Headshot Tips: Getting Ready For Your Portrait Session

  1. Choosing Clothing: MEN
  2. Choosing Clothing: WOMEN
  3. Choosing Clothing: ACTORS
  4. Makeup- do it yourself or hire a make-up artist?
  5. How to prepare for your headshot

Choosing clothing for headshots: MEN

What to wear for a professional headshot

When choosing clothing for your professional headshot: think classic. Pick your favorite suit that fits you well and is preferably a classic dark color like navy blue or gray. Choose a suit that doesn’t bunch up when you button it or if you sit down, and a shirt and tie that match each other and the suit.

Try to stay away from anything with bold, distracting patterns or colors. Clothing with really tight grids or a small herringbone pattern can have a moiré pattern effect on camera, so stay away from tight grid-like patterns.

If you don’t wear a tie, choose a non-white shirt if possible: white shirts without a jacket and tie to break them up can lose detail in the color and folds. And if you wear a button-down shirt, it’s best to wear a jacket or sweater of some kind to layer the look. If not, choose a darker color shirt or something with pockets or details to avoid it looking like a head floating on a blank, boxy shirt, and unbutton a button or two. And make sure we can’t see your undershirt beneath the button-down shirt: wear a v-neck or no undershirt at all.


Should men have a makeup artist for their headshot? Just like with women, it’s up to you. Most men who add a makeup artist to their session do so because there’s something they notice in all of their photos that they don’t like and would like to correct with makeup, such as excessive shine, redness, or unruly hair.

Choosing clothing for headshots: WOMEN

What to wear for a professional headshot

Choose a professional suit or business-oriented outfit that has a classic look: you shouldn’t be able to tell what decade it is in the photo. Try not to choose anything with bold, distracting patterns or colors, unless you can layer a plain blazer or sweater over it so not much of the pattern is showing and you get just a pop of color.

Clothing with tight grids or a small herringbone pattern can have a moiré pattern effect on camera, so stay away from grid-like patterns. Thin stripes are okay.

Try not to wear stark white unless it’s under something, such as a suit jacket, cardigan, or sweater. V-necks accentuate the neckline and generally look best on women. Just don’t choose something with too low of a neckline: no cleavage.

For jewelry, go for something small, classic, and not very reflective or flashy. Earrings shouldn’t dangle more than an inch from your earlobe. Simpler is always better, so if we notice your jewelry before we notice your face, we may ask you to remove any excess jewelry.

Choosing Clothing: ACTORS & ENTERTAINERS

What to wear for an acting headshot

Entertainers can break a few rules for clothing for headshots, but one rule stands: it shouldn’t distract from your face. Choose something in a flattering color with a flattering neckline, and no logos, distracting patterns (classic or subtle patterns are okay), or lots of sequins/glitter, etc. choose something classic and simple.


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