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What to Wear to Your Headshot Photography Session

When you choose Zack Smith Photography for your photography session we are dedicated to capturing your unique personality in the most professional way possible. We know that determining what to wear is just as a difficult as finding the right photographer. Even though your face is the focus of your headshots, what you wear and how you feel in it, matters. Every detail in your headshot will contribute to your first impression, including your clothing, which is why we put this guide together.

We hope this information helps to ease any overwhelm and give you some guidance to find the best outfits for your upcoming headshot photos. 

Outfit Selection Tips

Choose the right colors

Choose colors that complement your hair as well as your complexion. Take color psychology into consideration. What message do you want to convey using color? Not sure which colors look best on you? Look at old photos or ask people you can trust

Make Sure it Fits You Well

Your outfit should fit you well. An oversized jacket or baggy blouse simply looks unprofessional.

Add Layers

If you want to make your headshots interesting without using patterns and big jewelry, layer your clothing instead. Just do this in moderation if you want it to have the right effect though.

Keep it Wrinkle-Free

Even though your schedule is busy, showing up to your headshot session in wrinkle-free clothing is non-negotiable.

Consider your Niche

If you want your headshots to appeal to employers and clients in your sector, factor this into your outfit choice. If you’re a creative, find ways to add a touch of fun to your headshot without being too distracting.

A Clothing Color Guide

Here are some general guidelines for how to choose the right colors for your headshots and the effect that the different colors and shades can have.

Start with a Neutral or Solid Color

Basing your outfit on a neutral or solid color will ensure you don’t overwhelm the frame. Think white, cream, black, or navy blue.

Contrast for Black and White

If you plan to take black and white headshots, choose contrasting colors. For example, if you’re planning to wear a white shirt, opt for a black or navy blazer. Wearing a lighter shirt with an equally light jacket won’t work for this style of photography.

Keep Color Combos Simple

Layering is great for adding interests to your headshots, but if you’re going to do it, make sure your color combinations work well together.

Reduce Light Reflection Using Deeper Colors

If you’re planning to have your headshot Photo session outdoors, choose deeper colors instead of pale, light colors to avoid looking washed out to do light reflection.

Draw Attention with Bold Shades

While a bold necklace or earrings will draw attention to your face, it will place the focus on your accessories. If you want to draw more attention to your face in your headshots, wear bolder shades around your necklace.

Consider Branding

If your headshots will be used on your website and marketing materials, consider your brand colors. Find small ways to work these colors into your outfits so that your photos are complimentary.

What to Wear Tips For Women

Avoid too Much Distraction

Patterns, logos, and loud accessories will all take the focus off you face, which is why it’s best to stick to solid color tops and blouses and toned-down accessories. It’s also best not to wear tops that are too low cut as it will have the same effect.

Make Sure it Fits You Well

Even though your headshots only focus on the upper half of your body. It’s still important to make sure your blouse fits well as it looks the most professional.

Long Sleeves are Better

Short sleeves add skin to the edge of a headshot, and can also be distracting, which is why long sleeves are better.

Avoid Transparent Clothing

Since you will be taking photos in proper lighting, make sure your top won’t be transparent in the bright light.

Choose right undergarments

Whatever you decide to wear, make sure that your bra is not visible. Check for straps and any bumps that the fabrics might create under your top.

Hairstyle Tips for Women

Go Pro

Ideally, if you have some extra budget, it’s highly recommended that you hire a professional to assist you with your hair on the day of the session.

Don't Make Big Changes at the Wrong Time

If you are planning to cut or color your hair for your headshots, don’t do it too close to your sessions. You never know when something might go wrong, or you aren’t happy with your new look.

Opt for a Natural Style

Not only should you feel comfortable, but people should still be able to recognize you. Opt for a hairstyle that you likely wear to work. Up style can really open up your face and neck.

Don't go Crazy With the Curls

Curling your hair for your headshots is fine, but don’t go overboard, not if you want your photos to still look like you.

Hairspray is your Friend

We’ve all had to deal with fly-aways but they’re not ideal for your headshot session as they can be difficult to edit out. Have a small can of hairspray on hand.

Makeup Tips for Women

Hire a Professional

As mentioned with your hairstyle, its best to hire a professional makeup artist for your headshot session. We have a few local pros we work with and can add it to your proposal or final invoice.

Keep it Natural

Your headshot makeup should make you feel comfortable and confident, so if you don’t generally wear red lipstick, this is not the time to do it. Keeping your makeup as natural as possible is the best way to prevent it from becoming a distraction.

Avoid Highlighter

Because highlighter can make your face appear shiny, it’s best to avoid it on the day of your shoot.

Go Easy on The Powder

Remember, your photographer is going to use a high-resolution camera, which emphasizes the details of your skin, including your pores, too much powder can result in unflattering result.

Skincare Tips for Women

Hydration is Everything

Drink enough water in the week leading up to your session to keep your skin looking supple and healthy.

Book a Facial

For an added layer of hydration, treat yourself to a facial a few days before your session. This is not the time to try new peels.

Schedule a Wax

Unfortunately, facial hair can stand out in a headshot. Which is why you should schedule a wax a few days before your session. Do not wax the day before your shoot as it could still be red.

Exfoliate and Moisturize

Gentle exfoliating your skin a few days before your session will clear away any dead and dry skin and flakes. Make a point of moisturizing twice a day – this is over above your facial.

Get Some Sleep

Getting enough sleep makes a massive difference to your face. You will look more energized and your makeup artist wont need to cover up puffy under-eye bags.

“Zack was excellent. Professional, fast to respond and timely. I’ve worked with lots of vendors and always appreciate someone who dots their i’s and crosses their t’s. The photos were great and our team felt at ease with him photographing their retreat.”

~Victoria Lacayo

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