What to Wear for Headshots

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We’ve all been catfished by a headshot at least once. You know, when you constantly email with someone and see their email signature photo but when you meet them in person, you barely recognize them. It’s so easy to get carried away and glammed up for a headshot, but you want to make sure you’re showing your beautiful, authentic self. 

So, what do I wear?

Everyone’s bodies are different, so different styles will flatter different figures. It’s important that YOU feel good in your outfit, and it will reflect in your photos as well. But if you’re questioning whether your favorite top actually looks good on you, these tips will help you make that judgment call. 

  1. You want to avoid wearing anything too flowy- especially bat-wing arms or large tops without shape. 
  2. Baggier clothing can be distracting, and draws attention away from the most important part of the photo, YOU! 
  3. For a cleaner look, go for a tighter top that fits well in the shoulders. Also, since headshots are cropped closer to your face, moderate necklines may seem low!  
  4. For the ladies, tops and dresses that are pinched at the waist are often incredibly flattering and create a beautiful silhouette. 

Unless you really love your arms, wearing a top with sleeves is always a great choice. 

**If you can’t decide on an outfit, LAYER! A removable layer can create a totally different look in seconds; blazers are great for this, creating a nice silhouette while offering a quick change. 

Think about the colors you choose

The colors you choose to wear for your headshot can dictate how you’re perceived. Bold colors can show assertiveness and confidence while softer, neutral colors come off as approachable and friendly. No matter what colors you choose, make sure they fit who you really are. Being perceived as a total badass only works if that’s who you are in real life. 

  1. Dark, bold colors photograph great, and neutrals are always a classic look! It’s super important to pick colors that will compliment you and your skin tone.
  2. Be careful with all-white tops. In photos, white tends to draw the most attention and can wash out lighter skin tones. 
  3. Pick colors that pair well with the backdrop you will be using or even your brand colors. 
  4. Tight patterns are generally a no-go when it comes to pictures because they can be distracting and may cause a “flashing” effect on camera. 
  5. Avoid wearing clothing with logos that aren’t yours. No one wants to see a Nike swoosh across your headshot.

Hair + Makeup Tips to Consider

When it comes to makeup, you want to wear just a little more than you usually would, while still looking like yourself. Get it as flawless as possible, remember the camera picks up EVERYTHING, so mascara flakes, lipstick on teeth, or smudges will be visible! Studio lighting is notorious for making you look washed out, so a little mascara and extra color in your lips and cheeks will help give you some color. If you’re considering getting a spray tan, go for it, just do it at least two days before! You can also add a little powder to your forehead, nose, and chin to take the shine out of places that don’t need it and let the rest of your face GLOW. 

For styling your hair, pick something that looks neat, but not too tight or slicked back. Your hair should frame your face; if it’s too tight, your features may seem severe or make you look uptight. Keep an eye out for flyaways and hairspray them down if you see any. Your hair and make-up doesn’t need to be anything over the top, but a little goes a long way! And if you’re looking for a power pose headshot, maybe consider a manicure. Sometimes, headshots show your hands, so having your nails done will just add to the overall look of the photo. 

Of course, no outfit is complete without accessories. Just like with clothing choice, jewelry should accentuate your look , not distract from it – yes, that means your apple watch and hair ties should be removed before your photo. Pick simple pieces, like necklaces with small pendants and stud earrings. Don’t worry, simple doesn’t have to mean boring, pick pieces that you think are fun, but keep in mind the goal of the photo is to see your face, so avoid anything too flashy. 

The more prepared you are walking into your headshot, the better they will turn out! While you’re prepping, look for other examples and find inspiration in other people’s headshots. See what you like and what you don’t and make it your own. At the end of the day, you want to walk away with a headshot that you’re proud to use to represent yourself for years to come.  

Need a few more Awesome examples?