Professional headshots, the source of many sleepless nights and crash diets across the globe. They scare everyone, Effortless Bitch or not.
When you’re a business owner or an ambassador for another business, professional headshots are that thing missing from your website or LinkedIn profile that can really let down your public image. So, as usual, today I’m going to teach you what to wear when you’re having your headshots taken!
Now, if you’ve been hired by another company/have your dream job, you may have to wear a certain uniform or pick certain colours to suit their brand and if that’s the case you’ll find a few pointers useful in this post but you won’t be able to use absolutely everything. If, on the other hand you are a business owner/world dominator, this post is going to make your heart skip a few beats and it will calm your thoughts like ‘WHAT IF I GET ADULT ACNE THE MORNING OF!’ and other things that aren’t in our control.
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I’ve been infront and behind the camera many times and the two are completely different experiences. Looking comfortable in front of the camera and getting a great shot often feels like the strangest thing in the world. Not being comfortable in front of the camera shows up like that haunting year nine photo from when you got braces and the photographer told you to take all your makeup off and come back for the shot. I feel you!
So, when it’s time to start preparing for that dreaded headshot, you’ll be in one of two situations. One you may have to pose in front of a plain background or outside, or two you may be trying to nail a candid shot that is kind of posed, but you have to pretend you’re not aware of the camera.
I’ve had to do both of these, and let me tell you now, it’s not as bad once you get into it and it’s especially easier when there’s not so many people in the room. You may think you want a friend or family member there for support, but you don’t need it and you will find you can be yourself in front of the camera more without them.
When picking your clothing, the first thing you need to know is what your surroundings will be. If it’s a brick wall, don’t wear orange. If it’s a white background, white is a bad choice. If it’s a busy background, you’ll want to wear something in a complementary colour that is plain.
After finding that detail out, you’ll need to write a list of the type of shots you plan to have taken. For me I needed a few ‘I’m a serious business woman’ shots, some ‘I’m very relatable shots’ and I snuck in a few ‘sex god and my dress is fab shots’ also because I needed options and was as single as a pringle at the time. A great way to plan your shots is to get on Pinterest and create a board of shots you like the posing or candid look in, to show to your photographer.
Now that you have all that planned out, it’s time to work out what to wear when you have your professional headshots taken. It’s not as hard to pick clothing as you may think, it’s more about being aware of what you shouldn’t wear too much of and those things are:
Small prints: Camera’s hate them, a lot. If you put on an episode of your favourite show, you’ll notice that there aren’t many actors wearing small prints for this reason. It’s mainly because they can look a bit different on camera and sometimes a bit pixelated.
Stark White: Will age you in a way you didn’t know you could age, especially under the eyes where all of our little veins seem to pop out to say hello every now and then. If you want to wear white, wear off white or cream.
Overly Detailed Garments: Remember that the headshot is about you and not the garment, so anything with too much detail will bring attention to it and camera’s also don’t do as well with ruffles, some sunray pleats and different types of lace that is tight fitting.
Now that you know the three things to stear clear of, here are the things you should embrace:
Block Colours: Block colours are a photographers dream as they’re easier to edit and they photograph well. Try wearing a colour that complements your eyes, eg: Brown eyes, wear green or purple or if you have blue eyes, wear blue, orange or teal, etc.
Pay Attention To Creases: At the last moment, put your garment on if it’s one that creases. The photographer can remove most of them, but it’s better for you to have uncrushed photos on set.
Wear The Right Bra: You obviously won’t have any visible underwear when getting your headshots taken, but make sure your bra fits you properly and that it isn’t creating any excess boobage, underboob or back fat. Get professionally fitted at your closest department store if you’re unsure about this area.
You Can Wear Black, Just Not Near The Face: Unless it’s jet black, most can look a little faded and dull. Wear it in pants or a skirt, or in a larger print. Black, just like white, is an aging colour, but if you have to wear it close to your face, make sure you have a bigger neckline to compensate.
Wear Accessories: They bring attention to the face and can lift a boring outfit like nothing else!
Keep Your Brand In Mind: If you’re having headshots taken for your business, make sure you’re keeping your clients and your brand in mind. If you have a colour scheme on your site, ensure that it goes with the clothing you’re choosing to wear in your shots. Don’t get carried away in trying to have a stock standard headshot with black pants and a white shirt. That’s boring. Set yourself apart and make that headshot something a person would click on when they found you their LinkedIn suggestions.
Now that you’re all schooled on the daunting headshot, it’s not actually that daunting! Have fun with it, be a bit silly on set and let your natural smile show – just make sure there’s no lippy on your teeth. If you’re struggling to work out what to wear post-headshots, I’ve also written a handy little post about what business casual is. Enjoy!
GORGEOUS PHOTOGRAPHER: Jan-Eric Lazuriaga H&MUA: Liv Slee Stylist: Alarna Hope