You need to get a headshot but aren’t sure what you need to tell the photographer when you talk to them about your session. It can be daunting, but they generally don't bite so with a little preparation you can be ready for your conversation. Here’s a quick checklist of the information you should have available before you contact the photographer.
How will the image will be used – Is the image for an application, LinkedIn, professional social media, modeling, or a magazine article? Knowing what the image will be used for will give the photographer valuable guidance for your session.
What is the impression you want to make – Think about what you want the image to convey. Are you an instructor who wants to be seen as friendly and open? Are you a professional who wants to show that you’re confident and in charge? Are you in sales and want to be approachable? It’s best to know this at the beginning.
Company requirements - If you are getting a headshot for your company, what are the parameters that your company requires – size, background, resolution, etc.
Can You Fix This? We all have little idiosyncrasies that make our faces unique, but sometimes that may feel a little TOO unique. So if you have any features that you don’t care for – want minimized – big ears, crooked teeth, thick glasses, broken nose – tell the photographer and they can help, without plastic surgery.
Photo Format – Should the image be in color or black and white? The lighting varies for each so let them know that up front.
Background Type - Background requirements or preferences. Do want a background or will a classic white background give you more options?
Layout Format – Should the image be shot landscape, portrait or square format? Depending on the use the final layout can be very important.
Timeframe – When do you need the images? If it’s for a new job search or another important deadline and you need them in a couple days, make sure to inform the photographer. If it’s for Christmas card and you need to place an order have the order date in hand.
Being well-informed about your own goals for an image will give you a well-informed photographer and a session that is more efficient and less stressful, resulting in the image you really needed. But, when in doubt, ask a question.