Before the Shoot (Actors)
To help you prepare, here are some tips and answers to questions you will likely have leading up to the shoot:
1) Type - Nobody likes to be typecasted. And while I don't recommend you to unnecessarily limit the roles available for yourself, it's important to have an idea of the kind of roles you typically get cast for or are intent on going after. This said, leading up to the shoot, I advise that you practice in the mirror the look and energy that you want your headshot to express in light of your type. While I will be directing you during the shoot, it can only help to do some homework ahead of time. If you have an agent and/or manager, he or she will very likely have a say in your headshots, so be sure you're on the same page! Clothing and hairstyle can make a big impact in this regard, so be sure to give it some good thought!
2) Clothing - Please bring clothing for two looks, as well as a handful of alternative clothing options if you are undecided. Keep away from busy patterns and logo's. Dark and bright colors work the best (except for neon), and patterns are okay if it's uniform. Neutral colors are okay too - just be sure they don't wash out your natural skin tone. My rule of thumb is to dress as yourself - on a good day, of course :)
3) Hair and Makeup - In order to save money, I recommend that you do your own styling if you're comfortable doing so. You will have twenty minutes before the start of the shoot for personal preparation. If it takes you longer than twenty minutes to do your makeup and hair, you should arrive on set ready to go... or at least partially there! I can arrange for a professional stylist to be on set for you - just keep in mind that the price goes up. Another option to save money is to hit up the salon and a makeup counter, such as Mac or the various counters at Macy's, where they will do your makeup for a nominal price.
For the guys, while it's not mandatory to use makeup, it's perfectly manly to touchup blemishes with foundation and apply light powder. :) In fact, I recommend it.
4) Take Care of Yourself - This probably goes without saying, but be sure you are hydrated and well rested. In other words, please don't go out partying all night the evening before your shoot. Save it for celebrating your best headshot ever :)