Category Archives: Headshots

Do Not Choose a Busy Pattern for a Professional Headshot

We suggest to our clients that they do their very best to avoid busy patterns. Here’s why. Our philosophy is that YOUR FACE, your expression is the star of your headshot. Everything else, the clothes, the background, are supporting actors. By the time your images get to LinkedIn or a casting website, they are going to be so small that it will be really important for your face to be thing that draws attention. In those situations, you don’t want want a busy, crazy shirt distracting the viewer. I would love to show you some samples of clients that have come in with the absolute wrong clothing, but I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone! I can fix many problems, but a poor clothing choice is tough!

Busy patterns, bold colors, and wild accessories definitely have their place in business and lifestyle portraits. For your basic headshot, we recommend that you pick a classic piece in a solid color that complements your natural complexion.

If we pair that with a complementary background, we create the style and color harmony that will make your headshot, and most importantly, your FACE, stand out.

Make Up Tips for Portraits

  1. LIGHTEN UP. Avoid going too dark in your foundation shade. Have your shade professionally matched to your skin tone as close to the day of your shoot as possible. This really matters!
  2. MATTE IS A MUST. Especially for your cheeks, stay away from shimmery powder, no exceptions. For eyelids, keep shimmer strictly to the lids.
  3. PRIMARY FOCUS. Primer is essential for keeping makeup intact! It’s like the base coat of a nail manicure. Oil-free versions are best and also sensitive skin-friendly.
  4. SAY NO TO SPF. Primer and foundation should be SPF-free. Formulas containing sunscreen cast a ghostlike glow with the camera flash or reflector.
  5. LINE UP. When lining eyelids, start in the center and work your way to the outer edge. Lining the entire lid will cause the eyes to appear smaller. Use a slanted brush with a dark (but not black) shadow to line the lower lids.
  6. MORE IS MORE. Camera lighting will wash out colors, no matter what. Don’t be scared off by a dramatic finished look. It won’t photograph that way unless you have gone overboard. Your makeup should be a bit more intense than your every day look. Please avoid too much eyebrow pencil but do fill in your brows for a natural look. Eyebrows frame your face so a delicate balance it absolutely critical.
  7. BLEND, BLEND, BLEND. When it comes to concealer, cheek contouring and eye shadow, a quality set of brushes is key. The camera will highlight and pick up on unblended edges, creating a clow-like look. Unblended concealer will highlight fine lines.
  8. MELLOW YELLOW. To set makeup, choose a yellow based powder rather than a translucent powder Much like SPF formulas, translucent powders cast a white glow when photographed.
  9. AU NATURALE. Always have makeup applied in a natural light. This will be the best indicator of how it will look when photographed. Please wear a little make up even if you do not normally do so because a totally natural look can really make you look washed out in photos. We love natural looks, but a little lip color, cheek color, brow pencil, and mascara will go a LONG way!

10. SAY NO TO SPIDER LASHES. The worst mistake that people make is wearing long, fake, thick eyelashes. Your eyes will disappear in the shadows of the spider like lashes. If you are dead set about falsies, keep them shorter and less thick than normal. I promise you..eyelashes can ruin portraits and no amount of retouching can repair the damage. I wish I could post some of my clients who have made this tragic mistake but I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone. Too much mascara can have the same negative effect. Mascara is great but do not apply it over and over making the lashes stick together and look clumpy.

11. USE COLOR HARMONY. Think about what you are wearing and select lip and cheek colors that blend with your clothing. A complementary nail color is essential too. For example, if you wear pink, do not use coral shades for lips, nails, etc. If you are someone who doesn’t like pink on your lips, you should avoid pink clothing too. It’s probably not your best look!

11. PRACTICE RUN. Don’t let the day of your photo shoot be the first time to try new products. Trial runs are essential to creating the perfect final look!

Is it Time for a New Headshot?


As a general rule of thumb, headshots should be updated every two years. Hopefully you are not one of those people who don’t look like their headshot or worse, your headshot looks dated. Everyone changes and your headshot should too!

