How to Prepare for Profile Pics

The Importance of Preparing for Profile Pics as a Voice-Over Actor

Whether as a professional profile pic for business or, in my case, a headshot for my voice-over business, getting a good quality photo of yourself makes good business sense. Headshots can be a huge investment, so you need to plan ahead to ensure success and, therefore, make use of your photos for as long as possible. I can’t tell you how many pics I didn’t end up liking. That’s why I put a lot of effort into preparing for any photo shoot. I want to make sure I look and feel my best and have all the elements in place for that very short hour. It honestly takes me 2+ months to plan and 2+ weeks to prepare.

(For more help with profile pics and headshots, here are my two previous posts on the theme: Do You Look Influential, Capable, Likeable?! – and Is Your Profile Pic Looking a Little Creepy?)

The three photos above are from the same photo shoot!

With a hair stylist on-site, and a location with several options – lighting and background, you can create many different scenes and receive A LOT of bang for your buck with photos that will last a good long while.



  • Look at other people’s photos to figure out what you want and don’t want.
  • Find the best possible photographer in your budget who understand your needs. Call him or her. Share your “vision”. Meet in person to make sure you’re on the same page.
  • Consider location. The photographer will have ideas, but I like to choose my own, so I know it’s what I really want.
  • Does your vision for the final shot and the location gel with your brand? Do you know your brand? This is a whole other discussion, but suffice it to say, you need to figure out how you want to present yourself to the world.
  • What clothing best expresses your brand/image/YOU?! Think this through and purchase what you need.
  • Have you considered clothing and background colors that work with the rest of your marketing, website, etc? Have you considered Black & White photos?
  • What will you do with your hair/your head? (If you don’t have hair, will you add makeup to your head? A hat that’s very you?)
  • Go to a makeup counter and ask for help, or even a makeover, specifically for photos. Men can consider this to even out skin tone, too. Has to be really well done. Generally the employees know what they are doing and you can buy what they recommend.


  • If applicable, have hair cut, colored, etc. in advance. Hire hair stylist to show up on shoot day. They can also do your makeup, if necessary.
  • Do what’s necessary to even out skin tone starting two weeks before. Sunscreen on face, neck, and anything else that will be exposed, a proper diet and sleep are my priorities when preparing.
  • Collect any additional props, clothing, makeup and hair supplies for shoot day.
  • Be ready to both feel relaxed and take direction from the photographer!


How to Prepare for a Headshot Photo Shoot via @BackStage

4 Simple, Effective Head Shot Photography Tips via @Entrepreneur by @SerbanEnache

7 Tips for a Better Headshot via @BackStage

And this is an interesting one (I’m all about DIY!):

How to Take Your Own Professional Headshot: A Budget-Friendly Guide  via @hubspot @lkolow

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  1. Ann Utterback

    This is great advice! I certainly could have used it over the years. There’s nothing worse than paying for a photog & getting nothing you can use because you didn’t follow the advice Nayasha gives here.

  2. Carol Rodarte Wilson

    Since this is a business expense and you want a professional look I would not recommend doing it yourself unless you are a professional photographer. I have used photographers who shoot headshots for actors and have hired a stylist and makeup artist for that polished look.

    • admin

      Yes, as mentioned, you want to find the best possible photographer within your budget who understands your needs… I’ve spent a lot of money on random photogs and now know I need to really do my research.

  3. Dani

    Currently figuring out what do to re a headshot for my voiceover work. Thanks for your thoughts. Some good points to consider.


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