What Do You Wear for Headshots?

So, what do you wear for headshots? This is a common question that can have both a simple and involved answer. First, it depends on who the headshot is for and how the headshot will be used. It also depends on the crop factor of the headshot.

What Should Women Wear During Headshots

So, ladies first. To get even more granular, what should a woman wear for actor headshots? It should be noted answering this question is highly applicable to headshots for other purposes – corporate, models, etc. So, keep reading and don’t skip ahead. Again, keep in mind the crop factor. For acting, most headshots are tight, around from the chest up. So, there is often no consideration required for bottoms or shoes.

What to Wear for Headshots

Color-Coordinating a Headshot Can Make it Pop

Thus, in most cases, wear your most comfortable bottoms and then make careful considerations for your top. In almost any headshot – actor, corporate, etc. – keeping it simple is typically best. Solid colors are great, particularly primary colors or earthy ones. Try to complement your hair color, eye color or both.

Varied Considerations

It’s usually also good to avoid showcasing logos or flashy jewelry. Remember the point of a headshot is to keep the focus on you and not what you’re wearing. This also then means to try and avoid plaids and stripes. Also, try and select clothing that doesn’t wrinkle or bunch up too easily.

In some cases, a headshot might be shot from around the bellybutton up. This is most common in corporate settings. Model headshots can also commonly be shot wider. So now, what you consider wearing for your top is much more important.

Actors and models might sometimes need body shots. Thus, they will need to consider what bottoms to wear. The same rules apply – keep it simple, uncluttered and with solid colors. You might also want to color-coordinate to the background color being used. This is also true for corporate headshots as it can help create a branding element behind all those headshots on the company website.

What Should Men Wear During Headshots

You guessed it – much of the same advice applies. This advice provided is purposely generic, so you don’t feel tied to specific requirements. It’s a headshot, and while certain guidelines should be seriously considered, there are no hard rules. But some headshots might have requirements to be met. So, be sure to verify if yours have such requirements.

When men are being photographed from the belly up for corporate headshots, they might have to consider tie options. It’s usually good to bring 2-3 options to the shoot. Women might want to consider scarf options, and so on.

What to Avoid Wearing for Headshots

There are some things that we can safely say you want to avoid for a headshot. For example, sunglasses are probably not a good idea. Turtlenecks are likely also not a good idea.

Because headshots are often tightly cropped, you generally should avoid tops that have scooped or similar necklines. This is because it can make the headshot appear as though you’re topless. This is likely not what you want to imply.

Dirty or stained clothes should be avoided. Nowadays people often assume a headshot photographer can just Photoshop out a stain. Yes, that’s generally true but it’s safer to not assume it. Also, photographers have a saying that “it’s better to get things right in camera” than in post-production. It just removes uncertainty.

If you’re unsure of what to wear, bring options you can change into. Also, ask your headshot photographer for advice. You can also do a little homework. Look online at headshot examples that you like and try to mirror what they’re wearing. Sometimes, you might like what someone is wearing because of the background color. So, be sure the headshot photographer can closely match the background.

What you wear does matter but, remember that it’s usually important to be minimalistic about it. Your headshot should be about you. It’s for commercial reasons – to post on LinkedIn for potential jobs, to submit to castings, etc. So, make sure the person staring at it is focused on you and not that red, blue and green Hawaiian shirt you somehow ended up with.

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