If you are a lady, swimmer, or cyclist this post is not for you. I’m talking about shaving the face here. First think about the purpose of your headshot. If you are a businessman and this is for a job in corporate America, a shave is just about a must. If you’re going to do something, do it right. If you are shooting late in the day, and your beard grows like Bluto, the character from Popeye, bring your shaving kit with you. Actors, and other creatives might have more flexibility. Restaurant or bar owners may want a more relaxed feel. A shadow may look good on you. Likewise, actors may want that look. Often, I tell actors to come with a shadow, shave halfway through our session, and finish with a clean look. The use of your headshot will help determine your need for a shave.

So, you decided to shave. Tom, a Denver photographer, recommends starting your shave by washing your face with a gentle soap, followed by applying a hot washcloth for a minute. This is sound advice, used by many a barber to soften up a beard. I also recommend a pre-shave oil. Just a few drops rubbed into the beard can add a lot of quality to your shave. That blade you’ve been trying to get every last cut out of? Toss it. A fresh, or near fresh blade should be used. This shave is important, and my camera is a high megapixel beast. Should someone want to zoom in, every pore and whisker can be seen. Be smooth and careful, a nick on this day would suck. I can fix it in retouching, but I don’t want you thinking about it.

When you finish with your spectacular shave rinse with warm water. Then rinse with a little cooler water. Get those pores closing up a little. Follow with a facial balm, especially in the winter. Dry skin doesn’t look good. If your after shave balm has an SPF to it, find another if possible. The sunblock in some cosmetics reflects under the bright photo lights. Now, enjoy your fresh shave, and come to your headshot session with the confidence it instills!