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Child Headshot Preparation

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

It is time to prepare for your child's upcoming headshot session! How exciting! Please review the tips and pointers below and let me know if you have any questions.

  • Ensure your child is well-fed, well-hydrated, and well-rested before the session. Avoid candy, soda, sugar before the shoot.

  • Talk to your child the upcoming shoot, about what the setting will be, what you expect of them, practice getting the “real smile” – by finding that phrase that truly makes them smile! Talk to them about having to stay in one position or one spot and being still. Practice this prior to your headshot session.

  • Plan to do something fun after your photo session as a reward. A promise to go to the playground, or go to the movies, or stop for an ice cream can be enough of a reward to help your child look forward to the session.

What to bring in your model bag

Your model bag is a small suitcase or duffel bag that you keep packed with the supplies that you should have available each and every time you attend a photo shoot.

  • Hair ties, brush, comb, headband, rubber bands, bobby pins

  • Wet wipes

  • Lotion

  • Clothing

  • Socks, tights, stocking (if needed)

  • Shoes

  • Safety pins, small sewing kit, clothes pins, clear nail polish

  • Dress shields or clear, non-scented deodorant

  • Snacks

  • Emergency items (Tylenol, antacid, tampons, razor, bandages, etc.)

What should my child wear?
  • Plan ahead - please choose your child’s outfits in advance. Clothes should be ironed, clean/stain-free, and hung on a hanger.

  • Bring layers, so you have a couple of different “looks”

  • If we are shooting outside in the winter, wear clothes that are warm enough so we can do the shoot without heavy winter jackets/ski jackets.

  • Clothes should be simple - the focus of the photos should be on your child.

  • Have smart casual clothes, and maybe a dressy option too, deepening on how many looks your child will be doing.

  • Bring extra clothing so we have a few items to choose between

  • If your child wears glasses, please see if you can pop out the lenses. No transition (dark) lenses please.

  • Neutral and light toned colors are great (tan, baby blue, light purple, etc.)

  • Choose a color that looks good on your child

  • No loud/neon colors

  • Not too much white - if it’s bright out, white reflects the light

  • Avoid clothing with large logos and no graphics of any kind

  • Not too much white

  • Avoid busy, overwhelming patterns

View this children’s clothing Pinterest board for some visual inspiration:

  • Traditional headshots do not feature the child’s shoes, but if you are doing a test shoot or editorial, please keep these tips in mind.

  • No dirty sneakers and no running shoes. “Trendy” sneakers (converse, Vince flats,

  • vans, etc.) often look great.

  • Leather boots and ballet flats are nice options

  • Bare feet are also fine

  • White athletic socks should not be visible!

Hair, Makeup & Nails
  • No chipped nail polish. Please keep their nails neat. Traditional headshots don’t feature the subject’s hands, but sometimes hands are visible, especially in the more editorial test shoots, or for particularly expressive kids.

  • Hair does not need to be done professionally, but it can be fun.

  • If your child has curly hair: in order to show it's versatility, be prepared to do a hair down look and then a pulled back into a ponytail look.

  • Your child does not need makeup of any kind.

  • Make sure your child is well hydrated, and well rested

  • Moisturize your child’s skin the night before, and day of the session.

  • Do not use a new moisturizer the day of the shoot, in case your child’s skin has an allergic reaction.

  • No chapped lips - run a dry toothbrush over your child’s lips in the day or two leading up to the shoot.

  • Use chapstick regularly and day of the shoot.

View this children’s clothing Pinterest board for some visual inspiration:

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