How To Dress For An Actors Headshot Session
10th July 2020 - Ian Shuttleworth
I’m often asked for tips in getting the best results from a headshot session...
In short, it’s all about preparation, presentation and the commitment of the actor.
The preparation is in knowing what you want to achieve from your headshot session by doing the necessary groundwork in order to be confident with your image and the way you want it promoted.
Presentation is more about conveying your character during your photo shoot by combining a variety of ingredients including dress, look, style and appeal to the digital format.
As for commitment, it’s all about having the resolve, confidence and self-belief in yourself that guarantees a successful shoot.
Choosing what to wear for a photo session may, on the face of it, sound like a simple task.
Dig a little deeper, and when you start to think about the image you want to portray and where you want your headshots to be seen, you may then begin to find the whole process a little overwhelming.
Remember, the aim of a headshot is to emphasize your face and your eyes, not your clothing.
Poor outfits can detract from your face, and often create an adverse impression on the success of your headshot.
The secret is to prepare yourself in advance.
Firstly, it’s important to have a chat with your photographer, taking some time to discuss what you want to achieve. After bouncing a few ideas around, you should have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish and feel more comfortable with your photographer.
Do a bit of research, have a look at other actor’s headshots and pay attention to what they are wearing. Think about what colours work with your tones and what clothes are appropriate to demonstration your personality.
A few tips that may be of help to you…
Try to stay away from heavy patterns, as they can detract from your face. Examples include: floral prints, stripes, polka dots, or any designs that are too “busy” or distracting.
Stay away from wearing clothing with logos.
Avoid wrinkled or bulky clothing as it can look unprofessional and nothing that’s too stretched out or hasn’t been ironed.
Pick colours to contrast your skin tone and don’t wear anything that takes attention away from your eyes. Stick with darker colours rather than lighter colours, as the darker or mid-tone colours tend to put more emphasis on your eyes, instead of the clothing.
Always avoid lighter colours that are similar to your skin tone, as they can make you appear washed out.
You may be tempted to choose a fashionable, trendy outfit, but stay away from funky styles that can become quickly outdated.
Women should generally avoid low cut tops, as it can be difficult to crop close. Avoiding short-sleeved blouses is a good idea too as they can be distracting and ideally, you don’t want to have bare arms in your images.
Men should avoid crew or V-necks as they can be unflattering, and turtlenecks are a no-no. Good styles to consider are solid coloured shirts or tops that have some type of a texture. Long sleeves are usually best, and you might consider wearing a collar if it matches your personality.
Launder and prepare clothing that you plan to wear, prior to your shoot day.
No overly bright colours or accessories that you don’t usually wear.
And finally, don't be afraid to take a good selection of clothes and allow your photographer to choose what works best!
Have you got something else in mind?