Forget the Selfie! The Do’s and Don’ts of Headshots and Photoshoot Styling

Headshots2A lot of people have a hard time coming up with good, solid wardrobe choices for a photoshoot or business headshot. It’s stressful sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be!

Depending on the culture of the company you’re representing, you may want to come across as laid-back and friendly, or you may need to portray a sense of trustworthiness, knowledge and professionalism. The location of the photoshoot (in a studio or on location) will also have a bearing on your best camera-ready outfit. Below are some things to keep in mind when picking out the wardrobe for your next company headshot or photoshoot.

1. Color

    Plain colors are your best choice. Try choosing jewel tone or warm earth tone colors like blue, emerald, wine or purple. These colors are universally flattering. Try to steer clear of wearing tops in flesh tones (cream, beige, pastels, peach or yellow) as they will blend your face into your clothes (people with fair skin tones will need to be extra cautious of this!).

    Stark black and white tops are not good choices either because they create havoc with the camera’s exposure or the studio backdrop. Substitute black with richer neutrals like chocolate, navy, maroon and forest green. Also, keep in mind that black is often associated with being somber and guarded, not likely the vibe you want to project when representing your company.

    Try to also avoid wearing primary colors. Red, orange, yellow and green often distract the viewers eyes and cause the person wearing those colors to stand out, which is not the goal of group photos or a collection of headshots.

    A fail-safe tip is to pick a top that accentuates your eyes. That’s why jewel tones work so well across the board for so many people.

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2. Neckline

    Consider the neckline of the top you’re wearing and keep in mind simple necklines draw attention to your face. Avoid blouses that are too low cut or too fussy (ruffles for example)—both of which will be distracting. A moderate V-neck or U-neck are both safe bets.

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3. Seasons

    Avoid sweaters and scarves for your photo because it makes the picture too season-specific. Next summer, when you pull out your headshot to use for a business event, you don’t want to be shown wearing a turtleneck sweater while it is steaming hot outside.

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4. Let Your Personality Shine

    Gone are the days of the stiff corporate headshots where everyone wears a navy blue suit. These are your images and you want them to reflect you and your company, so have a little fun!

    Try to avoid wearing overpowering patterns or prints because they can distract and date your photo. Clothing with tight grids or small herringbone patterns can also have a moiré pattern effect on-camera, which is extremely displeasing to the eye. You will also want to avoid using very heavy makeup, but a bit of color on your lips, eyes and cheeks will help add some warmth and life to your photos.

    The focus for the business headshot is your face, so everything—the background, lighting and clothing—should be kept simple to frame your face. And remember, confidence matters!

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5. Coordinating Outfits

    Try to mix up clothing colors.You want to complement each other’s outfits by choosing colors that work well together. If everyone is wearing the same clothing, they will blend together and the images will fall fairly flat. By wearing a mix of complementary jewel tones or warm earth tones, everyone will go together well without matching.

6. Be Timeless

    Try and pick outfits that aren’t considered too trendy and will be able to be enjoyed and displayed for many years to come.