A Simple Three-Step Plan for Great Headshots

Photography has always been a three-step process.

In my previous career as a commercial photographer, I employed a simple plan to guarantee a successful shoot every time: preproduction, production, and postproduction.

The same plan guarantees you’ll get great headshots showing you as a confident, approachable professional.


1. Preproduction - Setting the stage for success.

  • Skip this step, and the best you can hope for is frustration and disappointment.

  • We begin with a 30-minute video call to “break the ice” and get to know each other.

  • We talk about your career and aspirations and how to prepare for your shoot.

2. Production - Executing our creative vision.

Smiling woman's professional headshot.
Dr. Cecilia Lopez, Ph.D. Charm and compassion are the first things people notice about her. Then her powerful intellect shines through.
  • I'll guide you through the shoot, sharing the tricks that every CEO, politician, or celebrity who’s ever graced the cover of a magazine has been taught.

  • We review our work on my laptop during your session, collaborating to ensure we get the results you want.

  • Your active participation and opportunity to guide the direction of your shoot help build your confidence in front of the camera.

3. Postproduction - Adding the final polish.

  • You select the headshots you want.

  • I send your headshots off for retouching.

  • About a week later, you have spectacular headshots presenting your best self on your best day to share with the world.

That’s my simple three-step plan that guarantees you’re going to look good.

Dean Birinyi is an award-winning photographer, founder, and owner of Professional Headshots Palo Alto. He specializes in expression coaching to guide his customers on presenting themselves as confident, approachable professionals ready for the next opportunity.