How to Dress for Headshots
Whether you are an experienced actor, or just starting out in the business – there is no better time than now to master your headshot wardrobe.
The key components that make for a great photo are color and style; two things all actors have plenty of! This article will provide some basic guidelines on how best dress yourself in order produce high-quality images while also being comfortable during shooting sessions (and not wearing anything too uncomfortable!).
I’ve worked as both a photographer and an actor myself, so I know what works when it comes to first impressions.
Don’t Wear White
Your white shirt will reflect 100% of the light that hits it, meaning you’ll always be completely blown out in an image.
So if I adjust my camera settings to expose for your face which is what’s important about a headshot and nothing else around or behind you, then this should make sense why all anyone would see are their own clothes sparkling brilliantly as though they were alone on stage singing away as the star of their own show.
Avoid Colors Close to White
For headshots, it’s important to choose the right color of clothing.
White or light shades can cause photos that are too bright and blown out because they reflect all of those extra lights in front when taken with an SLR camera lens– meaning your face will be lost among other elements behind you as well! Don’t worry though; dark shirts work great for this type shoot too but just make sure its a shade closer towards midnight blue rather then black if possible.
Picking the right colors for your headshots can be tricky, but this handy cheat sheet will make it easy.
Black Always Works
Black is the ultimate attention-shifting colour. If you’re looking for something to make your face stand out, this should be at top of list!
Pick Colors to Contrast Skin Tone
You should always pick a shirt color that contrasts against your skin.
For instance, if you are normal caucasian guy and want people to notice how handsomely toned you look on TV then avoid choosing any cream colored or beige shirts because they’ll almost blend in with whatever outfit is underneath! Darker complexions need not worry so much either–lighten up the tone just slightly by going red instead of blue; this makes everything stand out nicely without looking too splashy.
Well, if you can’t wear white then what the heck are some other colors that will complement your skin tone and add some excitement to headshots? Believe it or not there is still lots of variety in this world. For dark-skinned people, a deep purple shirt looks great – especially with an all black outfit! Similarly for folks who have fair nicely tanned complexions; even reds/yellows work well when paired together. Against asian or latino skin tones, greens and teal usually works. These are just ideas and not strict rules.
Busy Patterns are Distracting
Nowadays, most people are interested in headshots that show off their personality. They want something professional but also fun and interesting so you stand out from the crowd! The best way to do this is by picking an outfit which has nothing distracting on it–focus should always remain on your face rather than clothes because those are what will really grab someone’s attention!!
A picture is worth 1000 words – if they’re great shots then why not let them speak volumes?
Bring extras.. of everything
Photography is an art, not just a way to get some headshots for your comp card. In fact- you should be prepared!
Bring at least two alternates so that we have options if we don’t like the way it looks on camera or… in case something spills while we’re shooting… because, things happen, but let’s hope nothing will, but if it does, we would only left gutted if we couldn’t shoot which doesn’t help anyone’s career path?
Crew Neck or V-Neck Shirts?
For men, I highly approve of solid colored V-neck shirts. However if you only bring crew neck styles to the party that’s fine too! Just don’t go too casual or too smart, this isn’t a office job headshot.
For women it’s preferred that they wear something with a bit more flair, softer lines and fabrics that are form fitting vs ridged suit style jackets and blouses, so go ahead and pick out something elegant yet still comfortable. Whatever matches your personality.
Wrinkles Ruin Photos!
Before your headshots shoot, make sure that you iron the clothes and hang them on hangers. You want to look good so don’t wad up shirts in a ball before heading to your session!
Layer, Layer, Layer
You can take your outfit from drab to fab by adding an interesting layer of textured fabric over another shirt. The best way is with a classic, clean-cut style shirt that’s unbuttoned so you have more freedom in how formal it looks!
PRO TIP! To put together a sophisticated outfit, make sure your shirt, sweater or jacket have matching colors with the top two layers. Avoid patterns and stripes as they can be too busy for layering on top of another garment – especially if you’re wearing something dark or light colored underneath it instead.
Select Clothes that Fit
We all know the “camera adds 10lbs” so don’t help it by wearing clothes that don’t fit. Nobody wants a baggy person in their picture!
Keep Tags on Clothing for Returns
The perfect wardrobe for your headshots session doesn’t have to break the bank! Many actors are on a tight budget and it can be difficult buying clothes that will look good in photos. If you need some new things, just remember – stores will always take them back if you don’t want them anymore after our time together so make sure not only do they fit well but also check any tags before returning anything (I found most places accept returns within 30 days). ;)