Details you Need to Know to Take a Killer Headshot

So everyone knows that a picture speaks a thousand words, yeah yeah, whatever. You could make it so good that it’ll leave people SPEECHLESS (including yourself) if you know the tricks to make it happen. Whether its to make your Instagram page go viral, to get a job through your Linked-In profile, take a killer graduation pic that your mom and dad can cherish forever, or to win a beauty pageant, you need these tips for that killer picture. Happy reading!

1) Makeup is a whole new ball game


Your everyday makeup will just not cut it in these territories. The makeup that looks very normal yet super glam in a printed photo, probably looks like a clown-gone-mad in real life. HOWEVER, don’t cake-face. What I mean by this is that you will need foundation, but ONE coat is enough. You want to look fresh, clean and alive, so don’t wear so much that it wears you down. So, besides the actual amount of makeup you’re wearing (concealer and blush should be on point), DETAIL is probably the most important thing. A picture (especially by a professional with a killer camera), will pick-up EVERY SINGLE detail in your face. A photographer can usually manipulate lighting to make you look amazing, but they can’t do anything about the fact that your blush is too high, or that your eyeshadow is all the wrong colours in all the wrong places. If you can, hire a MUA. If not, make friends in beauty school!



Headshots are tough. But there is nothing worse than a professional headshot looking great from the neck up, just to keep looking to see that the person posing looks like they forgot to wear clothes to the shoot. So not “fetch”. Make it spaghetti strap if you really want to show off the amazing shoulders you’ve been building in the gym. But otherwise, please save us all the wonder.

3) Colour Matters


I already touched on makeup, and obviously your colours matter there. Avoid anything too dark and draggy. You want to look fresh. Stick to what works with your skin tone. For eyes, keep it light in the middle of your lid to make your eyes sparkle, dark on the edges for shape, and you’re golden.

Now clothes are a whole new (very important) ball-park that we need to touch on. Black and white are common go-to’s for a head shot, especially since you want the focus to be on your face and not your clothes. Personally, I avoid black and white together because it looks weird to have black and white on a torso and then a colour photo for face and hair. So unless you want to use the “willow” filter, I’d avoid it. If you want to pop, wear red, if you want to look professional, stick to blues, greys and maybe some purples and salmon-pink.

4) Even if you were blessed with the longest, fullest eyelashes in the world, you probably will need to wear fakes


It’s kind of like makeup, the natural look will just not do. In fact, it’ll probably look like you’re missing  your eyelashes altogether. When putting on fakes make sure to bend out the lashes to make them flexible so they can sit naturally on your eyelid. Place the glue on the eyelash and make sure to let it dry just a bit before putting it on, unless you want glue all over your eyelid, and even worse, in your eye, OUCH!

5) Lighting is EVERYTHING


If you have a professional photographer, your worries are over. They will take care of all your lighting and editing needs. However, for the perfect Instagram selfie, you have to make sure your lighting is on point. Think about when you do your makeup and all the places of your face you highlight (under eyes, middle of nose, crown of lips). This is where you want the light to hit.

Another great tip if you can’t get the lighting right in the actual picture, is to use the “Shadows” and “Highlights” filters on your phone or on Instagram and play around with them until your picture looks flawless.

6) One Word: Earrings


Make sure to glam up your face with the perfect earrings! Whether you’re going for the simple girl-next-door look, or the Miss Universe glam look, you need to pay attention to all jewelry, but most notably earrings! It’s an easy way to look put-together and also bring out your feminine side. Match the dress and makeup, and you’re set!

And there you have it. Follow these tips and you’re sure to snap the perfect photo, go viral, get famous, the whole shebang! Ok, well I can’t promise all of that, but I’m pretty sure it’ll guarantee a decent photo! Best of luck ladies!

Smiles and Love,

Catherine, xo


– Cover photo for this blog was taken by Alumski Photography during my time at Miss Universe Canada 2015

– Photos in blog are taken from the Miss Universe 2015 Candidates
2) Vietnam – HUONG PHAM






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