Originally posted on August 16, 2022 @ 11:41 am
Last Updated on June 3, 2023 by inckredible
When you apply for a job, it is highly recommended that you have a website or a blog, or a LinkedIn account at the least. It helps to log your professional updates and achievements. For artists- a portfolio, writers- their articles, web developers- applications and codes. Or it could even be straightforward as a Resume or a CV. One common thread for all is- Your identity, your photo.
Headhunters connect these dots to put a together personality profile. Thus, it can make or break your first impression. So why put up a grainy, old, pixilated, unprofessional picture (That means no selfies!) when you can just as easily get it done by a professional?
So, let us help you prepare for your professional headshots. Read on to find what to wear for professional headshots.
The Stress is real
We understand that getting professional headshots can be daunting. You may get overwhelmed with lights, the camera, and the snap. You may be worried if you’re dressed appropriately, or you have too much make-up on, or your hair has decided to throw tantrums.
Let us tackle this head-on, one by one.
The million-dollar question: What to wear for professional headshots?
What colors should you wear for professional headshots?
Stick to neutral colors and colors that go with your skin tone. If you have a yellowish skin tone, go for warmer shades of colors. Else, pick cooler tones of colors.
Wear colors that you are comfortable in. For instance, if your wardrobe is dominated by whites, pick a white or off-white or egg-shell colored blouse.
Spend some time understanding the color chart to decide what color is associated with what qualities. For example, black is known to give strong, mysterious, confident, and superior vibes.
Since you’d be taking multiple headshots, take pictures wearing 3- 4 of your favorite color pickings.
The general rule of thumb is to avoid eye-popping colors. So if you love fluorescent yellows and greens, it may be wise to save them for informal occasions.
What patterns should you wear for professional headshots?
The purpose of headshots is to highlight your face, neck, and shoulder area. Anything that interferes with that is a no-go. So, go for a plain, simple, textured shirt/ blouse/ dress.
May be camera loves you, but it is not fond of stripes. Also, any busy patterns, bold prints, and large floral patterns create distractions and clash with the background. You don’t want elements that take the attention away from your face. So, say no to big prints.
And no printed statements, logos, or quotes on the t-shirts, please!
How to style your look for a professional headshot session?
Again, ensure that your look is clean. Especially your neckline and the shoulders. Choose outfits that fit well and fabrics that sit nicely on your shoulders. So flowy, chiffon, sheer outfits may not fit the bill. Well-fitted collared shirts are great because they take off your mind from all the unnecessary worries about falling necklines or dropping shoulders.
Women, feel free to choose a tailored-fit formal dress if that’s your style. Getting the perfect headshots is all about confidence. So, choose a dress, or a shirt, or a blouse that is tried and tested. Avoid last-minute shopping!
You can’t go wrong with the blazers. If you have a crisp blazer that you love and it fits you like a glove, use it in your photoshoot. It is a perfect formal attire to nail your professional look. Coordinate the colors and textures of the blazer and the shirt underneath.
Wear something that you would wear every day. Headshots are meant to represent you as a brand. So, your style needs to be congruent with your brand.
Triple check for any loose threads, holes, stains, wrinkles, folds, or anything that can distract you during the shoot.
Lastly, always pack backup outfits!
Should you wear a tie for professional headshots?
Men, ties are optional. If you do wear ties every day professionally, then go for it. However, you need not go out of your way to find a tie just for the sake of taking headshots. A tailored fit collared shirt with a solid blazer or a suit or anything that falls under the umbrella of smart business casuals is good enough.
How to dress your face aka what should your make-up be like?
Go for a natural look. The whole point is to be the person you are. Hence do not schedule last-minute appointments to get a new look. If you trust your make-up skills, put them to good use. Or, if you have someone whose skills you have tried and tested, choose that person to help you with make-up. It needs to be minimal.
Use a lighter hand when you apply the blush and eyeshadow. Remember, you need to look like yourself. How much ever you love smoky eyes, hoodwinks, or cat eyes, keep it simple and professional. Also, be wary of the shade of lip color. Keep it as close to natural as you can. Maybe just some gloss.
Bring your make-up kit with you. Based on the light arrangements or outfit changes, you may want to touch up a bit on the spot.
Men, if beards are a part of your personality and a part of how you appear professionally, keep them on. But don’t forget to groom it before your photoshoot. However, if you wish to shoot with multiple different looks, here’s an idea. Start with a groomed beard, get some headshots, and then if the location and agreement permit, then shave it off and get the clean-shaven headshots too.
Keep a face towel handy for sweat emergencies.
How to style your hair for a professional headshot session?
Okay, this is just as simple or tricky as your hair wants it to be. Needless to say, avoid any last-minute appointments that you may regret. Choose a hairstyle that brings out your best features, and that goes with your personality. If you generally wear your hair down, stick to the routine.
Keep a comb, hairbrush, a scrunchy, and clips with you so that you can incorporate the photographer’s suggestions into your looks. Keep a hair spray handy for setting the hairstyle too.
Dear ladies, don’t go overboard with hair accessories. It’s not a wedding shoot. And men, don’t go overboard with styling gels. The lights and the camera may not take a liking to your shiny top.
How to accessorize for a professional headshot session?
In this section, we’ll cover the accessories that are relevant and visible in the headshots.
It is important to keep the focus of the headshots on you and not on a particular product. So, choose your earrings, pendants, chains, and necklaces wisely. Wear subtle, simple earrings like pearls, or solitaire studs. Dangling, bold and eye-catchy jewelry may distract the people away from your face.
Similarly, for the neck, if you choose to accessorize, wear pieces that match the overall energy and vibe of your look. Save the statement pieces for parties. Keep it simple with a dainty little pendant or a chain that goes flawlessly with your ensemble.
Choose a watch based on the brand you intend to build. Nothing too fancy or too blingy. Pick a smartwatch or stick to the simple classics.
The glasses! The golden question of whether to keep them on or not. If you prefer being seen wearing glasses, then take the headshots with glasses. The photographers are equipped to take pictures without reflections getting in the way. However, if you’re more comfortable without glasses, and they are not a part of your professional personality, then just wear lenses.
How to choose a background for your headshot?
Choosing the right background is critical for a good headshot. It needs to blend with your outfit. If you have an option, choose a neutral background. A wooden bamboo textured backgrounds are an option; try a couple of photos with it. Just mind the intensity of the background. Anything of medium intensity complementing the color scheme of your look is good.
How to pose for your professional headshot?
What you wear reflects how you feel and vice versa is also true. If you are confident in your skin and happy with your look, you have won half of the battle.
Now, we know striking poses could be awkward, and you may feel that you’re making a fool out of yourself but give it some time. The camera captures even the tiniest of the emotions on your face, so be mindful of what vibe you project. Take deep breaths and hold your poses so that you get a good picture.
Side profiles are as popular as the front profiles. Feel free to tilt your head, drop your chin, and use your hands. More importantly, keep looking at pictures and take feedback from your photographer. And in doing so, discover your most flattering pose.
And most importantly, don’t forget to smile!