Tips for Headshots
Clothing choices for your professional headshot photography
When choosing your clothing for your professional headshots avoid complex patterns like stripes or checks and
opt for solid colors wherever possible. This will not only give the headshot a more classic look but will be more
tolerable to look at in several years when styles and trends have changed. Horizontal lines can be difficult to
look at. Varying patterns on different articles of clothing can make for a disaster of a headshot. Vertical lines in
clothes should be minimal but the presence of them can have a slimming effect.
The most important wardrobe tip for professional corporate headshots is to wear something you like, that makes
you feel good! Feeling like you look good with nice clothes, a polished look and a warm smile will result not
only in your enjoying the outcome of your headshot but also effectiveness in meeting your goals for it as well.
It’s supposed to make you look confident and professional so take the time to choose something professional and
classic to help you achieve desired results in your photograph.
What to wear for corporate headshots - Women
Choose a professional suit or 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 blazer or sweater over it so not much of the pattern is showing.
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. No turtlenecks. They tend to make people look like they have no neck at all in photos.
Stay away from short sleeves or tank tops: executive headshots look better without bare arms, but it can work for a model's comp card or an actor/entertainer headshot.
For jewelry, I always prefer a headshot with no jewelry at all, or something small, classic, and not very reflective or flashy. Earrings shouldn’t dangle more than an inch from your earlobe.
What to wear for corporate headshots - Men
Think classic. Pick your favorite suit that fits you well and is preferably a classic dark color like navy blue or gray. Choose a suit that doesn't bunch up when you button it or sit down in it and a shirt and tie that match each other and the suit.
Don't choose anything with bold, distracting patterns or colors. 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 that are a little further apart are okay. Ties look best when their tone lands between the suit and the shirt- so a light shirt, a dark suit, and a tie in a shade somewhere between them. Some ties are too shiny- try to stay away from really reflective, shiny silk ties.
If you don't wear a tie, choose a non-white shirt if possible: white shirts without a jacket and tie to break them up can lose detail in the color and folds. And if you wear a button-down shirt, it's best to wear a jacket or sweater of some kind to layer the look. If not, choose a darker color shirt or something with pockets or details to avoid it looking like a head floating on a blank, boxy shirt, and unbutton a button or two, or choose one without a collar and a medium or low neckline. And make sure we can't see your undershirt beneath the button-down shirt: wear a v-neck or no undershirt at all.
Do's, Dont's and other thoughts
1. Bring two or three changes of clothing so you can experiment with contrasting colors. You
only need the top half of the outfit for “head and shoulder” type headshots.
2. Tell me (before you arrive) the image you are trying to convey. What type business are you in? What is your
corporate or business culture? Look at other photos of those in your company for samples to compare.
If you are "not" a corporate type, let me know what type of look you want to portray. Maybe send me samples of
stuff you like.
3. Dark clothes attract less attention and put the attention on your face and eyes.
4. If you're not comfortable doing your own hair/makeup hire a hair/makeup artist. I can refer you to a few.
5. Be yourself!
1. Don’t get a new hair cut, spray tan etc just before the shoot.
2. Don’t wear white unless you wear it underneath something.
3. Don't wear jewelry that would distract from your face or that looks dated.
4. Don’t overdress. Don't wear "big" jewelry, big scarves, big hair.
5. Don't wear loud stripes or checks. Avoid herringbone pattern.
6. Don't wear a turtleneck (unless it is a very good look for you). In general a v-neck style will be more
8. Don't wear a jacket you cannot button, or you have to stretch to be able to button. It will not look good and
you will not feel good about it. Bring something that fits properly.
9. Don't over-do your makeup. Keep it light and natural.
10. Don’t be afraid to ASK me / CALL me about any of these BEFORE you arrive.
While there are many "rules" to headshots, some can be broken in the right situation.
Wear what you love!
You CAN wear bright colors if it's your personal brand. Splashes of color are great.
Medium to darker colors can project a more serious image.
Do your research before you come in. Think about how you want to market yourself and/or how your agent wants to market you. The more specific you can be the better final product we will have. Look online at headshots and decide what you like and what you don't and figure out why. If you want to show me examples of style you like even if its not from my site, thats fine with me. What type of shot are you looking for? (commercial, intimate, portrait, landscape, full body, 3/4ths, character, lifestyle) It's ok if you dont know as we'll figure it out - but the more you know, the better.
I am committed to making sure you are happy with your images and will show you previews and seek feedback from you throughout the shoot. Please speak up during the shoot, it is important to me that you are happy with your images.