How to Dress for Your Headshot Session.
A headshot is often the first impression people have of you, so be prepared to look your best
It's a question that I am frequently asked, 'How do I dress for my headshot session?' So today, I thought I would break it down and give you my advice before you hit the studio!
Amongst my fellow photographers in London, the question of what to wear on a headshot session is a very common one, and rightly so. For most people, being professionally photographed is not a common occurrence and not knowing what to wear is a very natural feeling.
Choosing the right clothes, jewellery and hairstyle can make or break your headshot session. Not only can a certain item not look good on camera, but the wrong piece of clothing can also send out an unintentional message about you.
Broadly speaking, a professional headshot is a representation of you as a representative of your company and of you as an individual, so getting your outfit and overall look right for the session is key. If you want to obtain your goals from the headshot session.
Below I share my top tips on 'How to dress for your headshot' broken down into three easy to remember categories. Colour & patterns, style & fit and accessories. Remember these three basic wardrobe principles, and you’ll find that looking your best is as easy as 1,2,3!
How to Dress for your Headshot'
Men and Women
Black and/or white may be your 'go to' wardrobe choice and that’s fine, but photographically, pulling details out of black or white can be challenging. So if you love wearing black or white, by all means bring it along to your headshot session, but also try to find some colourful options too. Men, please no all-black suits or coats, unless they have obvious texture.
If you know 'your colours' bring items from that palette, or try hues that bring out your eye colour and enhance your skin tone. Rich colours and jewel tones are great choices for almost all women.
Boys, avoid a plain white shirt. If white shirts are your signature look, accentuate it with an interesting tie. Avoid the all black jacket, unless it has texture. Charcoal grey is a great choice or anything with colour or texture. Whatever you bring, make sure you feel good wearing it. If you feel good, you’ll look good!
STYLE & FIT
Crew, boat or narrow v-necks are always flattering and will lay very nicely. We want to be certain that we can see your top after the image is cropped. Stand-up collars don’t always 'behave', so I suggest that they are to be avoided during a headshot session.
If you typically wear a jacket to work, bring a couple of jacket choices, but you do not need to wear a jacket to look professional. I’ve photographed plenty of women without jackets and certainly doesn't sacrifice your professionalism or status. Furthermore, make sure your clothes fit perfectly. Try them on a few days before your headshot session, just to check. Generally, a little snug is better than baggy and loose.
Short sleeves or sleeveless styles
Busy or trendy patterns or plaids
Shiny fabrics — no silk or satin
Men, if you’re going business casual (specifically, no tie) bring a couple of casual jackets to your headshot session. A jacket without a tie is an intentional wardrobe choice. But if you wear a suit jacket without a tie, it gives the impression that you are dressing 'down'.
Make sure your clothes fit perfectly. This is especially important for men’s collars, casual jackets and suit jackets. Boys, take a look at your jacket & shirt and watch out for gaps at the back of your neck. But also, make sure your shirt isn’t too tight, a 'neck bulge' over your collar will not look too great on camera.
Think ahead, invest in tailoring before your headshot session if necessary. It will be money well spent for a professional headshot and a professional look going forward. If you’re not confident tying a great tie, tie it before you come to the studio and slip it over your head. A sloppy tie knot looks just that, sloppy. Check out some YouTube tutorials before your headshot session and find the right one for you.
Less is more. Keep jewellery to a minimum (unless it is your signature look). Here are a few jewellery tips for your professional headshot session:
Stud earrings are best—simple pearls, diamonds or other gemstones.
Hoops and dangling earrings can interfere with your hair and get lost in your portrait.
If you have jewellery that has special meaning for you, by all means bring it along. But in the end, we want all the attention on your face, not your clothes and jewellery.
Big jewellery draws attention away from you, and your portrait should be all about you.
If your signature brand is big jewellery, however, bring it along, and we’ll choose the best options for your headshot.
For the men, the above applies to you too!
Glasses and lens glare can be tricky. If you normally wear glasses, plan to wear them for your picture. It’s ideal if they have a non-glare coating, but if they don’t, consider borrowing a pair of glassless frames for your session.
Here're some headshot tips for both men and women across all areas
Don’t wear the clothes for your headshot session in the car, seat belts produce wrinkles that can be hard to get out and will live on film forever! Instead, bring your clean, neatly pressed pieces to the session on hangers.
Make sure everything is clean, pressed and fits perfectly.
Bring at least three to four wardrobe choices. We only need above the waist for professional headshots. But if you feel more confident by putting on the full wardrobe, feel free to bring the trousers and shoes along.
Moreover, have a look at my other top tips on how to get the perfect business headshot here.
Please don't hesitate to check out some of my portrait photography here. And if you would like to get in touch to book your headshot session or any other type of professional photography in London, please get in touch using the details below.