What do I wear for my headshot photo session?

(and ten tips on choosing what looks best for you!)

Choosing what to wear to a headshot session could make all the difference between having a good photo or a really great photo. The number one mistake most people make when deciding what to wear is that they’ll go with outfits that are in fashion. That’s usually not an issue if you update your headshot regularly (and by that I mean every year), but if you update every two or more years, then wearing what’s fashionable at the time is a definite no. What people tend to forget is that fashion changes and it changes fast. What’s in this year is out the next and that quickly ages your headshot. So what should you do to prevent this from happening? The obvious thing is to wear colours that won’t go out of fashion. Blacks and whites are always in and even when they’re not, they still don’t look out of place.

So how do you decide what to wear? The first thing to avoid is clothing that has patterns, stripes and polka dots. Unless any of the above are part of your companies uniform, then avoid them at all costs. Remember, when someone is looking at your headshot, we want them to look at you and not judge you by what you’re wearing. The other thing to do really conscious about is to wear something that you like. I’ve had people in the past who go out and buy a new outfit for the session only to then come in and do it again because the outfit they wore wasn’t exactly one that they liked. I always suggest to my clients to bring in more than one outfit so we can do a clothes change. That way, they have more than one option when they look through their images. Following are my top ten tips on what to wear (and what to avoid) to your next business headshot session.

  1. Neutral colours are the best. Blacks, whites, navy and cream colours work best and they never go out of fashion.
  2. Bring a second outfit to your session. If a complete change isn’t a viable option, bring a different jumper, jacket or cardigan along.
  3. For the men, if you would normally wear a tie, bring a few different ones along. The same thing applies here as above, avoid polka dots and ties that are too bright.
  4. If you wear a uniform for your business, bring that along as one of your options, but then also have some of the shots taken is an outfit other than your uniform. That way, you can change your profile photo if the uniform changes before you update your photos next.
  5. Black isn’t a “thinning” colour! Contrary to popular belief, wearing black doesn’t necessarily make you look thinner. What makes you “look thinner” is the lighting and the way you are posed. So don’t just choose black purely for that reason.
  6. Iron your clothes! You would be surprised how many times I have to photoshop wrinkles out of clothes. Yes it can be fixed but I can guarantee you, they look much better when they’re ironed!
  7. As simple as this seems, bring a brush for your hair. It takes two minutes to give your hair a brush and fix up all the strays which always show so nicely under studio lights.
  8. Do you have pets? Grab a lint brush and give your clothes a good brushing before you come in. It’s even worth bringing the lint brush along to your session, especially if your pets have been in your car.
  9. If you’re going to wear a tie, make sure you wear a shirt that you can do the top button up. It just looks so much more professional when that top button is done up.
  10. Ladies, if you’ll be wearing a white or light coloured top, make sure you also wear a skin or light coloured bra. Black under white will be seen and can’t be fixed in photoshop!

It’s all as simple as that. Follow those ten easy steps and you’ll be guaranteed a picture perfect profile photo in no time. You can follow and see more of my headshot sessions on Instagram and feel free to connect with me on Linkedin.