Headshot Guide

Use our headshot guide for ideas on clothing, colours to avoid and a general sense of what might work best for you depending on the industry you happen to be in.

Headshot Guide Vancouver

Use our headshot guide to ensure you have everything you need to get the most out of your photo shoot.

A great looking headshot might be the difference between landing a job or your next modeling or acting gig, so you need to make sure that your headshots deliver the right message.

The most important thing to consider is the shirt or blouse that you are wearing, because it will stand out in the photo.

You should have a few different blouses or shirts to choose from, as well as a few different suit jackets, blazers or ties for different color combinations.

This will provide you with the ability to have multiple, varying shots taken and a wider array of headshots to choose from for your portfolio.

General Clothing Guide For Your Headshot Session

Use our general clothing guide for your headshot session and give yourself a head start before booking a shoot.

When selecting your clothing you really only have to worry about the top portion, so don’t worry too much about choosing shoes or pants.

When making your choices try to pick clothing that is both comfortable and attractive, and have alternate outfits available to expand on the diversity of your shots.

The idea is to create a professional looking headshot that will make you appear confident and relaxed by focusing on your face and eyes without the clothing drawing too much attention.

Try to avoid clothing that is trendy or cute as it may appear unprofessional and most likely will draw attention away from your eyes and face.

You want to make sure that the clothes you choose are clean and wrinkle free before you begin.

Pick clothing that is the right size and something you feel comfortable in, because the wrong fit can be noticed in the photo.

One of the most common fitting problems happens when people wear clothing that is too small or too big.

If you own an outfit that you know you look great in but have recently lost or gained weight, make sure you try it on and make the necessary alterations so it fits properly.

Avoid bulky clothing like heavy sweaters or jackets whenever possible because it can look unprofessional in the photo.

The headshot photograph may come out looking rumpled and make you look heavier than you really are.

As we have mentioned previously, it is better to stay away from choosing outfits that are trendy or over the top as they become outdated over time.

That would of course depend on the industry you’re in, but for the most part, modern, classic clothing is the way to go and will provide you with professional looking headshots you can use anywhere.

We have more to cover, but feel free at any time to contact Headshots Vancouver for more personal advice regarding your own specific needs.

The next part of our Headshots Guide covers clothing colour choices that will help define your look depending on your skin tone.

What Colours To Wear For Your Headshots

Choosing what colours to wear for your headshots depends on a few different factors which we will try to cover in this section.

This part of the headshot guide will give you some idea of what to avoid and colors you can try first.

We will say that generally darker colors work best for most people, but that having the right background is important as well.

We will help you get it right, but you will have to decide on your own clothing and the color choices you feel the most comfortable with.

Use the information provided below to find out what works best and the types of colors you should avoid.

How To Pick The Right Colour Clothing For Your Headshots

Learning how to pick the right color clothing for your headshot is fairly easy and this part of the headshot guide will explain what to do.

You really only need to do a little research in the market you intend to communicate with through your headshots.

Are you trying to inspire confidence and trust for customers, authority and strength in the corporate world or maybe you’re looking to get that next gig/acting job and want to display yourself as natural and friendly.

All you have to do is decide what character traits best fit your situation and then focus on the colours that will help you display that image.

Use this headshot guide for colors that convey different psychological effects when viewed through images.

  • Navy – Signifies confidence, stability, and loyalty.
  • Black – Black is timeless and classic, displays boldness, confidence and responsibility.
  • Beige/Khaki – Denotes simplicity, confidence and implies that you’re easy to relate to and matches all the power colors.
  • Blue – The most commonly used color in corporate identity. It signifies trust, strength, authority and understanding.
  • White – Implies confidence, classiness and cleanliness, which people find pleasant and professional at the same time.
  • Red – Great color to wear as accents or a statement piece. If worn from head to toe, red can seem too flashy and overdone.
  • Brown –Brown is a great neutral color. A color that is the color of nature, it is inviting and nurturing, friendly and approachable.

When you use color to your advantage, you can influence the way your image is seen and remembered.

Look for colors that enhance your skin, eye and hair color by providing a contrast that is not overpowering.

Remember that people form their first impression within 2-3 seconds of meeting someone or looking at their picture.

Clothing Colours To Avoid When Getting Your Headshots Taken

Use this headshot guide for clothing colors to avoid when getting your photos taken in order to improve the look of your portfolio.

Patterns or multi-colored fabric should be avoided because the patterns can detract from your face.

Avoid shirts with floral print, checkers, polka dots, stripes, or any other type of pattern on the fabric. These type of color patterns will make the photo look busy and they can be very distracting.

