Whether you’re revamping your LinkedIn profile, adding a personal touch to your business’s website, or gearing up for media appearances, your headshot plays a critical role. Your image should not only reflect who you are but also adapt to various professional contexts you might encounter. Here’s your comprehensive guide on what to wear for your headshots.

How Should I Dress for a Professional Headshot?

What To Wear For Professional Headshots

Multiple Outfits: The Key to Versatility in Your Headshots

When preparing for your headshot session, it’s vital to bring a range of outfit options. Typically, a range of 4-7 outfits provides the flexibility needed for various uses. This assortment should span the spectrum from the polished look of business formal to the relaxed yet refined smart casual style. Some examples may include (but are not limited to):

  • Business Formal: This is the zenith of professionalism. For men, think in terms of a well-tailored suit with a tie, ensuring that the colors complement your skin tone. A blouse and jacket combination or a structured dress with a blazer can strike the right chord.
  • Varied Necklines: Necklines can greatly influence the visual appeal of an image. Consider packing shirts with V-necks, boat necks, collared shirts, and even round necks. Each offers a distinct vibe and can bring variety to your shots.
  • Business Casual: Even if your professional sphere embraces a more relaxed dress code, your headshot isn’t the occasion for everyday wear. It’s about presenting an elevated version of yourself. When selecting more casual outfits for your session, always choose “the good stuff.” These are the pieces that, while maybe casual in nature, are still top-notch in terms of fit, quality, and style. Think of a button-down shirt and jacket (no tie), or crisp blouses. even a neat, plain T-shirt layered with a jacket can work wonders. Just because it’s casual doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look its absolute best. The goal is to convey both approachability and professionalism, no matter the dress code.

Having multiple choices allows you to adapt, especially if during the session you find that a particular outfit isn’t photographing as well as anticipated. Moreover, this diversity allows you to have a selection of images that cater to different platforms – from the more authoritative LinkedIn profile to a friendly company website image.

Comfort and Confidence: The Understated Essentials for Professional Headshots

While the right attire can set the stage, the emotions and self-assurance you bring into the frame are equally paramount. Feeling comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing is crucial for a successful headshot session. If you’re donning an outfit that you don’t resonate with or like, it can lead to visible discomfort, which, in turn, can affect the authenticity and appeal of the final shot.

Often, well-meaning friends, family members, or colleagues might make clothing suggestions based on what they believe will look best. While their intentions are usually rooted in goodwill, it’s essential to remember that you are the one who will be in front of the camera. If a suggested outfit doesn’t align with your personal style or makes you feel uneasy, it’s perfectly okay to set it aside in favor of something that does.

When you love and feel genuinely confident in what you’re wearing, it shows. That natural boost of confidence will shine through, adding a layer of vibrancy and authenticity to your headshot. Your attire should act as an extension of your personality, not an imposition on it. By choosing outfits that you believe in, you’re not just dressing for the camera; you’re presenting a genuine slice of yourself to your audience.

Should I Wear a Tie for My Headshot?

While ties project a formal and polished look, the question of whether to wear one depends on the image you want to convey. If you’re representing a traditional corporate role or industry, it might be appropriate. However, if your professional world is more relaxed, or if you wish to showcase a spectrum from formal to casual, bring the tie and some non-tie options.

What Are The Best Colors To Wear For Professional Headshots?

Color can communicate a lot, even subconsciously. While vibrant colors and patterns might seem appealing, they can often distract from the primary subject of the photo: you. Instead, for professional headshots, it’s advisable to lean towards neutral tones. Shades of gray, navy, beige, black, or white can be both flattering and versatile. These colors help ensure that the viewer’s attention remains squarely on your face and expressions. Moreover, neutral tones exude a sense of professionalism, reliability, and timelessness – qualities often desired in a business setting. If you would like to add pops of color think about pocket squares, ties, and other accessories.
The exception to the neural rule: If you have a color that you LOVE and you feel amazing in, bring that with you.

Professional Headshots in Louisville

What Should You Avoid in a Professional Headshot?

Avoid overly busy patterns, poofy sleeves, large bows, logos, and excessive jewelry, etc. Also, while fashion trends are tempting, prioritize classic styles. These won’t look dated quickly, ensuring your headshot remains relevant for years. If you’d really like to add more trendy fashion, bring both trendy and classic styling with you so you get a good range in your headshot portfolio

Makeup for Headshots

Hire Professionals: If possible, consider hiring a professional makeup artist. We recommend The Beauty Patrol. They’re adept at creating looks that hold up under studio lighting and photograph beautifully. If you’d like to work with the Beauty Patrol for your headshot appointment, let me know when you schedule your session. I will get them lined up for you.
Keep It Subtle: Think of the makeup you’d wear to a job interview or an important meeting – not a gala evening. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t usually wear makeup, consider a powder or mattifying gel to avoid shine. This is one of my favorites:


Preparing Your Wardrobe for Headshots

The devil, as they say, is in the details. Even the most elegant suit or dress can lose its impact if it appears wrinkled, stained, or ill-fitting in a photograph. Ensuring your clothing is well-fitted not only makes you look sharp but also exudes confidence and attention to detail. Before the shoot, take the time to ensure each outfit is freshly laundered, devoid of any stains, and crisply ironed. Something as simple as a misaligned tie or a slightly crumpled shirt can detract from the professionalism of the image. Even in casual looks, make sure that collars are pressed, or if you’re wearing a t-shirt the collar should be in good shape, not loose and misshapen.

Your headshot is often the first impression you make, long before you walk into a room. Invest the time in getting it right. With these guidelines, you’ll have a headshot that you’re proud to share across various platforms and contexts. If ever in doubt about a particular outfit or look, bring it along. We’re here to guide you every step of the way!

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