So you want to know what to wear…
You are an advertiser, a successful business person and you need a headshot, now what?
You’ve found a great photographer, but being in front of a camera is probably your least favorite thing to do in life—a step below teeth extraction. But this is business and business is how we interact with other people, how we present ourselves. It’s putting your best face forward for the world and your client’s to see. It’s not that bad…really.
Here is some general advice before you get started. If you have some time before your shoot—mostly ladies, but men too, get your hair done. Day of your shoot is great, but even a week before getting those roots taken care of is a must! Photoshopping grey hair is not an easy task and often doesn’t look natural. Men, don’t assume you don’t need a haircut as well—unless, you don’t have any hair to cut.
Clothes. Above all, you want to look like you. You want to feel good in what you’re wearing. I don’t mean Saturday morning sweats, but something your friends might have said, “Wow, you look great in that color.”
If you are doing a headshot here are some rules to follow:
- Nice, clean, pressed lines around your neck.
- Nothing too low cut as it may be cropped and you want to look like you are wearing clothes.
- In general, sleeves are better. As perfect as those guns are, bare arms can draw attention to your arms and not your beautiful face. If it’s more than a headshot, arms may be okay.
- Stay away from distracting prints and patterns or colors that may clash with your background. For example, if you are shooting outside and your background is green, stay away from red—so we, your viewer, doesn’t think it’s a Christmas photo.
- Stay away from big chunky jewelry, unless that is your business. A necklace can be great to break up a solid neck line.
- Men, pressed shirts only, as wrinkles show. Solid fabric shirts verses lines and/or checks are best. If you are wearing a tie, a suit coat is best. If you are wearing a suit, make sure it fits! All the way to the sleeves.
- Make-up, not a bad idea—professional for the camera is always preferred. Non-mineral based, please. Skip the sunscreen as that can appear like a mask when light hits it. So think about if there is sunscreen in your moisturizer or foundation. A darker lip color is okay—things are less dramatic than you think.
- If you have questions, ask. If you need help, look to your friends or significant other. If you want to bring choices for us to look at, do it. We can usually tell what’s going to look the best—or we can shoot and look and decide. Ladies, coats, as cute as they are, can appear bulky and make you look wide. Unless it’s a tailored suit coat that fits. Suit coats are better buttoned so they give you a nice V (it’s slimming, trust me).
In general, if your photo may include more of you than head and shoulders, dress from head to toe.
This brings us to group shots. Whether it’s you and a colleague or ninety of your office mates, coordinate colors so you look good together. Remember there are different tones in the same color spectrum. Cool colors and warm tones.
So, you are good at what you do, maybe great, now you need a photo. Dress like you mean it. It’s okay to have your personality shine through–you want to stand out in a good way. The effort you put forth will show. Buy a new outfit–Nordstrom has a great return policy. Drink plenty of water, get lot of rest, we’ll make it as painless as possible. Who knows, you may even have fun!