Phoebe Ashton, headshots Sydney

What To Wear for Your Headshots

You know you need new headshots, have maybe even booked a session (yippee!), and now feel a pit in your stomach as the question arises:

“What am I going to wear?!”

This guide is for you.

 

Your headshots are one of your most important business tools, and while it can feel overwhelming to look down the barrel of a camera, with the right wardrobe and prep, you can create beautiful photos that capture your unique essence.

This guide is designed to help you look and feel your best on the day, so you can relax and let the real you shine through.

1. The Basics

Bring lots of options! At least 3-5 outfits, including a plain t-shirt or singlet. Make sure they’re clean, ironed (if required), and free from stains, logos, loose threads and pilling etc. Sometimes it’s surprising what works on camera, and pieces that look amazing in real life don’t photograph as well, and vice versa.

Select wardrobe pieces that complement – rather than compete with – you and your energy. Bring at least one piece that you love to wear and makes you feel great. Your eyes will shine brighter, your posture will relax and we can see the real you.

Madi Du Plessis actor headshots

2. Embrace Colour

Colour is so powerful, amplifying the mood and impact of your headshots. When casting directors are staring at a page of 50 actors – all a similar age, height and look – colour can lift you out of that sea of sameness and make your headshot sing.

I’m always amazed how changing your clothing colour transforms the energy coming through my camera.

Select wardrobe pieces with colours that complement – rather than compete with – you and your energy. Bring at least one piece that you love to wear and makes you feel great. Your eyes will shine brighter, your posture will relax and we can see the real you.

"The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you."

(Baby Step: Tweak the Neutrals)

If you’re freaking out about the idea of adding colour, consider starting with neutrals. While a classic black or white top gives a pared back aesthetic, it may not be your best option. A slight shift – for example, charcoal or navy instead of black, ivory instead of white – can suddenly illuminate your skin and eyes.

Taliyah Wilson, Savage movie

Colour Psychology

Build upon your personal colour preferences by harnessing the power of colour psychology to tell your story:

Red: exciting, energising, bold, passionate

Orange: adventurous, creative, stimulating

Yellow: enthusiastic, happy, energising, uplifting, positive, optimistic

Green: growth, harmony, balancing, healing, rejuvenating

Blue: free, expressive, trustworthy, clear, authoritative

Purple: imaginative, spiritual, inspiring, luxurious, intuitive

Pink: compassionate, loving, young, playful, motivating

Brown: reliable, stable, honest, comfortable, grounded, warm

Grey: neutral, practical, composed, mature, classic, absence of emotion

White: clean, pure, elevating, illuminating, free, calm

Black: power, control, authority, elegance, sophistication

Rajan Velu headshots Sydney

Your True Colours

Choosing the right shade of your favourite colour can hugely enhance your natural glow.

I personally love wearing mint green, but I know that warmer or olive greens are way too overpowering for my pale (but interesting!) complexion.

There are some great online resources to help you find your best colours; a favourite of mine is Marie Claire’s colour guide

Wardrobe Colour Inspo

3. Tailoring

Even though a headshot is often what it sounds like – a shot of your head and shoulders – choosing pieces with great tailoring can help everything from improving your posture to creating a flattering silhouette and drawing attention to your eyes.

Cinching in waistlines with belts and fitted pieces, choosing a neckline that enhances your face shape, and pieces that feel comfortable help you communicate ease, confidence, power, authority, openness and warmth. 

A note on shoulder pads: while they can create an amazing silhouette, they can also inhibit your movement, especially if you plan to be seated for your headshots.  Use your shoulder power wisely!

 

Corporate Headshot of real estate agent, Dean Emerson

Tailoring Inspo

4. Clarity & Balance

Headshots should reveal a beautiful, engaging connection between you and the camera – with your eyes telling your story.

Choose jewellery and accessories that enhance your style and frame your face (rather than compete with it), so your audience can really connect with you.

Trish Watts personal branding reviews

5. Texture

When it comes to headshots, bold busy patterns will upstage you every time, so give them a wide berth. But incorporating subtle patterns in the form of texture can add depth and dimension without your clothes stealing the limelight. You might need to be mindful of ironing, pilling or lint etc. but I promise you, it’s worth it!

For example, leather-look, knitwear, denim, silk, linens, and woven fabrics can all add interesting details and visual layers to your photo, helping to bring it alive.

Wardrobe Texture Inspo

6. Hair & Makeup

While not technically wardrobe, it’s important to consider how your hair and makeup will harmonise with the colours and styles you plan to wear for your headshots session.

 

If you’ve booked a professional hair and makeup artist (HMUA) for your shoot, make sure you either send them some photos or actually bring your wardrobe options to your appointment so they can get a sense of your colour palette and how best to style you. Many HMUAs will give you small samples of lipsticks and powder to bring to your session so can make small changes between outfits.

Final Note

Headshots are all about sharing who you are… in the best possible way. With a little bit of planning and preparation for your headshots session, you’ll reap the rewards and be able to relax, knowing that every element is working for you.

You are already enough, just as you are.

So it’s time to show up, find your light and claim your space!

Download your full FREE Headshots Guide

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I create headshots for actors, creatives and business people across Sydney and Melbourne. 
To find out more, click below.

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