I get it. Having your headshot taken is hard! And perhaps the hardest part is finding something in your closet to wear to that headshot session. After 10 years and literally thousands of headshots, I’ve put together my 6 best tips for what to wear for your headshot photo shoot.
The first and most important tip for what to wear to your photo session is choosing the right color. I generally tell people to wear a color and style that is flattering for you — one that makes you look great, or that you get lots of compliments on when you wear it.
Jewel tones look great on most people, and so does coral and periwinkle. Navy blues, denim blues, and medium blues look fantastic on most people too.
I generally steer people away from all-white (unless you’re one of the few people who wear white really well). I suggest staying away from beige also and super light pastels, because they tend to wash our skin tones on camera.
Men, if you’re deciding what to wear under a jacket, a soft or medium blue photographs really well. A textured sweater, vest, or suit jacket adds visual interest for men.
Steer clear of super bright colors, like neon orange or lime green, as they tend to add a color cast to the skin.
Black looks great in photos, but it’s best if it’s a bit more fitted (not loose or baggy) and has some visual interest, like lace, cutouts, or texture.
Solid colors and small prints are ideal. Avoid large prints and busy fabrics.
A good rule of thumb when dressing for your headshot session is to wear what you might wear when meeting a new client for the first time.
Your headshot is like a handshake — it’s your online first impression and the way you introduce yourself to a new client or vendor. So dress accordingly!
You also want to consider your personal brand, or your company’s business brand, and your job. If you’re a chef, perhaps you’d like your headshot to reflect what you wear on the job — if you want to make sure what you do is instantly recognizable in one quick glance.
If you have personal or corporate brand colors, choosing outfits in those colors can help solidify your visual brand.
Wear clothes you feel great in!
If you feel amazing in a particular outfit, chances are it will make for a great photograph, because your comfort — and your confidence — will shine through!
You don’t want to be constantly pulling up a too-low camisole or tugging on too-loose sleeves every few minutes during your session. Feeling comfortable in your clothes equates to feeling comfortable in your own skin — and that’s a great place to be when you’re having your photo taken.
I’ve learned over time that wearing the right sleeve length is one of the keys to getting the most flattering photos. Whenever possible, choose 3/4-length or full-length sleeves. This gives your photographer the most options when posing you.
When you choose jewelry or a scarf, keep it simple. Remember, those items are right up against your face, and you want them to enhance, not distract.
Always feel free to bring an extra jacket, jewelry, or scarf with you if you’re unsure which looks best in photos. Your photographer will help you decide (or maybe even take photos of you in both!).
For best headshot results, wear clothes that are in good condition, without logos, and that fit well. Men, a well-tailored suit jacket looks like a million bucks in a headshot photo!
If you’re planning your headshot sessions a week or more in advance, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the best results:
One week before your session: Start drinking extra water every day. This will help rid your body of toxins and make your skin look amazing.
Two nights before your session: Make sure to get a good night’s sleep at least the night before your headshot session, but if possible the two nights before. They don’t call it beauty sleep for no reason!
Wear your makeup as usual, or feel free to apply slightly heavier than you normally apply it.
Also, avoid moisturizer with sunscreen on the day of your photos — it reflects light and can make skin look shiny. (If you’re hiring me a for a mini or full brand session, I recommend having your makeup professionally done.) Click here for a few more makeup tips.
And in case of last minute breakouts, never fear! I retouch! And so do most photographers. So don’t let a pesky breakout get in the way of having a fun headshot session!
Chances are, you have these things in your closet right now! But I’ll never stop you from going shopping for a new headshot outfit, if you need another great piece in your wardrobe. 😉
For more tips on looking fantastic in front of the camera, download my free guide now: 10 Ways to Instantly Look Better in Photos.
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