Here are a few tips and tricks to set you up for success when you come to Vail Fucci Photography for your headshot session.
1. Visit your barber or stylist beforehand. Usually we look our best when we have recently had a haircut. Don’t do a drastic change, you still want to look like YOU. Just have the barber or stylist clean up your look. If you have a beard, don’t forget to have them tend to that as well. Unless you have a very full beard you want to make sure they shape up the neckline. This will help give you a more defined jawline in your image. If you are doing the bear grooming yourself here’s a helpful guide from Philips. Going for the clean shaven look? Have your barber give you a close shave with a straight razor. Salvi’s barber shop right next to Vail’s studio offers shaves like this. Give them a ring beforehand at (617) 332-8490 to make an appointment. If a visit to the barber isn’t in the cards, bring a razor and shaving cream with you to the session or give yourself a shave right before you go to the studio for the shoot. Make sure to use aftershave to cut down on skin irritation.
2. Choose The Right Outfit. Check with your business if there are any dress codes or guidelines you need to follow. Generally people usually want to match what is standard for their company or their field. If you aren’t sure, share your company’s website with Vail and also let her know what profession you are in. Bring a variety of outfits with you. A well-fitting sport coat or jacket or two is a good place to start. Avoid polo shirts as their collars tend to photograph poorly. Bring a few button down shirts. Ideally have them ironed beforehand so we don’t have to combat wrinkles during the shoot. If you are planning on having photos taken with a tie, bring a few shirts that are meant to be worn with a tie. If you want some more casual looks, don’t just assume that taking your tie off and unbuttoning the shirt will work. The open collar on a shirt that was intended for a tie may not give you the casual look you were hoping for. Button down collars can look particularly strange when worn without a tie, so it is best to avoid them for business casual shots. A crisp spread collar shirt photographs well. T-shirts and Henley style shirts can work for a casual look as well. Test the different outfits at home beforehand and see if you like the look. If you choose to wear a tie in some of the shots, keep tie patterns to a minimum. We want the focus on your face, not on your tie. A wider tie tends to photograph better than a narrow one. The widest part of your tie that is showing in a headshot should ideally match the widest part of the your lapel of your jacket.The most photogenic knots for your tie are the half and double Windsor knot. They fill up the area where the collar buttons the best. If you don’t know how to do a Windsor knot these videos will walk you through step by step how to do a double Windsor and half Windsor knot. If you don’t feel comfortable doing a Windsor knot just make sure that whichever knot you do is centered and not too loose.
3. Tweezers and trimmers 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 and trimmed. Then get real close to the mirror and check that you don’t have any stray nose hairs coming out. You do NOT want these fellas to make an appearance in your headshot!
The Phillips Norelco nose hair trimmer can make the job much easier, it even does eyebrows. Be sure not to leave this manscaping until the morning before your session because you might have some temporary red irritation from plucking/trimming. If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, your local barber or salon can take care of it for you.
4. Practice This Technique in Advance to Avoid a Double Chin. Sometimes when people try to sit up straight they draw their chin back into their neck. This gives the unflattering appearance of a double chin. On the day of the shoot Vail will coach you to have a nice defined jawline. You can practice the technique at home in front of a mirror before your shoot. Push your forehead out towards the camera and then just a little bit down. You don’t want to push your chin out TOO far or it just looks weird. It feels really strange, but it looks great! Peter Hurley is the king of this technique, here’s a video of his showing you what I am talking about.