Headshots; most professionals in Washington, D.C. need them, but most women really hate having them taken. I get it, I do. We’re bombarded with images of professionally beautiful women, so it’s hard to subject ourselves to cameras. But with the right amount of prep, careful choices about where to take them, and openness with me, you will love your headshots.

First, I’ve created a style guide to help people prepare. Clothing choice and skin care ahead of time makes a big difference (headshots are ALL about your face!) so that bit of extra guidance makes a big difference for people.

Comfort level is also crucial. For this reason, environmental portraits often offer better results than your typical lighting-setup-in-front-of-a-plain-background headshots. Most people don’t love high-wattage lights pointing directly at them, and this sort of setup generally just feels awkward for people.

Environmental portraits, which means those pictures taken somewhere relevant to the person’s profession or story, often help clients feel more comfortable and result in more interesting and generally better photos. An environmental portrait may mean taking headshots at your desk or in your office, but it doesn’t have to. Headshots that show off your city or personality are also a great option. All of the examples on this page were taken outside in Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas.

I encourage my clients to book early-morning portrait sessions when we’re doing headshots outside. The light is best just after sunrise and before sunset, but fewer people are out and about in the mornings. This allows us a choice of locations, and fewer people around to make clients feel self-conscious.

Depending on your needs, lifestyle portraits may be a great choice. Lifestyle photography is about artfully documenting the everday and is popular among bloggers and creative professionals. Generally, this means taking photographs in your home, or places you often frequent. Maybe you’re at your desk in a home office, or maybe you’re having coffee at a local cafe.

The last key to loving your headshots is being honest with me. I’ll show clients their photos on the back of my camera. Don’t love the angle of your face? Think you look a little wide in the hips? Tell me and we’ll fix it! The last time I had photos done, I looked at the back of camera and loved most of them, but thought one made me look like a had a bigger belly than I actually do. I told the photographer, and she re-posed me with specific instructions. Boom, the resulting photo turned out to be one of my favorites.