You also want to avoid colors that are too close to the color of your own complexion.

If your skin tone is light in color a shirt of similar color will make your photograph look washed out.

If you are dark in complexion then you should avoid those colors that are dark earth tone colors, as this will have a similar effect.

You are looking for colors that create contrast and don’t draw attention away from from the focus of the shot, which is your face.

How to pick the right clothing for your headshot will depend on the market you are in and the personality you want to express.

In order to help you we have put together a general guide discussing clothing options for corporate headshots, actors headshots and models headshots.

Find the section that applies to you

Corporate Headshot Guide For Clothing

This headshot guide applies specifically to corporate or business people looking to make the best first impression.

If you are working in a corporate environment, then it is important that you are wearing the right type of clothing that is common in an office.

Many corporations have conservative dress codes that frown on excess and you want to be sure that the clothing in your picture is the type of clothing that you could wear everyday at work.

As a general rule for both men and women, it is best to wear long sleeves in a corporate headshot, because the bare arms are often distracting.

Many people consider bare arms to be inappropriate in a corporate headshot so it’s better to go the long sleeve route.

Make sure that your clothing is modest, because it is a bad idea to reveal too much skin in the picture.

Choose a classy corporate style which shows that you are serious about your career.

For example, you might choose a nice blouse or a collared shirt, paired with a suit coat and slacks or a skirt.

Try to choose jewelry to match your outfit.

The jewelry should add a nice accent to the outfit, without detracting from the overall appearance of your photo.

Too much jewelry can send the wrong impression, and having the photo taken with out jewelry can appear too plain.

Men should always wear a collared dress shirt, and you might also consider a suit jacket.

If you want to add individual style to the photo, then you may consider options such as v-neck sweaters over your dress shirt, or a tie that makes a statement.

The above includes suggestions only as corporate environments evolve and change all the time so when ever possible check with management or human resources for guidance.

Actors Headshot Guide For Clothing

The actors headshot guide provides best practices and tips for making the best portfolio for getting jobs or gigs.

When you are choosing an outfit for actor headshots, a good guideline to follow is to consider the type of outfit that you would wear to an audition.

Some actors are tempted to make a statement with their clothing options, by dressing in costume in their headshot.

It’s better to wear regular clothing so that you appear as a regular person instead of a character.

For actor headshots, you don’t need to worry about wearing professional, corporate style clothing unless those are the types of roles that you prefer.

Instead, select a nice outfit that falls within the general guidelines that were discussed at the beginning of this article.

For female actors: It is always a good idea to avoid low cut tops, because they make it difficult to crop close.

Also, make sure that your shirt or blouse has long sleeves, because tank tops and short-sleeved shirts can be distracting.

Generally, you don’t want to have bare arms in the photos.

For male actors: good clothing styles to consider are solid colored shirts or sweaters that have some type of a texture, such as ribbing or chain stitching.

Long sleeves are usually best, and you might consider wearing a collar if it matches your personality.

Crew neck style shirts can be unflattering, and should be avoided.

Model Headshot Guide For Clothing

This model headshot guide covers some of the basics for getting the best results out of your next photo session.

As a model, your goal is to show the canvas of your face in the headshot, and if someone comments about your clothing then it means that you have failed with your clothing selection.

You want to sell yourself, not the clothing that you are wearing!

As a model, it is especially important that your clothing fits correctly, because you want to show a realistic image of your shape and size.

You may consider wearing different layers of clothing, and the top layers can be removed for some of the pictures.

For female models: if you do a lot of beauty or skin product modeling, then you may consider natural photos that show more skin than regular headshot photos.

Even though it is generally advised to keep your shoulders and arms covered in headshot photos, it can be advantageous to have modeling photos that show a little more skin.

In some of the photos, you may consider wearing a spaghetti strap tank top or a tube top to show off the lines on your neck and shoulders.

For male models: As a model, you generally want to stay away from corporate clothing that looks too professional.

If you plan to wear a collared shirt, you may consider making it a little more casual by leaving the top button open and not wearing a tie.

Or, you can choose another style of shirt if you don’t want to wear a collar.

It is a good idea to stay away from crew neck or v-neck shirts, because it is difficult to make those shirts look good in a headshot photo.

Headshot Guide|Harley Cross Photography

We hope you find our headshot  guide useful and look forward to helping you create the best portfolio possible.

Headshots Vancouver is owned and operated by Harley Cross Photography, providing on-site mobile photograph services in Vancouver and the greater Vancouver area.

Let us provide the expertise and guidance to create the best portfolio for you and your business.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Harley Cross