Choosing clothing for headshots: MEN
For ideas of good clothing looks and headshot attire for men, see our Wardrobe Ideas Pinterest board:
Choosing clothing for headshots: WOMEN
What to wear for a professional headshot
Choose a professional suit or business-oriented outfit that has a classic look: you shouldn’t be able to tell what decade it is in the photo. Don’t choose anything with bold, distracting patterns or colors, unless you can layer a plain blazer or sweater over it so not much of the pattern is showing and you get just a pop of color. Professional beard looks.
Clothing with tight grids or a small herringbone pattern can have a moiré pattern effect on camera, so stay away from grid-like patterns. Thin stripes are okay.
Try not to wear stark white unless it’s under something, such as a suit jacket, cardigan, or sweater. V-necks accentuate the neckline and generally look best on women. Just don’t choose something with too low of a neckline: no cleavage. And no turtlenecks: they tend to make people look like they have no neck at all in photos.
Try to stay away from short sleeves or tank tops: executive headshots tend to look better without bare arms, but if you'd like to try showing arms in a sleeveless blouse or shift dress, we could make it work. Just bring a blazer or sweater to put over it as an additional option.
For jewelry, go for something small, classic, and not very reflective or flashy. Earrings shouldn’t dangle more than an inch from your earlobe. Simpler is always better, so if we notice your jewelry before we notice your face, we may ask you to remove any excess jewelry.
Professional beard style
For ideas of good clothing looks and headshot attire for women, see our Wardrobe Ideas Pinterest board:
Choosing Clothing: ACTORS &, ENTERTAINERS
What to wear for an acting headshot
Entertainers can break a few rules for clothing for headshots, but one rule stands: it shouldn't distract from your face. Choose something in a flattering color with a flattering neckline, and no logos, distracting patterns (classic or subtle patterns are okay), or lots of sequins/glitter, etc. choose something classic and simple.
For ideas of good clothing looks for actors/entertainers, see our Wardrobe Ideas Pinterest board:
Makeup- do it yourself or hire a make-up artist?
Should I hire a make-up artist?
We're often asked if we recommend having a hair and makeup artist present for your session, and our answer is always, "it's up to you." You know yourself best and your own makeup routine and abilities. We normally recommend makeup artists for people who barely wear any makeup or wear no makeup at all, if you have uneven or blotchy skin, if you can never get your hair to sit right for a photo, if you've never liked the way your makeup has photographed in the past, or if you just want that extra bit of insurance for your photo session. There's a more extensive breakdown here of who benefits the most from having a pro stylist on site for their headshot. We work with makeup artists who specialize in headshots and have been trained in makeup specifically for print and motion photography. They will work with you to talk through how much makeup you usually wear, what colors and tones, and will build upon your usual look to make it photo-ready. The goal is for you to look like you, but for your features to pop and you look naturally beautiful.
Here's an example of what professional makeup looks like on camera. The first images are of our two brave volunteers with no makeup, then with makeup they applied themselves and their hair how they normally wear it. The final photo was taken after a professional hair and makeup artist applied their makeup and styled their hair. No retouching was done to the photos below.
Should men have a makeup artist for their headshot? Just like with women, it's up to you. Most men who add a makeup artist to their session do so because there's something they notice in all of their photos that they don't like and would like to correct with makeup, such as excessive shine, redness, or unruly hair.
How to prepare for your headshot
Prepare for your headshot by taking care of yourself in the days leading up to your headshot session. Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking, and drink plenty of water for a few days and on the day of your headshot. This will make your skin very hydrated to fill in lines and wrinkles, undereye circles, and give you a healthy glow. Get plenty of sleep the night before your photo so you're rested and ready to go.
Hair: Don’t cut or dye your hair right before the shoot, especially men since stylists tend to cut hair a little shorter so it looks like it's at its proper length about 2 weeks later. Some shades of freshly colored hair can look too vibrant and unnatural on camera, especially a hair color with any red tones-- drawing more attention to your hair than your face. A new haircut also looks its best after at least a week, and colored hair looks more natural after 1-2 weeks’ worth of shampooing.
Teeth: If you want to whiten your teeth before your session, start as early as possible and use a natural whitening method, or have your teeth whitened with your dentist. A quick emergency whitening method that works for many people is to mix some toothpaste with about 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of food-grade hydrogen peroxide, and about 1/2 teaspoon of water. Polish your teeth with this mixture and it should quickly whiten your teeth a shade or two. But don't use this method more often than once a month- baking soda is abrasive and can wear away at your enamel if used too frequently. (And retouching is also a much safer option!)
Beards: If you have a beard, trim it evenly so it’s nicely groomed. If you’re going clean-shaven, get a good shave before your headshot. Darker colored beards tend to be accentuated in photos- trim it well so it's not too thick.
Professional beard style
And remember to have fun and not take it too seriously! We know that's a little difficult after all these do's and don'ts, but we promise to make the experience as relaxing as possible. You got this.:)