Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your headshot with Vail Fucci Photography.

1. Hair Styling and Makeup is Essential. Even if you normally don’t wear any makeup on a day to day basis, a little goes a long way in a headshot, and here’s why. Photos are 2 dimensional, they are flat. In real life we see each other in 3 dimensions. Makeup in photos helps to give your face dimension and definition. Additionally the lights that are used during shoots are very powerful. They can make you look shinier than you really are. Vail always has some translucent powder on hand to bring down the shinys.

Getting your hair and makeup done professionally right before the shoot is recommended. I can make an appointment for a hair and makeup artist to come to my studio to do both your hair and makeup. If you choose to get your hair and makeup done on your own,  be sure to tell your makeup artist that you are looking for a professional daytime look. You want to still look like you, just the best possible version of you. If you prefer to do your own makeup, practice the look a few days in advance. Be sure to use an eye lash curler and some mascara. It will really open up your eyes and make your lashes look longer without the need for false lashes.  

Joanna Mastroianni Fall 2013 Winter 2014 Collection shown at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City images by Vail Fucci makeup by Kryolan

2. Tweezers, waxing, and threading are your friends. A few days before your session you should spend some quality time with a mirror and a set of tweezers to make sure that your eyebrows are well-shaped. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, try going to your local salon to have your eyebrows waxed or threaded.  You will be amazed at how this simple trick really makes your eyes pop in a photo. Do not tweeze or wax the morning of your session as you may end up with some redness and irritation that may not clear up in time for your photo.

3. Make a visit your colorist and/or hair stylist. Usually we look our best when we have recently had a haircut.  Roots should be touched up as well if you regularly color your hair. Don’t do a drastic change, you still want to look like YOU. If possible, have your hair blown out and styled right before your shoot so that you can look like you were ready to film a Pantene commercial.

4. Bring Several Outfits With You and Have them Ironed or Dry Cleaned in Advance. Find out if there is a specific dress code you need to adhere to for your company or profession.  On the day of your shoot you should bring several options for outfits with you.  Bring at least one jacket with you for a more formal look.  Avoid busy prints and neon colors.  The attention should be on your face, not on your clothes. Try on your outfits a few days before the shoot to make sure you are comfortable and confident in your choice of clothing.  Have the items cleaned and pressed or ironed so there are no wrinkles. Choose a top or dress that is not too low cut and that doesn’t risk showing your bra straps. Avoid over accessorizing. Necklaces should not be too long or else they risk being cut off at the bottom of the frame of the image. Avoid sleeveless shirts, they take the attention away from your face. Long sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves are preferable. If you have any questions about what to wear, don’t hesitate to call or email Vail.  She’ll be happy to discuss this with you in greater detail.

5. Avoid the dreaded double chin look.  When people try to sit up straight they often drawn their chin in towards their neck. This gives them the look of a double chin. To fix this problem you just need to remember “chin forward and down.” This handy technique borrowed from the fashion industry (Tyra called it doing the turtle) will give you a defined jawline and get rid of the appearance of a double chin by engaging your neck muscles. The video below demonstrates how to do this. Practice it in the mirror a few days before your photo session to really get it down. It feels strange as you are doing it, but believe me, it looks great!

6. Try different smiles. Before your session try a variety of smiles in the mirror.   Start with your traditional big picture smile, then switch it up to serious, then smile but with your mouth closed and no teeth showing at all.  Then a little bit of teeth showing.  Then a great big toothy grin.  If you have a gap, or crooked or missing teeth, don’t be afraid to smile with your teeth showing.  Vail knows different techniques to minimize attention on these areas while still maintaining the approachability that a full smile results in. By practicing these in the mirror beforehand you’ll get a sense of what you prefer and can focus on more during the session.


7. Talk to Vail before your shoot about your brand. Professional images are for your brand, so that means you are trying to communicate something specific.  The clothes you pick to wear, the background for your image, your expression, and the lighting style all reflect on your brand and the way you will be perceived. Are you trying to look conservative? Edgy? Approachable? Powerful? Tell Vail what the photos are going to be used for. If it is for your website the color you pick for your background should work well with the color scheme of your site. It is always better to figure this out BEFORE your shoot instead of after.