A FEW WEEKS PRIOR TO YOUR SESSION. Schedule your session at least a few weeks out from today. This will give you plenty of time to prepare for your session. Once your session is scheduled, start picking out your clothing, make appropriate hair/waxing appointments, and work with your agent/acting coach to develop your character types.
A WEEK BEFORE YOUR SESSION. Get your hair cut or trimmed (if it needs it). Don’t wait until the day of or a day or two before your session. You want about 1 week of grow out to make your hair look natural. You most certainly DO NOT want to come straight from the stylist: they’ll style your hair and probably in a way you won’t be able to recreate at auditions.
A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE YOUR SESSION. Get any needed waxing. Eyebrows, lips, etc. You don’t want extra hair and you don’t want puffy /inflamed skin. A day or two is great. Also, start drinking lots of water. You want to be nice and hydrated for your session.
THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR SESSION. Lay out all your clothing for your session. Make sure it is on hangers, clean, ironed, and free from pet hair. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids during the day. Get lots of rest. You don’t want to show up for your session with bags under your eyes.
DAY OF YOUR SESSION. Drink lots of water. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your appointment. Be sober (both drugs and alcohol) – even if you think it will calm you – you want to be at your full capacity during the shoot. ARRIVE ON TIME. Bring appropriate payment. And most important: relax. You’re in the hands of a professional.
DURING YOUR SESSION. Be polite and professional. This is a close knit industry. Be prompt, polite, and professional. You never know who you are going to make an impression on. Treat your headshot appointment like a paid gig. Show up and be awesome.
AFTER YOUR SESSION. Usually a few days after your session you’ll get to see proofs. This method varies depending on the photographer. Some provide an online gallery, others have physical proofs, and others do projections in studio. Your photographer will fill you in on the method. Once you have your proofs you get to start selecting your images. Your agent, acting coach, and photographer are all great resources. They also have your best interest in mind and know the industry well. You should also discuss editing with your photographer. You’ll want light blemishes removed, color correction, and light editing. You don’t want the image to look heavily edited. Natural is good.
ONCE YOU RECEIVE YOUR HEADSHOTS. You have your new headshots. Great! Now it’s time to start using them. Send them to your agent for updating. Post it to your website, social media, and other promotional sources. If you have a comp card, start updating and printing. Also, a thank you note or email to everyone who helped goes a long way (agent, coach, photographer).