Headshot Tips: What to wear for your shoot

Headshot Tips How to prepare for a photo shoot

Simple headshot tips on what to wear and how to prepare for your photo shoot.

  1. Don’t overthink this. A great headshot shows you as relaxed and confident.
  2. Avoid hair cuts or style changes within a days of your shoot.
  3. Go for fitted, contemporary clothing and minimal layers.
  4. Keep your hair style and make-up simple and clean.

Men - Photo Shoot Styles

Suit – Yes or No? – If your industry expects to see you in a suit, then yes.  A contemporary fitted coat looks amazing. Avoid older, boxy suit coats with shoulder pads. I recommend photos with and without the coat.

Suit – Colors & Fabrics – Black is classic. Charcoal, Grey and Navy are more contemporary. A lightly textured fabric adds effortless style. Avoid bold patterns and pinstripes.

Shirts – Button-Ups & Colors – Button-up for sure with a coat. Fitted is best whether wearing a coat or not. Don’t forget your collar stays! Boxy or textured fabric shirts are out dated, bunch up and make you look bigger than you are. White is classic but typical. Cool, light colors are more contemporary. Checked patterns look crisp and modern with and with out a tie.

Ties – Yes or No? – This is personal preference.  Alot of CEO’s and executives are opting out of ties, saying their clients don’t want to see them overly dressed up.  I recommend taking a photo with and without, unless you never wear a tie at all, then don’t bother.  If you wear a tie, make it new and contemporary.  Avoid, frayed, snagged and outdated styles and fabrics. A tie is an accessory that can make or break your look.

Polo Shirt – is it a good idea? – Only if it’s got a company logo on it or it’s ‘brand spanking new’ with a nice stiff collar. If it’s older and you must wear a polo, press it before your shoot and make sure your collar does what it should.

Below the waist – Wear whatever you want, just keep it PG for the photographers sake.

Women - Photo shoot styles

Fitted Attire! – When it comes to women I highly recommend whatever you wear be well fitted. In most cases, women photograph better in fitted attire than in loose or baggy clothing.  A loose, shifty blouse or dress may look great when viewed in the context of a complete outfit, but not so much in a headshot.

Suit, Yes or No? – This is personal preference.  If you wear a suit often or work in a professionally dressed environment then, yes, but make sure it’s a well fitted coat.  Add a pop of color with a simple, fitted top underneath.  Solid colors are great. Camisoles or fitted t-shirts with v-neck or scooped neck are best. Show some skin on the neck and chest but cover the cleavage. Avoid a button-up shirt, big collars and turtle-necks.

Dress, Blouse or Top – Simple is best! Keep the style, color and patterns to a minimum. Ruffles, bows and bold patterns date a photo quickly and don’t always photograph well in a headshot. Fitted tops in cool color tones are very complimentary. Black can be classic & beautiful in a headshot but a little color goes a long way to standing out. Avoid baggy, wrinkled, loose or shifty tops as well as turtlenecks and chunky sweaters.

Bare Shoulders & Arms? – I recommend at least a short sleeve top, 3/4 length to long sleeve the more professional & timeless you want the photo to appear. Avoid strapless, single shoulder or spaghetti straps.  Younger girls may be able to get away with a tank or sleeveless top.  If you go with bare shoulders, beware of armpit fat and wrinkles.

Jewelry & Accessories – Less is best and makes your photo more timeless.  The bolder your jewelry the more often you’ll need to update your headshot as styles change.  If you have a favorite set of big earrings or chunky necklace you want to wear consider taking the photo with and without so you can swap the photos out as your love of the pieces wane.  The bolder the jewelry the more simple the outfit should be.  For scarves, I recommend not wearing them in a headshot.

Make-up – Keep it natural and light no matter your age.  Contemporary, professional headshots for women should reflect who you are on a daily basis. Simple and natural make-up photographs best.  Heavy make-up often looks very un-natural in a headshot and can date the photo quickly.  Opt for light retouching in lieu of heavy make-up to cover blemishes or age.

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