Below are 3 instances when you should think about updating your headshot.


Sometimes weight fluctuates, or you have a new hair color and/or style. You always want your headshot to represent your current look. This benefits you personally, as well as those people that you know, the people that you are getting to know, and the people you want to connect with.


An updated headshot brings attention to your new role, so you want to spruce it up to look the part you now represent. If you have a job that lends itself to a casual look, your headshot should reflect that. Conversely, if you need to have a business dress look, bring on the coat and tie for men and a nice, long sleeved dress and blouse/ blazer for women E


You may not want to use the same headshot for different events, such as your headshot on your company website vs. your headshot for speaking at events. In addition, a different expression may be needed for different uses.

Do you wear glasses a good amount of time and would like one of your headshots to be with your glasses on? Let us know and we can accommodate that request as well as create something that will look completely different for your many uses.

Clothing styles and jewelry choices can look dated if you’re not careful. Stick with timeless choices so you are not victim to outdated looks.

The photos below were taken only 2 years apart from one another and look at the changes!

Make the Most of Your LinkedIn Headshot

We take hundreds of headshots each year so we know a bit about LinkedIn headshots. To help make sure you get the most out of your new LinkedIn headshot, we wanted to share these tips with you.

Linked-In Headshot Tips
  1.  Zoom In – Linked in isn’t an app focused on sharing quality visual media. Generally, it’s about networking. It doesn’t have the ability to view, inspect, and enlarge photos like some of the other social media apps. This means that your profile photo is TINY. Even if you do happen to click on someones profile photo, it doesn’t really enlarge that much. Make sure that you crop in as tight. We will give you multiple crops of your headshot including one for LinkedIn. Be sure to ask Kurt if you’re interested in this. You will make sure that people can see your face while they are scrolling.
  2. Keep it simple – There is a big difference between branding photos and a LinkedIn headshot.  Given that, in a branding photo, you may want to consider something with an interesting background or scene if your image is being featured in a magazine or on a website. Alternatively, your LinkedIn profile photo is a tiny little “hello” to show off your face and expression. It’s hard to get that across if your head is two pixels wide and you are surrounded by plants. Accordingly, stick to a solid, out of focus, or non-distracting background. Let your face be the focus of the shot and don’t forget to zoom in. 
  3. Try a pop of color – I can tell you after 15 years in the business, that the most popular background color for a headshot is WHITE. One reason is that companies like all their employees to have a matching background and white is universally offered. I will say that unless the photographer knows what he/she is doing, your white background may end up being a mess. As you know, there are thousands of shades of white. A professional will make sure the white is 100% true. We prefer a neutral gray, but know many of you request white, so we do it frequently. Since so many people use a white or light gray background, you can make your LinkedIn headshot stand out by wearing a pop of color. Catch the eye of people scrolling by your post with something extra by including a colorful blouse or tie in your next headshot session. You could purchase two poses during your headshot session which could include a more traditional color scheme and another with the pop of color.

Make sure that your headshot is impactful, recognizable, and stands out from the crowd if you are really looking to polish up that LinkedIn profile,

Need an Updated Headshot?

That being said, need to update your Linked Headshot or business headshot? Use this link to BOOK NOW!

Skin Tone and Color Selection for Headshots

Are you contemplating what color(s) you should wear for your headshot session? You are not alone! One of the most time-consuming parts of preparing to be photographed is deciding on the outfit you want to be wear. Below, we have outlined how to get started with the most important part: choosing your colors.

First of all, check with your company to make sure they don’t require a certain color. It is wise to select something that will look great with your company logo. For instance, if your company is red and navy, a poor choice for your clothing is pink because it will clash. In addition, you may want to identify which skin tone category you fall into — warm, neutral, or cool.

First, take this quiz!

