Why is it important to have professional headshots? Often times, it's the first impression someone has of you before they even meet you in person. Look your best by following these tips and tricks on what to wear, and what to avoid, for your professional headshots. When choosing the right outfit, think about the career you have or job you are striving for to help you decide. Certain careers like real estate and business will require you to be very professional, while more creative careers like an interior designer or photographer allow you to be more playful.
"What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language." -- Miuccia Prada
Tips on what to wear:
Choose an outfit you feel confident and comfortable in. When you feel good in what you are wearing, then that will shine through in the professional headshots. If you don't feel confident then your body language and facial expressions will show that.
Choose an outfit that is structured and fits well. Everyone has a different body and different proportions so find something that is flattering for you. Getting clothing tailored makes a huge difference in the way it appears on your body and on camera. It will add that extra level of perfection to the way you look.
Choose an outfit that is classic and timeless. Fashion trends come and go. Pick an outfit that is classic and will look great years from now. You can never go wrong with a tailored black suit and a white button up. It will always be in style, even decades from now.
Choose an outfit that is professional and simple. Looking more professional is always better than looking too casual. Business casual is fine for the office, but for professional headshots you should put your best foot forward. You should always bring a blazer with you. It gives off a more formal look and you can always take pictures with and without it.
Choose an outfit with colors that compliment your skin tone, hair, and eyes. To add a level of contrast to the image, choose colors that are opposite of your skin tone or hair color. When it comes to eye color, picking an outfit that matches your eye color will make your eyes stand out. Also, choosing an outfit that’s a complimentary color to your eyes will make them pop even more.
Tips on what NOT to wear:
Avoid extremely bright/vibrant colors. Avoid colors like fuchsia, neon, and other vibrant colors. If you are getting your photos printed, these colors show up blotchy because printers deal with a CMYK color value. To put it simply, you’ll lose a lot of details because the ink can’t be that vibrant.
Avoid busy patterns or busy stripes. You don’t want your outfit to look like a psychedelic pattern on screen or print. When choosing a pattern, find something that is more subtle, has monochromatic colors, and isn’t very contrasty. Stripes that are very similar in color or have very thin lines work fine.
Avoid very loose clothing that doesn't fit well. An important area to consider for the blazer is around the shoulders and the length of the sleeves. Dresses that are very loose don’t come off very professional. Find a great tailor to help you look your best.
Avoid clothing that wrinkles easily. You want your clothing to look brand new. Shirts, suits, or dresses that are wrinkled automatically makes them look less professional. A suggestion would be to do your photos first thing in the morning or bring the outfit clean and crisp for the photo shoot.
Avoid accessories that are too extravagant. You want your accessories to compliment what you are wearing. It’s best to choose something simple and subtle rather than loud and over the top. Sometimes not accessorizing at all might be the best option.
Use the tips above as helpful suggestions and not as rules written in stone. If you find something that conflicts with the advice above, but you feel it works for what you are going for, then go for it. If you need help on finding business attire that fits with your budget, these stores have a lot of great options. Follow the link to go directly to the business attire section.
An outfit plays only one part in the way you look on your professional portraits. Professional makeup and hair will pull the whole look together. Clear communication with your photographer on what your expectations are will help them guide you throughout the photo shoot. Ask for advice, show examples of what you want, and be prepared. The more work and effort you put into your business attire and your appearance, the happier you will be with the result. In the end, it's about teamwork between you and the photographer to create professional headshots that puts your best foot forward.