Nathan Chapman Photography

What to Wear for Professional Headshots?

What to Wear for Professional Headshots: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you facing the age-old dilemma of what to wear for your professional headshots? You’re not alone; many individuals, whether professionals, entrepreneurs, actors, or web developers, grapple with this question. Dressing appropriately for your headshot session is vital, and this comprehensive guide is here to help you make the right choices.

Best Colors to Wear

When it comes to colors for your headshots, bold and rich shades often work exceptionally well on camera. However, the key is to select colors that complement your hair and complexion, even if they are not particularly bold. Lighter shades can be flattering, as darker colors can sometimes make you appear tired or older. To make the best choice, consider seeking a second opinion from a trusted friend or partner or consulting with your photographer during the session.

Worst Colors to Wear

Avoid neon shades, as they can create unnatural color casts on your skin due to light reflecting off your clothing. Additionally, steer clear of flesh-toned clothing, as it can blend too seamlessly with your skin tone, potentially giving the impression that you’re not wearing a top at all.

Limit Your Whites

While white clothing can be appealing, individuals with pale skin may appear sallow and washed out in white. On the other hand, those with darker skin tones can look vibrant in white. However, photographing very dark complexions in all-white attire can be technically challenging. To strike a balance, consider pairing white shirts with blazers, ties, or cardigans in other colors to minimize exposure issues.

Wear Well-Fitting Clothing

Properly fitted clothing enhances your appearance in headshots. Clothing should neither be excessively tight nor too loose. Well-fitted attire allows you to look your best regardless of your body shape or size. Remember that comfort and confidence play a significant role in achieving appealing headshots.

Add Layers to Your Outfit

Layering can add versatility and style to your headshots, creating a slimming effect when done in moderation. Consider incorporating elements like suit vests, blazers, cardigans, jewelry, or scarves into your attire to achieve a polished look.

Opt for Soft Materials

Comfort is crucial during a headshot session. Scratchy or irritating clothing can make you appear uncomfortable in your photos. Soft materials that feel gentle on the skin can help ensure a relaxed and confident expression.

Iron Your Clothes

Wrinkles in clothing are not typically edited out of headshots unless advanced editing services are purchased. To avoid wrinkles, especially in materials like cotton, it’s advisable to iron your clothes the night before your session. If you’re concerned about wrinkling during transportation, consider bringing freshly ironed attire and changing at the studio before the session begins.

What Not to Wear for Headshots

While knowing what to wear is essential, understanding what not to wear is equally crucial:

– Avoid Clothing with Logos or Images: Logos and large images on clothing can divert attention from your face and diminish the professional impact of your headshots.

– Limit Patterned Clothing: While patterns can be fun, they can distract from your face. If you opt for patterns, keep them small and unobtrusive, such as a patterned camisole under a blazer or a subtle pocket square in a suit jacket.

– Steer Clear of Thin Straps and Low-Cut Shirts: Spaghetti strap tops and low-cut shirts may lead to discomfort or require editing to hide bra straps. It’s best to choose modest clothing that keeps the viewer’s focus on your face.

– Avoid Casual Clothing: Unless your profession permits casual attire, avoid clothing that appears too relaxed. This is especially important if your headshots will be used for job applications or represent your company’s brand.

Industry-Specific Clothing Recommendations

The ideal clothing for headshots can vary depending on your profession:

– Corporate: Stick to professional and business-appropriate attire, steering clear of overly casual clothing items.

– Actors: Consider multiple outfits that reflect the diverse roles you aspire to play. Each outfit should match the character you wish to portray.

– Personal Branding: Embrace creativity and showcase your personal style. Align your clothing with your brand’s colors and messaging.

– Models: Opt for basic and casual clothing, such as tank tops or t-shirts in neutral colors. The focus should be on your natural appearance.

– Tech Industry & Developers: Dress according to your company’s culture, leaning towards a mix of casual and business attire if necessary.

Additional Tips for Your Headshot Session

Beyond clothing choices, there are several other considerations to ensure a successful headshot session:

– Makeup in Moderation: Enhance your features with makeup, but avoid overdoing it, aiming for a natural look.

– Keep Jewelry Simple: Choose modest and complimentary jewelry that doesn’t overshadow your face.

– Plan Haircuts in Advance: Schedule haircuts a few days or weeks before your session to ensure a natural look.

– Prevent Dandruff: Use dandruff shampoo before the session to avoid any flakes showing up in your photos.

Headshot Preparation Checklist

To make your headshot session seamless, consider bringing along the following items:

– Lint roller for pet hair and lint.
– Blotting powder or blotting paper for oily skin.
– Lipstick for touch-ups.
– Hairbrush or comb.
– Hairspray to manage flyaways.
– A cloth for cleaning eyeglasses.
– An extra outfit if necessary.

Remember, your headshots are a reflection of your professional image, so thoughtful clothing choices and grooming can go a long way in achieving the desired impact.

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