What to wear for a professional headshot

March 24, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

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The time has come where you find yourself needing to get new headshots for work and the paralyzing thought comes into your mind: what should I wear? Getting in front of the camera can be quite stressful and finding the right outfit just adds to it. Fear not, dear reader! I am here to help alleviate some of that stress and guide you into finding the right outfit. Below are a couple categories I always direct clients towards to think about when looking for the best outfit to wear for a headshot session.

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Color can enhance, brighten, and highlight features like your eyes, skin, and/or hair as well as give an aura of who you are. It can also do the exact opposite, highlighting the wrong things or giving the wrong impression. Always start with colors that look good on you. 


The best way to figure this out are looking at 3 areas: eyes, hair, and skin. If you have green or blue eyes, cooler colors will help pop the beautiful color in your eyes. If you have a warmer or more red complexion in your skin, avoid bright, bold warm tones (orange, red). Black is always complementary with other colors and works well on every client. White shirts has been proven to make men look more attractive. You can even look for quizzes online to find your seasonal colors.

Also try to stay away from anything too crazy or complex when it comes to patterns. A bright, blue/green/yellow leopard print blouse may be great to wear out, but is a little too loud for a professional headshot. A crazy color choice may sound like a lot of fun in the moment, but this photo could stay around for a lot longer than you think.

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Layers help give a pop of color, sense of ease, or can even involve a touch of a fun pattern. They can range from a sweater over a button up shirt, a blazer over a blouse, even scarves or suspenders.


The abundance or lack of layers with clothing can give off specific vibes and personality. A gingham button up with a bowtie gives a quirky, fun energy while a white shirt with a dark blazer exudes a relaxed, professional flair.


The other great thing about layers is they can be added or removed during a shoot. Most photographers that charge by the look will be more flexible if you have a jacket or a scarf you wanna throw on or take off and not count that as one of your looks. 

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Capturing your style may seem like an impossible task whether it feels like it isn’t there or you fear it will be too overwhelming for a headshot shoot. I totally get it! So lets just back up and look at what you are getting the headshot for.


Unless you are given a specific look to go for from an employer (doctors jacket, corporate polo, etc), I always say to go for the ‘business casual’ look. To me, business casual means you’re putting your best foot forward without taking yourself too seriously. 

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However, if you’re part of a brand that is more casual, then bring more of that into the shot. You want to exude what you or your company is trying to sell so that style should come through. 

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A clean palate, pop of personality, and something that makes you feel good is a perfect combination. Find something in your closet that you love wearing - try not to go out and buy a completely new outfit. New clothes can sometimes feel foreign if you haven’t worn them enough. You want to wear the clothes not have the clothes wear you. 


This is easier said than done, but trust me: don’t overthink it! As weird and awkward as a photo shoot can feel, always remember when it comes to headshots that we, the photographer, want to make you look good. 



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