Three Steps to the best professional headshots

Professional photography is a three step process: preproduction, production and postproduction. I’ve followed this process on every project I shot in my career as a commercial photographer.


Hollywood has followed this model for more than a century because it maximizes the opportunity for success.


  1. We set the stage for success by defining your goals and preparing you for your photo shoot.

  2. We create photographs showing you as a confident and approachable professional at the top of your game.

  3. Together we select photographs that will open the doors of opportunity for you.

Chinese woman's professional headshot on light grey background.

In-Depth Three-Step Process

1. Preproduction - Before Your Photoshoot

  • A few days before your session, we'll speak over the phone about where you are in your career and where you're going. I'll answer all your questions and ask some of my own to help me understand who you are and what you need from me while I lead you through your photo shoot.

  • I'll send you a tip sheet telling you how to prepare for your headshots. 

2. Production - During Your Photoshoot

  • There's no time limit on your session. We don't take longer than we need, but I won't rush you out the door. I usually work on men's headshots for about 90 minutes. For professional headshots, women's hair and makeup require more time, so we'll work together for 2 1/2 to 4 hours.

  • I ask you to bring 6 - 12 outfits for your business portraits. We'll work together to choose the ones that work best and send the right messages and communicate the correct "attitudes" in your photos. 

  • I'll coach you on expression, posture, and pose and elicit authentic expressions of confidence and approachability in your headshots.

  • We stop and review our work on my computer several times during your shoot. You'll address the camera with greater confidence and engagement once you see how good you look.

3. Postproduction - After Your Photoshoot

  • The most challenging part of a photo shoot is selecting the final photos. I've been doing this for 35 years and will use my expertise to help you narrow your choices down, and explain the differences between pictures in plain language so you can make good, objective decisions about which photos you want.

  • At the end of your studio headshot session, we'll sit down and review your photos.
    Together we'll develop a short list of the best shots.

  • You'll pick your favorite shots to be retouched by my trusted digital artist, Serhii. He adds the final polish to give you magazine-cover quality professional headshots.

  • About a week later, I'll send high-resolution and low-resolution JPEGs to you via WeTransfer. I include a third version sized for LinkedIn profile photos and social media.

Do you want to learn how to get the most from your business headshots?

The Headshot Success Guide shares all you need to know to go beyond searching google for "headshot photography near me" and make well critical decisions about your business portraits and your headshot photographer.


Viewable Online or PDF Download.

Table of Contents:

Handshots & Handshakes

Every picture tells a story

Why Hire a Pro

Controlling perceptions

Selecting Your Photographer

The wrong photographer will not give you the right headshots

Dressing for Success

Combining style with professionalism

7 Essential Headshot Tips for Men

9 Key Headshot Tips For Women

Don’t Sit For It

Projecting strength and confidence in your headshots

Selecting Your Headshot

Setting the stage for your next career move

Projecting Your Executive Presence

Promoting engagement with your headshots

Executive Headshot Success Guide

Open Saturday for your convenience  •. Hours: Tues - Sat 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sunnyvale  •  Mountain View  •  Los Altos   •   East Palo Alto  •  Palo Alto  •  Stanford  •  Menlo Park