Tips for choosing clothes for your professional headshot

LRP clothes makeup collage

 

A professional headshot is an important part of conveying your work image and personal brand. We talked recently about how your headshot should fit your career and desired image and today I thought I’d offer tips for choosing the right jewelry, makeup and clothing for your professional headshot.

In all decisions, simple is better. For example, less is more when it comes to makeup. Heavy powder will show up in the photos and not appear natural. Your skin tone does need to be smoothed with makeup, however so I recommend wearing some liquid makeup even if you don’t usually use it. Lipstick and mascara are both important to create a finished look in the face.

Makeup should be simple and flattering. Women should make sure to wear liquid makeup, even if they don't normal use it. This will help even out skin tones. Makeup and mascara helps balance out the look.
Makeup should be simple and flattering. Women should make sure to wear liquid makeup, even if they don’t normally use it. Wearing foundation will help even out skin tones. Lipstick and mascara help balance out the look.

Now, let’s talk about the eyes. Neutral eyeshadows are always best, including no smoky eye unless you intentionally need that look for creative purposes related to your career. The eyebrows do more than simply frame the eyes. They provide a frame for the entire face so if your eyebrows are thin; I recommend carefully filling them in.

Neutral eyeshadows work best. Also, when wearing a blazer wear a contrasting colored shirt underneath.
Neutral eyeshadows work best. Also, when wearing a blazer wear a contrasting colored shirt underneath.

One last tip for makeup and the face in general: don’t forget to moisturize. This is also important for men! Dry skin can really stand out in a negative way in a professional headshot.

Simplicity is also important when choosing clothing and accessories.

Simple is best when choosing jewelry.
Simple is best when choosing jewelry.

When it comes to jewelry, simple is best for business headshots and headshots for actors should not include any jewelry. Actors should also wear solid colors. In contrast, I recommend a suit jacket or blazer for (or other form of colored and textual layering) for business headshots. Whether your wear a suit jacket or just a shirt will depend on your career. Again, your headshot should fit your career and image.

Actors should wear simple, solid colors for their professional headshots.
Actors should wear simple, solid colors for their professional headshots.

When choosing what to wear, keep in mind that for professional headshots, only your chest, upper arms and shoulders will be visible. I say this to encourage you to not overthink the entire outfit but do keep in mind that your clothes fit well in the shoulders—not too loose or too tight.

Remember that only your chest, arms, shoulders and head will appear in your headshot. It's important to make sure your clothes fit well in the shoulders.
Remember that only your chest, arms, shoulders and head will appear in your headshot. It’s important to make sure your clothes fit well in the shoulders.

When deciding how well a shirt or blazer fits in the shoulders, keep in mind it’s not just how it feels. How something “feels” won’t show up in the pictures as much as how your shoulders appear. Did you know that a shoulder seam that falls off the shoulder will give a rounder look to the upper body vs. a fitted jacket or shirt? I always encourage clients to avoid thick shoulder pads.

What will you wear for your professional headshot? As spring approaches in Northwest Arkansas, it’s the perfect time to schedule your headshot photoshoot.