Headshot Tips for Models

As an aspiring model, you want to have good headshots. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on these shots. But you do want them to look good, especially if you are just getting into modeling. Headshots are the first thing casting directors and modeling agencies will consider when they are looking for models to hire or sign. So, in this post, we’ll talk about headshots in detail. We’ll talk about what headshots are and how you can take the perfect headshots for your portfolio. You want to adhere to certain standards, this way your shots turn out right and get you the jobs and contracts you are looking for!

What are Headshots?

Headshots help establish you as a model. These photos are usually done professionally by photographers. However, you can get headshots done by amateurs or even family members or friends. We only recommend this if you are starting out in modeling though. In general, pro models need their headshots to be of the highest caliber. You want the right lighting and look when you take these types of photos. This can only be done when you hire the right people to help you with your headshots. It can cost a lot of money to get this kind of quality of course. But this is an investment worth your money!

When you are getting headshots, there are two types of shots you want. Usually, these photos are composed of both body shots and face shots. This helps to extenuate the natural lines and shape of the face and body to the highest degree at multiple angles.

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Top Headshot Tips for Models:

1. Keep Your Headshots Simple and Natural

New models often think that they need to be stylish and look runway ready for a headshot. However, this is not the case at all. Most agencies and clients want to see what you look like naturally. So you don’t want heavy makeup on or super-stylized clothing. All your photos should be done in a plain and clean looking style. You want multiple angels shot as well, so anyone looking at your headshots has a good idea of how you look. To keep your headshots looking this way, you need to hire someone who has done makeup for headshots. A good makeup artist will know how to do your makeup in a way that looks natural and makes your face look good. Lighting and angles can be worked out with your photographer as well. And, when you prepare your outfits, go for something that is simple but really makes your body look good.

Do not be afraid to show off your curves and body shape. But at the same time, you don’t have to strip down. Just wear something that is comfortable for you and helps you look your best! Overall, if you stick to these standards and follow the rest of our tips you should have great headshots to show off to potential agencies and casting directors!

2. Do Some Self-Care Before Your Shoot

Self-care is important before a shoot. You want to make sure you look your best in front of a camera and in your headshots. There are a ton of ways you can do self-care before a shoot. To start though, make sure your face looks good. You can do a facial treatment to moisturize your skin and help diminish the appearance of any blemishes. Face masks are good as are exfoliating scrubs that you can use on your body as well. You want to look smooth and supple for your shoot. Lotion can help you with this too. So get some of your favorite lotion and lather up! In addition to this, drink plenty of water leading up to the day of your shoot. You should stay hydrated so you look healthy. You can also get help with your look from a professional stylist.

Get someone to do your hair, makeup, and nails. This is a great way to treat yourself, and also make sure that you look amazing for your photo op.

3. Prepare Yourself for Your Shoot

There is a lot of preparation involved with a headshot shoot. So, in addition to doing some self-care, try and prepare yourself mentally and physically for your shoot. We recommend getting a good night of sleep the night before. This will help you feel alert and fresh when you are in front of the camera. Also, try exercising or walking a little before your shoot. You don’t have to sweat it out. Just try to get a little active so you look more toned and feel more energetic. Exercising can also boost your mood so you feel happy and stable before you get to work. Also, something to consider is the wardrobe. Your clothes should be chosen the night before and cleaned and pressed for your shoot. What you wear is important, so your clothes shouldn’t have a rumpled or sloppy look. You can also get a bag ready for your shoot too! Model bags are a great way to feel calm and prepared for the day. Put water, snacks, a phone charger, and anything else you might need during the day. Lotion and hair care products can also be packed too so you are ready to shoot your headshots!

In addition, don’t be afraid to try out some poses in the mirror before you head out. Modeling practice is useful and can make you look more natural as you shoot photos. This preparation will also help you get an idea of how you will look in your shots.

4. Don’t Spend a Ton of Money if You are New to Modeling

It’s tempting to spend a ton of money on headshots. If you are a seasoned model and have done some work in the industry you can get some headshots done professionally. However, if you are new to modeling, we recommend not putting all your money into headshots. Most agencies won’t require professional-level headshots from new models anyway. They will probably have you get them done once you are signed onto their agency. But in the meantime, if you are only trying to get noticed by an agency, try to save money. Do headshots yourself or ask friends or family for help. If you really want to spend some money, you can invest a little on your headshots. Just realize that these headshots might not be used by your agency down the line. You will probably have to get new ones.

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5. Try to Be Unique

It is hard to be unique in this day and age. With social media and the spread of digital imagery, modeling agencies and casting directors have more variety and options available than ever before. Really, with so many beautiful models out there it can definitely be hard to stand out as a new model. Still, you want to try your best to be yourself. This is your best tool as a new model. No one looks exactly like you. So try and express your individuality, but don’t overdo it. As we mentioned, headshots need to be natural looking and clean. Smile and look directly into the camera with poise and confidence. Don’t copy other models, or try to be someone you are not. Just pose naturally in front of the camera for the best results.

6. Update Your Headshots Frequently

Your headshots should last you a few years. However, you want to update your photos often to reflect your evolving style as a model. If you have changed your hair color or style or gotten work done you will have to update your headshots. For male models, if you grow a beard or shave it you will also have to update your shots. This is just standard procedure for any pro model. So keep this in mind if you are thinking about getting headshots or want new ones done. It can cost you a lot of money to keep updating your headshots. But this is necessary if you want to have a fruitful and long modeling career.

7. If You are Paying for a Headshot Hire Someone Who is Skilled

If you have been a model for a few years and want your portfolio to stand out, you need professional shots done. If you are signed to an agency, you’ve probably taken shots to boost your profile. Still, you want to make sure that you are getting the best photographers to take your pictures. Do some research on any photographer you are hiring. Look at their past work and see if they have experience with headshots. You don’t want someone who specializes in weddings or commercial photography to be taking your photo. You need someone who knows how to work with models and will make you look your best. Not every photographer will be up to the level you need them to be. So consider your choices carefully.

There is nothing worse than getting headshots that don’t suit you or aren’t up to modeling industry standards. These photos are meant to represent you and your professionalism after all.

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