what to wear for a headshot photoshoot

Ready for your close up? How to Look your best in Professional headshots.

Once you’ve decided to book a photographer, you will no doubt start thinking about what to wear for your professional headshot photoshoot. As with most things, preparation is key and simple is best. Below you will find my top tips for looking your best in your headshots.

best colours to Wear for your headshot shoot

The simple rule for women in dressing for headshots, is that plain colours are your best choice. This is because patterns and prints can date your photo and can be distracting. Choose mid-tone colours in blue, green, wine and purple because they are universally flattering. They also work well in black and white images.

Bright colours can also be fun as long as they don’t overwhelm you.

It’s best to avoid wearing tops in flesh tones (cream, beige, peach, cafe au lait, mocha, etc) as they will blend your face into your clothes. Black can look a bit severe and melancholy though it depends on the look you are going for.  Ideally, substitute black with richer neutrals like chocolate, navy, maroon and forest green. So essentially, for a headshot shoot, a jewel toned blouse is hard to beat.

Another fail-safe tip is to wear a top that accentuates your eyes.

what Shapes and textures work in a headshot photoshoot?

A modest v-neck is universally flattering because it lengthens the neck and displays the décolleté. And unless you are very confident about your arms, it’s often best to opt for blouses with sleeves.

For a less formal look, fine to medium gauge knits work really well too because they introduce textural interest.

The other classic look for a business headshot is the jacket. You might go traditional and wear it over a collared shirt or you could pair it with a collarless top.  This is modern and keeps the neckline simple and sleek. And generally, layers are a good way of adding interest. A shirt or top under a jacket, for example is professional but not too stiff.

You can also add a scarf for a little pop of colour.

And finally, consider your backdrop/s. Lighter colours will pop more dark backgrounds and for lighter backgrounds, a mid tone or bright colour would work well.

In general in dressing for headshots, it’s best to avoid anything too trendy that will date or anything which makes you feel self conscious (After all, for many people having their portrait made will make them feel self conscious enough!) Make sure your clothes fit and that you feel comfortable.

Obviously, if your business is fashion, you can feel free to express yourself with up to the minute clothing and jewellery, but be prepared to replace those images as the clothing dates. And perhaps ensure you also take some shots with more classic looks to extend the life of your headshots. It’s more likely that you would benefit from a Personal Brand shoot to properly showcase your fashionable self.

And what should men wear to a headshot photoshoot?

For businessmen, headshots are pretty straightforward: a suit or jacket and shirt with or without a tie.

If you prefer to have some less formal shots, then it’s easy to remove the jacket and tie and even roll up the sleeves for a more causal look. You can easily achieve three different looks without changing clothes.

A sober suit can be enlivened by the addition of a brightly coloured tie

And a jumper over an open necked shirt delivers a good ‘business casual’ look.

And obviously, depending on your business and what you are trying to achieve with your headshot photoshoot, it might be good to have a few more causal images.

quick recap: a few RULES OF THUMB as you prepare for your photoshoot:

Please find below a summary of guidelines to help you prepare for your session:

• Avoid wearing tops in you skin tone as you risk blending your face into your top. Jewel tones work very well.

• Solids are better than patterns. But textured is fine.

• Modest V necks, round necks and shirts with collars work well. Avoid low cut tops and asymmetric necklines.

•Your selected clothes can be bright but avoid anything fussy which will compete with your face.

• Avoid logos, neon and wrinkled clothes. And make sure all clothes are clean and pressed.

• If you are doing a 3/4 or full body shot and you are concerned about your size, remember that dark colours are slimming.

• Make sure your clothes fit properly along with any undergarments which should not leave unsightly lines or visible bra straps.

• Check your outfit carefully in bright light to ensure nothing is see through.

• Bring at least two different outfits.

• Simple accessories are best. If your look is big or colourful jewellery, make sure it’s not too layered or cluttered.

• Have hair cut and coloured a week before your shoot.

• Consider professional hair and makeup if you do not feel confident doing your own.

• Glare free glasses.

For further information on how I can help you with headshot photography or personal branding photography please email The Studio on info@serenabolton.com, ring 07415 792499 or click to book a Zoom or telephone conversation.

“Photography through the lens of a storyteller”



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