Tips for getting your best professional headshot

Headshot by Mike Nakamura Photography

Headshot by Mike Nakamura Photography

Clothing & Jewelry

Keep it simple. Minimal jewelry, plain necklines, solid colors (light tone-on-tone patterns are fine), and a nice additional layer (light sweater or coat) are all great. Mid-tone to dark colors are usually best and few people look good in flesh tone clothing (in photographs). Long sleeves offer maximum posing flexibility.

Avoid overbearing patterns, sheer tops, fancy and decorated necklines, baggy and loose clothing, high-collared sweaters and jackets, wrinkled clothing, and flat collars. Any jewelry hanging, big, or shiny will take attention away from you.

Freshly starched pointed collars look good, avoid flat and wrinkled collars. For men, if you are going with an open collar look, given the choice collars without patterns inside the collar are preferred.



For business headshots, a natural look is best. My work is known for a natural look, so I would advise against putting on a lot of make-up before the session.

For men, no makeup; however, bring a lip balm like Chap Stick.

Lipstick one shade darker than your best “in-person” look usually photographs better.

Make-up for women is highly recommended. We start the session very natural. You can always add make-up during the session to change your look. It’s more convenient to add make-up than to remove it. Make sure you use and apply your mascara correctly. Sticky eyelashes don’t look good on the final images. If you use foundation, make sure it doesn’t have any SPF in it. SPF combined with the strobes in the studio make you look really pale.



Try to get a good night’s rest before your headshot session.



Retouching or digital airbrushing is done on images unless you purchase the “All selected high resolution jpgs from session (not retouched)” option.

Don’t worry; you’ll look like yourself after retouching.  We are showcasing the real you and, yes we do offer a bit of help, no one will wonder if you had work done.


Get your professional headshot by Mike Nakamura at the 2017 Annual Conference!

Special discounted rate of $75 for Annual Conference participants. 


425.260.4033 |