This information will help you prepare for your photo session.  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or e-mail.


Why Do You Need a Headshot?

The answer(s) is/are as follows:

  • You don’t have a good photo.  Your headshot is the cornerstone of your personal brand.
  • You’re wearing the wrong clothing for who you are now.
  • Your expression is off.  It doesn't convey the image you want.
  • Your photo is old and you’re not that person any more.
  • Your photo has poor lighting or a bad background.

Headshot Basics

A “commercial” headshot is a close-up where the typical image is from near the top of the head to the chest where the V-neck of a polo-type shirt would end.  A headshot session produces an image useful for actors, realtors, corporate staff or other professionals where conveying confidence and approachability are important.  The emphasis is on the individual’s facial appearance and expression.  Clothing and jewelry that create distractions should be avoided.  A headshot session takes about an hour.

Several “poses” will be shot during the headshot session (not involving changing hair, clothing, etc.).  Shooting a range of poses allows you to have multiple images to choose from.  Differing poses can emphasize or de-emphasize physical differences that humans have.  We  review photos as the shoot proceeds.  We adjust to obtain the best shots.  You'll see what is achieved as the shoot progresses.

Clothing and Jewelry

For headshots, it is best to avoid distraction.  The eye is drawn to shiny, sparkly, high contrast “lures”.  The emphasis in a headshot is on the face.  For headshots it is best to minimize jewelry.  Studs, small earrings and simple necklaces can work but anything hanging or chunky will usually draw too much attention.  Use the “less-is-more” approach.  For portraiture, this is not really an issue as the “look” desired may depend upon jewelry, wild hair and exotic clothing.

Bring as much clothing as you want.  It’s good to have options.  The studio includes a place where you can hang the clothes and change.  When choosing your clothing, consider how your choice will look.  Typically the headshot will be cropped fairly high on the chest.  The focus is on the shoulders and the neckline of the outfit.  You want clothes that give a clean, defined look.  

Embrace the following:

  •       Clothes that make you look good (or great!!)
  •       Clothes that are form-fitting not clothes that drape or hide your figure
  •        For headshots, clothes that are one solid color.  Black, white, beige or any shade of grey are easy choices.
  •       A jacket or sweater that works well with one of your tops can be added. 


  •       Strong patterns.  Strong patterns distract and pull focus from your eyes. 
  •       Baggy, loose clothing.  These give the appearance of unwanted extra weight.
  •       High collared shirts or jackets.  These shorten the appearance of the neck.
  •        Wrinkled, stained or discolored clothing or clothing that doesn’t fit.

For headshots the emphasis is very strongly on your facial appearance.  The clothes must not be distracting, unflattering or  that involves garish or clashing colors. 

Hair and Makeup

Makeup is recommended for women but “less-is-more” is a good approach.  The camera “sees” everything; especially heavy makeup or foundation.  You want your headshot to represent the real you on a great day.  Dramatic makeup 'fads' will date your headshot.  The classic natural look is timeless.

Retouching can clean up blemishes.  If you have an issue, don't worry!

For headshots try to avoid:

  •       Heavy eyeliner (above and below the eyes).  Avoid sharp, hard lines.
  •       Bold eye shadow 
  •       Penciled-in eyebrows with a harsh line.  Try to make the eyebrows look natural.
  •       Fake eyelashes as they weigh down the eyelids and may make you look drowsy.
  •       Heavy blush
  •       Lip liner
  •       Bold Lipstick.  Bring in a clear/neutral gloss or hydrating lipstick to make the lips shine and to even out skin unevenness.
  •       Powder foundation.  Liquid concealer is much better on camera.

For headshots it is best to stay close to the neutral, natural side of makeup.

We will review the images as the shoot progresses so you can see if your makeup is working for you.

Everyone should come in with hair that’s ready to shoot.  Your goal should be a “great” hair day.   You may wish to bring a hair stylist with you; depending on the complexity of your style.

Makeup is not recommended for men.  It is usually better for men to look “natural”.  If desired, shots can be retouched to deal with minor blemishes.  If you have facial hair (beard, moustache) come in with the appearance you’d like.  If you want multiple looks (big wooly beard, short trim, clean shave), bring the grooming products you’ll need to make the changes.


Why Do You Need a Portrait?

The answer could be as simple as "You want one'" or it could be for an advertising campaign or some other business purpose.

Clothing, Jewelry, Hair and Makeup

For portraiture, where the shots may be full length or as short as an extreme close-up of the eyes, clothing, jewelry, hair and makeup each take on significant importance.  A portrait starts with a concept (the "why") and then becomes a great photo when all of the elements (clothing, jewelry, hair, makeup, lighting and pose) come together.  For example, makeup  may be soft and muted or it could be a very dramatic.  A makeup artist or hair stylist may be necessary to accomplish the look that you want.

Session Progress

One high goal is to make you comfortable in front of the camera.  When you are comfortable you will look your best.  Pretty much, everyone I've shot has fun and we’ll take around 100 photos or so.  We will stop shooting and review the photos together several times as the shoot progresses.

We will choose the best shots from the session.  Those shots will be posted to a private web-accessible album as proofs.  You will receive the link and access password.  The proofs will be watermarked but you will be able to easily review them.

You can share the private portfolio link with friends or relatives, as you choose.  Your goal is to choose your three favorites.  After you let me know the filenames of your favorites, retouching can begin.


Jaeger Photo will lightly retouch the three chosen shots.  The “light” retouch involves removal of small blemishes (pimples, fly-away hairs, etc.).  Retouching can be more extensive with laugh-line softening, removal of skin tone variations and other similar issues.  If you want your skin to look like a “Glamor or Voguee cover shots” with perfect skin we can do it but it may (or may not) require significant work depending on the starting condition.  Please discuss your desire for retouching and we will do our best to achieve your goal.  It takes a couple of days to complete the retouching (depending on the look that is desired).  The result will be a high-resolution digital photographs for printing.

Group Headshot Sessions

These sessions are for groups where a consistent look is desired.  The time per shot can be significantly reduced, as the setup and lighting will be fairly consistent for each subject.  There are options for accomplishing the shoot: such as the group coming to our studio over or our traveling to your location.  Contact us to discuss the possibility that would be best for your group.

Scheduling and Prices

We are flexible and can be available to shoot at mutually acceptable times of day and days of week.

The following pricing applies:

Headshot sessions are $250 (plus applicable tax, without retouching (see below)).

Portrait sessions are $500 (plus applicable tax, without retouching (see below)).

The headshot group rate is $200 per person (plus applicable tax, without retouching, plus mobilization and travel, if applicable).  There is a 4-person minimum for group rates.

There is a $100 mobilization fee for travel to your location plus the cost of travel (federal mileage fee, meals, lodging (if appropriate) and $75 per hour travel time door-to-door).

Retouching is done on a case-by-case basis.  Upon agreement on the scope of work, we will provide a quotation.

Jaeger Photo provides prints at commercially competitive rates.  Please discuss your print needs and we will provide you a quotation.

Jaeger Photo doesn't release high-resolution digital files directly to clients unless they purchase a digital buyout for $300 (plus applicable tax).

Returning clients receive a discount of $50 applied to the session fee.

A non-refundable booking fee of one half the session price is required to book a session.  Cash as well as VISA, MasterCard and American Express are acceptable forms of payment. The remaining balance plus any sales tax is due at the conclusion of the session.

If you need a makeup artist or hair stylist we can arrange for those services.  You will pay them directly on the day of the shoot.