What to Wear for your Headshots

It’s probably my most frequently asked question – what should I wear to my headshot session? The answer depends largely on the look or message you want to get across – are you a laid-back creative? A slick, professional corporate? Think about your personal or business brand and how that might be portrayed in a portrait.

The main focus of a headshot is your face. Things like your clothes, the background or setting will be secondary but should also be considered. Are you shooting in a studio? The plainer the background, the more detailed your outfit can be. If your photos will be taken in your workplace, dress to suit the office mood.

Here’s a few clothing-specific tips to help you select your wardrobe:

What colours work well in photos?

Solid colours or large patterns work best. Don’t be afraid to get creative! If you’re not a plain sort of person, don’t feel you have to dress down for your photos. Neutrals are always safe, but bolder colours can look great too.

How should I use accessories?

If you regularly wear glasses, wear them in your photos. You can play with extra accessories like jewellery and props if they add to your brand message or give a little hint as to your personality or interests. Facial hair should be neat and tidy – either shave the night before, or trim up your beard, sideburns and moustache.

Which colours should I avoid?

Avoid plain black or plain white as these can both dominate your body, remove any shape and give the appearance of a head floating in space. I also recommend staying away from red as it can reflect on your face and mess with skin tones.

If you can’t avoid a white shirt, put a jacket on to break things up a bit.

Don’t wear clothes with very thin/close stripes or tiny checks as the pattern can render strangely in photos (known as the moire effect). Avoid large logos, even if it’s a company logo. These can change and date your photos and are often distracting.

Speaking of shirts…

A well-ironed shirt is essential.

For the boys, polo shirts are good if they look new and have a good collar – don’t choose your oldest one just because it’s comfortable. A simple t-shirt in good condition can work too if a casual look suits your brand.

The Wrap-up

Bring a couple of options along to your shoot (2-3 tops, bottoms are less likely to feature) and you should be fine. Make sure they’re clean and ironed and that you’re feeling as fresh as possible too. Most people are far more photogenic than they realise, so try to relax and enjoy the experience – it’ll come across in your smile and your final images!

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