Then, do the vein test!  Check the veins around your wrist & palm:

  • If they appear greenish, you have warm tones
  • If they appear blue or purplish, you have cool tones
  • If they appear colorless or match the skin, you have neutral tones

Also, you can determine your skin tone by recalling the way your skin reacts to the sun:

  • If you tan easily, you have warm tones
  • If you are able to tan or burn, you have neutral tones
  • If you burn easily, you have cool tones

Complementary Colors for Warm Skin Tones

Orange, Honey, Amber, Gold, Olive, Turquoise, Cream

Avoid vibrant tones like Deep Red and Indigo. Some of these colors are quite harsh for headshot photography (bright orange) but  could look great under a jacket as a camisole for women or in a tie for men. Do not confuse the turquoise for royal blue!

Complementary Colors for Neutral Skin Tones

Light and soft colors like Rose, Jade, Gray, Sky Blue

Avoid Neons, Yellows, and Reds.

I see the above color choices as a secondary color selection under a jacket, etc. Gray is ALWAYS a better choice that white as the secondary selection. AVOID WHITE no matter what your skin tone is!

Complementary Colors for Cool Skin Tones

Emerald, Ocean Blue, Purple, Lavender, Cherry Red

Avoid Orange and Yellow. Who would want those colors anyway in a professional headshot?


What Should I Wear for my Headshot Session?

What should I wear for my headshots?

Bring a few options to your photo shoot. We will take a look at them and help decide what will look best.

  • Always bring clothes that match your style and personality and make you feel and look professional.
  • Stay away from clothes with busy patterns. Solid colors are best. No logos. No stripes!
  • Try to stay away from black and white. If you are a person who relies heavily on black, think about branching out to some colors that flatter your natural coloring. White is one of the worst colors you can choose.
  • Any color is great for tops, but remember that very bright colors like lime green can draw away from your face, so pick something slightly more subdued. There are even colors of clothing that are so bright that a camera has trouble reproducing them and they look completely different in the final image.
  • Bring an undershirt or camisole if you are shooting in multiple outfits. It saves time to be able to change tops quickly in the studio for more headshot looks. For men, wear an undershirt with a v-neck if possible as it is less likely to show up in the photos that way.
  • In a headshot session, your lower half will not likely make it into the photos, but make sure that whatever bottoms you have are clean, pressed and match your tops. You never know what we might be able to get out of your session. If you are wearing a suit, be sure to bring the pants. In addition, more than one choice of tie would be helpful.
  • Undergarments. Make sure to include the right undergarments for the tops you bring. You might be disappointed if you bring that super cute tank top or strapless dress but you forgot a strapless bra however, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND SLEEVELESS OR STRAPLESS CLOTHING FOR MOST HEADSHOTS!
  • Make sure any clothes that you bring are clean and neatly pressed. This goes double for collared shirts and suits. Smoothing wrinkles can create a major problem in the retouching process.
  • If you want to bring jewelry, make sure that it matches. Gold earrings don’t look great with a silver necklace, etc. Bring some options that you love but keep in mind that a headshot is about your face. For entertainment, unless you are shooting specific character shots, keep jewelry to a minimum. Simple studs or hoops and simple necklaces are fine, but nothing that will take away from your expression.
  • Before you head out the door, make sure to grab a unique article of clothing or two. Do you have some cool fedoras? What about a really great leather jacket or a scarf you love? You never know what might come out of a shoot so grab that item and bring it with you. Do you play guitar? Golf? Do you kick-box or collect swords? Bring something that’s unique to you and we might just be able to fit it in to the session and create something really cool.

We are also more than happy to communicate with you about the clothes you are planning to bring. You can text us pictures of your ideas before you arrive and we will give you advice, 972-335-3686. 

Headshot Session FAQ

What does my session include?

Our headshot session is designed to accommodate the best possible combination of comfort, creativity and exceptional results. Whether you enjoy taking pictures or dread it, we will tailor the session to YOU. Here’s a brief synopsis of what to expect.

Expect for the session to take up to one hour. You session will be photographed by Kurt Nelson.

