The excitement of January, a fresh new year, and everyone wanting to be productive always brings along a flurry of professional head shot inquiries. Gorgeous head shots don’t need to be formal and taken against a studio backdrop. They should be a chance for you to show potential clients, bosses, and coworkers a bit of your personality and style, too! For this and many other reasons, it can be downright nerve wracking choosing what to wear for your head shots.
I actually wrote a whole blog post not that long ago about how hard it was for me to choose what to wear for my new head shots. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but who are we kidding? We want the photo that represents us and our business to be AWESOME and that’s a lot of pressure. I don’t know about you, but my head shot (the one that shows up on my website and all my social media pages) usually doesn’t get updated for years at a time. If I’m going to go to the bother of tracking down every single place I need to upload a new photograph, I want to lovelovelove the portrait I choose.
Here are a few tips from my Professional Head Shot Clothing Guide to keep in mind when choosing what to wear for your environmental head shots.
- Style I always recommend my clients bring two outfits, one casual and one formal. It’s nice to have two looks to choose from when picking your favorite photographs. Even more importantly, make sure the outfits you choose represent not just your profession, but also a bit of your style! Are you a professional opera singer or artist? A lawyer or pastry chef? It’s okay to let a bit of that show up in your portrait!
- Colors Avoid going all white or all black. All white tends to get blown out in photographs and with all black you lose detail. If you want to dress in a very light and neutral tone, consider cream or gray instead of stark white. Other tones to stay away from are flesh colors (portraits always look more beautiful when there’s a real definition between face and body) and neon colors (you don’t want your clothing to be so loud that your face is overlooked).
- Patterns Avoid anything loud or distracting, whether it’s a pattern, design or logo. These will all detract attention from your face.
- Accessories Small details give portraits a more styled look. Don’t go overboard, but do add a few accessories to your outfit.. Ladies, I recommend avoiding busy necklaces and going for small earrings instead. Guys, roll up the sleeves of your favorite button down shirt and consider a stylish jacket or vest. Bringing a blazer or jacket along is a quick way of adding an outfit change without the change requiring much time or effort.
- Hair Men, Plan to get a haircut a week before the session. Don’t forget to trim any facial hair and to use a new razor and good shaving cream the days leading up to your session in order to avoid any bumps or redness. If you usually go for a quick and cheap haircut, consider splurging on a really nice one instead so that it would look top shelf. Ladies, consider having your hair professional styled. You want to use these photographs as long as possible and you’ll love them longer if you look your best.
- Stay Classy Wear clothing that is more classy than trendy. This will help keep your portraits from looking dated quickly.
- Be comfortable Try on all your clothes a few days before your session to make sure everything fits correctly! There’s nothing worse than itchy tags, clothing that slips and bunches or shoes that make walking painful. If you choose to wear heels, make your session more comfortable by bringing along a pair of easy-to-slip-on flats for walking. Finally, just relax, smile, and enjoy the session! Your best feature is your genuine smile.