Figuring out what to wear for headshots can feel quite stressful.
You probably know you look good in certain things, but how do you know if they'll be OK for camera or work for your brand?
In this article, we'll be discussing 4 keys for wearing great clothing on-camera.
"I wonder if that houndstooth jacket I have will look good in pictures..."
"Will wearing a black suit jacket look too formal?"
We've worked with people wearing ripped, dirty T-shirts (yes, really) all the way to full tuxedos (which we don't usually recommend).
Since we've seen so much, we decided to put together a simple guide to help you out!
If you like video feel free to watch our "What to Wear for Headshots video below and then you can scroll down to read the 4 keys to looking great on-camera!
Best Colors to Wear for Pictures:
Pairs well with light green, pink, dark brown, and purple.
Pairs well with dark blue, red, light blue, and black.
Pairs well with dark blue, dark purple, dark green, and black.
Pairs well with dark green, dark red, peach, and dark blue.
Pairs well with dark green, pale green, white, and dark red.
Pairs well with dark blue, red, pale purple, and pale green.
Pairs well with gray, blue, red, and black.
Avoid Certain Patterns & Distractions
So What Patterns to Avoid?
Keep away from plaid, big checks, and any really small patterns such as tiny stripes or checks.
Big patterns can draw too much attention to themselves if the colors are high-contrast, meaning they are opposite one another on a color wheel.
Very tiny patterns can be distracting because they cause a phenomenon called moire where it looks like there is a weird pattern showing up on-camera (that's invisible in real-life) because of the way the pixels on the camera work.
What Kind of Patterns Can You Wear?
The only kind that work are very subtle ones with a slight difference between the colors. And if that sounds confusing, just keep it simple and use solid colors.
Or email our stylist with any questions you have.
Stay Away From Logos or Pictures!
Logos and images are incredibly distracting and definitely don't look good in headshots.
For actors, jewelry is generally a no-no.
Clothing Style is Important Too!
It's not enough to just follow general color guidelines and wear something that works on-camera. You should also keep in mind that the style of clothing you wear can say certain things about you.
To project professionalism, formal clothing works well. If you're looking to give off a casual vibe, feel free to dress it down.
Just because you're doing a headshot doesn't mean you need to dress super fancy!
For actors, keep in mind that you want to capture your brand in your headshot, so make sure what you're wearing supports that.
For submitting to commercial auditions, you might want something more casual and colorful. And for legit auditions, you'll probably want something more reserved.
Not sure of your actor brand? Check out this great article: Branding for Actors
Bonus Key #5:
Use Color Meanings to Send the Right Message
Your complexion, hair color, backdrop, and even the feeling you want to give off in your headshot should all be taken into consideration.
Therefore, I think it's important to bring up one last (but extremely important) element to color:
Some colors can unconsciously send the wrong message to people if they're worn the wrong way.
Example: A large amount of green can signify harmony and stability, but a small amount of green can actually make you come across as jealous or inexperienced.
Why do we interpret green like that?
Well, evolutionarily, we learned that lots of green meant grass & woods, or a safe place. But small amounts of green tell us a fruit is not ripe yet, meaning we should avoid it.
I actually spent a ton of time researching these color meanings to create a detailed guide for anyone looking to make their headshot as good as it can possibly be.
The guide explains not only what each color says, but also how the meaning changes based on where the color appears in the image - as an inner layer, outer layer, or even as the backdrop.
Knowing this info will make it easy for you to figure out what to wear for your headshots and what backdrop(s) to request from your photographer.
I'd be happy to email you the guide for free as a thanks for reading this article.
Just click the button below so I know where to send it:
The Virtual Headshot
(see pricing on "packages" page)
Are you thinking about booking a professional headshot sometime soon?
Well, wherever you are in the world, you can now get a highly professional headshot with a great backdrop.
All you need is yourself and a window, and we'll guide you through the rest!
If you choose the book a Virtual Headshot shoot with us, we'll take you through the process via video chat, directing you to find your best angles, expressions, and positions.
By the end of the 20-minute session, you'll have a few shots to choose from and you can email us your favorite to be retouched.
We'll digitally change the background to match your preference (or industry trends) and adjust lighting, fix blemishes, whiten teeth and more, so your final image looks highly polished and ready for LinkedIn.
Have questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you within a few hours.
Want to book a "Virtual Headshot" shoot? We'd love to work with you! Click the button below.
For guest posts, please email me at email@example.com.