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What to Do at a Professional  Photoshoot

Written By: Zachary Joseph

Sally wants to get a professional headshot for her applications; she has been trying out for acting roles for some time now and has never gotten a single one. The aspiring actress thought something was off and researched things that casting directors dislike about applications. During Sally’s research, she came across the importance of quality headshots. It was then Sally realized her error, for she had haphazardly taken her headshot with her phone. Now that she realizes her error, Sally moves to get her new headshot professionally. Having found a reputable headshot studio near her and scheduled an appointment, Sally moves to prepare herself for the shoot. While she does, one question glosses over Sally’s mind, what do I do at a photoshoot?


Going to a photoshoot for the first time may be intimidating. Strangers will ask you to pose and smile in a variety of ways. There is also pressure to get a good photoshoot, and someone new but values a good headshot like Sally might feel pressure. Professionals are called that because they know what they are doing. This article will highlight what Sally needs to prepare and what she will do at a professional photoshoot.


Getting the role or not is why Sally fears the quality of her headshot. A headshot is Sally’s first impression of the casting director. The casting director will likely have many other applications to go through before selecting one for a role, and that is for one character. If a casting director sees a lazy headshot or even a good one that is the wrong size, they will trash the entire application without a glance at their resume. They do this because a good headshot tells a lot about a person’s values; a headshot demonstrates how much that person values quality and effort and how well they take care of themselves. A bad headshot gives a similar message as walking into work in pajamas and mis-colored shoes. On the other hand, a good headshot can bypass the first impression and demonstrate that this person will not just handle the role but succeed in it.


Sally hiring a professional to take her headshot is also a way to guarantee quality. Photography is a skill; much work can go into making one photo look polished. There are angles to consider when taking a shot, framing, pose, wardrobe, and position, and how all of those variables complement each other to best highlight that person’s strengths. Then there is the editing phase which would require extensive knowledge and skill with photo-editing software to make the headshot look as authentic as possible. Even if Sally invested time, effort, and money into teaching herself everything she needed, she might not measure up to the quality of someone who dedicated their life to photos. Furthermore, while hiring a studio may be expensive, these photos will be invaluable. Finally, Sally will save money on equipment and editing software that she will likely never use again.


For Sally, at the photo shoot, the first thing she should do is remain calm. Good studios tend to have great customer service, and professionals will want to work with her to get her best shots. If she panics, it will only make everyone, including herself, stressed and lower the quality of what she came to the studio for.


When going to a professional photo shoot, Sally does not necessarily have to bring anything. However, if she wants to, Sally can look up inspirations on websites like Pinterest for different ideas and bring outfits and props to help her look good. A person’s wardrobe is vital to any headshot and should be chosen carefully for Sally’s intended purpose. Photographers will welcome inspiration. It is also a good idea for Sally to think of some background ideas. A perfect background can elevate a shot to new heights. However, this is unnecessary, as a shade such as black, grey, or white will suitably compliment any photo.


Sally’s professional photo shoot will generally last about an hour. Although, some shoots can last as short as thirty minutes or go as long as two hours. The reason for this is the number of photos a person may need to take. Since Sally aspires to be an actor, she may want to take various shots in different outfits in case she wants to apply for different roles. Actors can star in media varying in genres which each have unique themes they can tailor themselves to.

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