Kurt will help you decide what the best background will be for your portrait. He will also guide you in selecting clothing options.

Kurt excels in getting appropriate expression. He will take many different looks so you have options. Posing and lighting will be top priorities for helping to achieve optimal results.

As the photos are being shot, they will appear on a screen so you will know exactly what the images are looking like. This process alleviates stress because you will know if we are on the right track or if there is something you do not like such as your makeup, hair, etc.

Once a series of photos have been taken and Kurt feels like he has a good gallery for your review, he will help you decide what look you like the best by going through the photos right then and settling on your favorite(s).

The next part of the process is where the magic happens. Kurt takes your selected image(s) and retouches them as you sit beside and watch. He can so extensive retouching or just the basic. He does all of his retouching by hand. There are no filters, etc. He can smooth your skin, reduce wrinkles, slim your face and/or body, remove dark circles, remove stray hairs, etc. We never over retouch. A natural, “best version” of yourself is the goal. Our clients absolutely love the process!

Your favorite high resolution image will be digitally delivered to you before you leave the session.

Where Does My Session Take Place?

Most of our headshot sessions take place in our studio. It’s located within the Stonebridge Ranch area of McKinney, TX. The physical address is 2209 Cypress Point Drive. We are a home based studio complete with a camera room, dressing room and outdoor shooting areas specifically for photography. There is a separate entrance to the photography studio. We ask our clients to park by the curb, walk up the driveway and enter the studio through the door on the left beside the gray bench. You will see a floor mat under the door that says “Innovative Images Photography.”

In addition to our studio, we do offer “on location” shoots as an upgrade. We will need to collaborate on those sessions to make sure the location will work and will give you the results you desire.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Many people want to talk with us personally to set up a session. That is awesome, and we are happy to talk you through any questions you may have. Our headshot sessions are $150. and include one professionally retouched image. We do have an online booking system for those of you ready to BOOK NOW

 If your company is paying for your headshot, please use this linkBOOK NOW/COMPANY PAY

What happens if I need to reschedule or cancel?

We understand that life can get in the way. Built into our online scheduling system is the ability to change your appointment if you need to. If you need to reschedule your session and did not book it on our online software, simply text or call us @ 972-335-3686. Like most businesses, we deeply appreciate you letting us know of any changes because we often cannot rebook the time you were scheduled for.

Please check back to our blog in the coming weeks for more information including answers to questions about hair, make up, clothing!


Hudson is a 2024 Senior at McKinney Boyd. He is a two sport athlete, playing both basketball and baseball for the Broncos. The highlight of his high school years have been reaching the playoffs in both sports.

Hudson has unbelievable blue eyes that absolutely shine in his photos. He is very tall and you might be surprised to know that he wears a size 16 shoe!

We love photographing Hudson and have no doubt that his future is very bright.


Sometimes during a photo session we realize that the subject is truly “PHOTOGENIC.” Daylin was a complete natural in front of the camera and could pull off both fun and dramatic looks. Take a look at some of my favorites! There are so MANY more amazing pics of her – too many to share! A good portion of these were taken at our home studio in McKinney, TX in the month of June.

Senior Model 2020 – Alaia

Alaia’s name is perfect for her because she is truly a one of kind girl. She describes her style as “grungy, retro” and she seems to be a person that doesn’t really care what others are doing – she has her own idea of what she likes and formulates her own opinions and tastes. It’s really fun to photograph someone like Alaia who is confident and has an interesting, artsy side.

Her friends would describe her as “dedicated, ambitious, and passionate.” Having those qualities = a recipe for success! Someday she would like to have her undergrad degree in English and go on to become a corporate lawyer. PERFECT! Teens like Alaia are our future. Doesn’t that make you feel like we are in good hands?

Some of Alaia’s favs include The Beatles – (musical artist) and Baby Driver (movie). Her favorite ways to spend free time are listening to music, reading and writing.

This beautiful soul is ultra photogenic as you see!! Here’s a sampling of some of her senior pics……