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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Amy Hart, Owner of Amy Hart Studios, on Why a Professional Headshot is Important

Jun 28, 2024 10:41AM ● By Amy Hart

When was the last time you had your picture taken…in a professional studio? that is. Perhaps it’s time to give your selfie arm a rest and get ready for your close-up. There are many advantages of having a professional portrait session – here are just a few: 

Professional Lighting – while our phones can take pics of anyone anywhere, the lighting isn’t always perfect. Professional portrait lighting provides a soft glow of light from multiple sources – usually with a large soft light or ‘beauty’ light just to one side of your face, as well as a ‘hair light’ to give that special rim light that brings out the highlights in your hair. 


A Clean Background – how many times have you had a great picture of yourself, but there’s something weird going on in the background? And no amount of photoshopping makes it looks natural. In a studio all of that is controlled – and you can generally choose from solid white, gray or black backgrounds, or a variety of colors. In larger studios – like the one I’ve had the pleasure of working in here in the Plaza-Midwood area of Charlotte – you can usually choose from different set-ups with furniture, plants and other options. Out in the field, professional photographers can take advantage of softly lit backgrounds. 




Time and Attention – both you and the photographer have set aside the time to get together and capture your best look, so it’s much more likely that you’re going to create something that’s going to wow you both. You can prepare for your portrait session by planning the following in advance: 

  • Hair – if it looks like you need your hair done, schedule it a few days beforehand, or the day of, your photo session
  • Make-up – test out your make-up, and if you need to replenish your supplies, this is a good time for something fresh. Just be sure to test out any new shades in advance. For photography, it’s best to go with a matte foundation that doesn’t create too much of a shine. If you want a stylist to do your make-up, that usually can be arranged.  
  • Clothing – take a look in your closet and plan what you’ll wear. Most sessions allow for a few changes of clothes – so pick out three outfits that flatter you the most. Boat neck or v-neck tops tend to look nice – and it’s best to avoid bulky collars or tops with lots of bobbles or bows. Simple clean and classy is generally a good way to go. And if everything in your closet is lookin’ tired – this is a good time to go shopping for something that makes you feel good about how you look in the mirror now
  • Jewelry – it’s nice to add a touch of jewelry, but again, simple and classy are generally the way to go – unless your style is wild and funky - if that’s the case, go for it! Choose jewelry that compliments who you are, without drawing too much attention away from You. 
  • Stay Cool – avoid getting overheated the day of (skip the marathon training or hot yoga class if your face stays reddish afterwards); and avoid getting a sunburn as no amount of make-up can cover up too much sun. 
  • Rest & Rejuvenate – plan to get a good night’s sleep and drink lots of water before your session – your eyes and skin will thank you. 
  • Relax – a professional photo session is all about capturing the best of You and sharing it with the world. 
  • Have fun! Be playful and include a few poses just for laughs. 

Space: I like to provide a few photos that leave space to one side or the other for text so you can use some of the images for social media posts. Work with your photographer to plan these set-ups into your photoshoot. 


The Finished Project – at the end of the day (or a week or so later) you’ll have beautiful set  of photos that you can use on your website, LinkedIn and other social media platforms, and you’ll finally have a professional go-to picture that you can send out when pitching a proposal, giving a talk, writing a book or a blog, or going on a dating site. 

Keepsakes – files can vanish over time, so remember to back up the files in a few safe places; and most importantly, order a few high-quality prints – at least a nice one for your mother, she’ll appreciate it. Your mom’s not around anymore? Bless her. Order one for yourself – your kids will appreciate it. No kids? Order one anyway. Yes, that’s You ~ you’re beautiful. Life is a gift, and you are a miracle.  

Amy Hart is a professional photographer and owner of Amy Hart Studios based in Charlotte. She offers portrait session in a beautiful studio centrally located in Plaza Midwood – or at your location. For more information, visit

Amy Hart Studios - Plaza Midwood Charlotte NC

Amy Hart Studios - Plaza Midwood, Charlotte, NC

AMY HART, MA Amy Hart is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, creative director, and communications consultant who specializes in providing professional photography and creative m... Read More » 


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