and/or your working style. They tend to feature big smiles, casual clothing like jeans and a t-shirt, and a location that reflects your lifestyle. They also lend themselves to more casual, candid poses, some of which don’t involve looking at the camera.

Most suitable for:

  • Blogger headshots
  • Small business owner headshots
  • Dating profile pictures

Which one suits your headshot needs best? It’s important to communicate your prefered headshot style to your photographer, so they can make sure your new headshot not only expresses you, it also conveys the right message to your clients!

These are two very different headshots. The one on the left is a professional style headshot. The subject is looking right into the camera, is wearing professional work clothes, and is posed traditionally, with hands clasped in front. The headshot on the right is a more casual/ lifestyle headshot. The subject is looking off to the side and has their hands held in a natural-feeling pose. The location also gives a sense that this is their everyday environment, and they are comfortable here. 

STEP 2: Decide where you want to shoot 

Now that you know what style of headshot you need, you’ll need to discuss where to take your headshots with your photographer. This is something your photographer can help you with! Together you can decide which of these will suit your headshot style best:

1. On location: in your office or your home 

2. In a studio: many photographers can offer options for renting a studio space or bring their studio equipment to you

3. Outdoors: some great locations for outdoor headshots in Victoria, BC are Beacon Hill Park, Dallas Road Beach, Uplands Park, or Downtown

STEP 3: Decide what to wear for your headshots

Professional Headshots
Wear something professional, that still makes you feel comfortable and confident. Choose an outfit that fits well and feels flattering. Solid colors or small patterns usually work best. Blazers and button up long sleeve shirts are always safe options.

Creative Headshots
Dress in a way that represents your style: Choose clothing that represents your business, whether it’s bold and colorful or more subdued and minimalistic. Consider props to showcase your creativity also! Some examples: a sketchbook, paintbrushes, or musical instruments.

Casual/ Lifestyle Headshots
Dress in casual, comfortable clothing. What clothes reflect your personal style best? This could be a simple t-shirt and jeans, a sweater and skirt, or any outfit that makes you feel confident and relaxed. 

What NOT to wear for professional headshots:

  • Heavy patterns or big prints
  • Logos on your clothing
  • Distracting accessories – stick to simple jewelry
  • Clothing that is overly shiny or reflective

What is the best color to wear for a headshot?

Solid colours are best, though small, simple patterns are also alright. Neutral colours like white, black, grey and beige are always a safe choice, though pops of colour can help you to stand out!

STEP 4: Identify your preferences and share those with your photographer

Here are some questions to ask yourself (pssst – you can have more than one answer for each of these, and it’s okay if you don’t know exactly what you want yet. It’s your photographer’s job to guide you and offer recommendations):

  1. Do you want to look right into the camera, or off to the side? The first is a classic headshot look, and the second can look a little more ‘candid’ and casual.
  2. Do you like a big smile, soft smile or a neutral expression?
  3. How would you like your arms positioned? Some options are: crossed over chest, clasped in front or behind back, hands in pockets, one hand holding opposite wrist, and holding a prop (like coffee cup).

Some Bonus Tips:

  • Practice your expressions in the mirror in the days leading up to your photo shoot.
  • Save inspiration images from Instagram, Pinterest and Google and share those with your photographer before the shoot if you need help deciding. Personally, I never promise to recreate images exactly, but I do love to use them to get a sense for your preferred posing, compositions and lighting.
  • Get plenty of rest before your photo shoot. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep so that you look refreshed and alert in your photos. 
  • Hydrate! Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to the shoot, and avoid alcohol and salty foods, as these can cause puffiness.

✨ If you take away one thing from this, let it be the importance of collaborating with your photographer. Discussing your ideas with your headshot photographer ahead of time will ensure they have all the information they need to deliver a stunning final result that showcases your brand and your personality perfectly! ✨

Ready to book some professional headshots in Victoria, BC?

Please reach out anytime 🤗 I’d love to hear all about you, your business and your headshot shoot vision. I can’t wait to meet you and to create an amazing new headshot together!

Headshot Photography Guide | Victoria BC

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I respectfully acknowledge that my place of business is within the ancestral, unsurrendered and unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations.