FAQ: What to Expect in a Headshot Session

What can I expect in a typical session with Anita Watkins?

Once you choose to book with me, I encourage you to read my about page so that you can learn a little about me.

Once you arrive, we will start to explore options for the shoot.  I will take some time getting to know which angles are best suited to you and expressions that are inviting and confident.

This directing process can take some time and is the signature of an excellent headshot photographerExpect to have some fun!

A typical headshot session can be as short as 15 minutes or take longer if you are nervous or would like to try a variety of looks.  This amount of time is necessary to allow me to coach and direct you so that we get the best images of you possible.

It also allows us to periodically review the photos so that you and I can continue to fine tune your look and so that you leave 100% confident that we got great images. If you are pressed for time, we can attempt to complete the session in a shorter period but realize that you may not get as many great images to choose from.

Why the Horizontal Headshot?

Most of my work is in the horizonal format.  The reason for this is simple: it maximizes the real estate available to show off your face.  By shooting horizontally and in tight, the viewer is able to connect instantly with your eyes. This is how we can achieve the best connection between you and the viewer.


That is also the reason I crop in tight and even chop off about 1/4 of the top of you head. It isn’t that I accidentally forgot to take that part of the photo. It is a technique used often to bring attention to the eyes. Check it out next time you watch a movie……when the director want you to focus on expression, they often pull in tight for the photo. Look at the difference below. This is the same photo as above, just cropped differently. What a difference in impact!


I can shoot vertically and ¾ shots if you need as well.

What should I wear for my Headshot?

For a full headshot session, you are welcome to try different looks.  Bring several tops to choose from.  Bring extra if you are not sure, and I can help you select ones that will work.  I suggest things that make you feel great but stay away from very ornate or busy patterns.

We want all eyes to be on you and your personality, not your outfit.

I may ask you to remove jewelry or watches if I think it distracts the viewer. Check out the two photos below. Same client, outfit and pose. The difference is the jewellery. In a portrait, when the photographer is pulled back, the jewellery can make an important statement. In a headshot, all it does is distract. Someone looking at your headshot, should be looking at you, not your accessories! Unless there is a sentimental value to your jewellery, I usually recommend that you remove large distracting pieces for a headshot.

jewellery before and after

What about makeup and hair?

You can choose to arrive with your own makeup up done, but be sure to follow the tips below.  You also have the option of having a professional hair and makeup artist at the shoot.  This will be an additional cost and requires advance notice.  Please see price page for additional information.

WomenNatural and minimal is best.  Too much makeup is distracting and people will wonder what you are hiding. Hair should be in a flattering natural style.  If your hair is long, I may ask you to put your hair in a ponytail for some of the shoot since for many women it is flattering look.

Men: No makeup is best. You may want to consider arriving with some facial hair for the beginning of the photo shoot and then shave for the second part of the shoot.  This will give you two distinct looks for your portfolio.

What are my proofing options?

I shoot tethered, with means that we can view the photos on a computer screen during the shoot!  This allows two things:

1) You are able to quickly approve photos during the shoot.

2) Secondly, it is a powerful part of the coaching and directing you to show your best face.

Looking forward to working with you!

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