The beauty of the truly professional headshot is the story it tells. The picture explains who you are, what you expect and how you feel about yourself and the successful, confident image the world sees is the honest image you’ve created and cultivated.

Leave it to some folks who want to bring the “go big or go home” attitude to the photoshoot session and turn a career-building experience into the picture of disappointment with bad photoshoot etiquette. 

Here are 11 surefire ways to wreak havoc during your professional photo session and display bad photoshoot etiquette.

1. Arrive late without calling ahead

Always keep the photographer’s contact information on hand in case an emergency arises. It’s common courtesy to call ahead when you’re late to meetings or appointments and a booked photography session just for you is no exception to that courtesy. Find out driving directions and plan ahead for unpredictable factors such as traffic, wardrobe malfunctions, etc. Don’t make a photographer wait – it only cuts into your own photoshoot time!

2. Bring at least a half-dozen changes of clothes

A professional headshot is not a fashion runway shoot. Choose one outfit, bring one extra shirt or blouse and jacket, and an additional tie or scarf. The photographer has other bookings and cannot wait for your half-dozen wardrobe changes. Depending on which package you choose, you may be able to bring more than one outfit. If you’ve selected the photo package with only one outfit, make sure you decide on the outfit you’ll wear before your photoshoot begins. Bringing more than one and expecting others to wait while you change is indicative of bad photoshoot etiquette.

3. Wear all your jewelry at once

A professional photo session is not the time or place to see if you can wear every piece of jewelry you own. The appearance of all that bling does nothing for the final photo product and can leave you looking less than professional. Speaking of body bling, depending on your employer’s rules about body tattoos and piercings, it might be best to cover your tattoos and jewelry in places other than your ears for the professional headshot. Be proud of your ink, but unless your employer embraces body art, it might be best to stick to conservative appearances for now.

4. Insist on extra shots (without the extra fee)

At our studio, we offer the option to add additional images for a certain fee – which you let us know you want at the time you book. Don’t expect any photographer to include additional photos at no extra cost. Learn about our add-on options like additional photos and adding a stylist to your session.

5. Turn it into a “Glamour Shots” session

Chill out on the duck face poses and cheeky facial expressions during your professional photoshoot. Unless you’re really off-the-wall and you own your own brand, your “fun” facial expressions won’t be appreciated by many. Keep your appearance tight and neat and ensure your image appears as professional as it needs to be.

6. Paint your nails to include them in the photos

No matter how expensive the weekly mani-pedi, it does not belong in a professional headshot unless it so happens to land in the photo that looks best. Don’t count on including them – poses and positions where you’re purposefully showing off your newly manicured hands and feet will most likely turn out to be awkward-looking photos in the end. The best advice for this situation is to keep your shoes on and your hands to yourself.

7. Eat, drink or chew gum

Food and drink mishaps cause stains on your work clothes, spills in the studio and make everyone else hungry and thirsty if you are the only one indulging. Chewing gum during the shoot is unsightly, is incredibly bad photoshoot etiquette, and losing it on the floors or furniture is beyond embarrassing. 

8. Use your phone excessively

Photographer’s time is money, too. Don’t waste the professional’s time playing games or gabbing on your phone. Turn it off, or at least turn the ringer down or put it on vibrate. Business and personal calls need attention, but this photoshoot complements and completes your resume, and the time spent in the studio is an important investment.

9. Touch the studio equipment or photographer’s cameras

Unless you brought your own equipment, refrain from touching any of the studio equipment unless exclusively asked to. None of it belongs to you, and it’s expensive, sometimes fragile equipment. Don’t play around and move any of the lights or camera to get the “better” shot. That’s why you hired the photographer in the first place.

10. Bring your small children

Children are wonderful, but in a studio setting, they become curious. They touch things, interrupt, ask questions. And with none of their toys to keep them interested, they become a distraction. Leave them home with a friend, relative or sitter, and do not consider turning your professional headshot sitting into a family portrait.

11. Talking and texting during your photoshoot 

We’re all busy, so we get it, but to ensure we help you get that fabulous shot, we insist you put the phone away while we’re shooting in the studio. Plus, if you’re distracted from your photo session, chances are you won’t get the best shot!

Capturing you at your professional best is what we at Korey Howell Photography does best. Contact us today to book a photoshoot session at our studio!