Does it matter what you wear in front of your headshot photographer?

You might not imagine that what you wear would necessarily make a big difference to the impression given by your headshot. Alternatively, you may be sure that it very much makes a big difference, and be worried about what the finest detail of your clothing in a headshot may say about you.

The formal advice I give to those choosing me as their headshot photographer is basically to keep things simple. I generally favour V neck lines and am not mad keen about patterns, logos or stripes, which I always advise my clients not to bring to their session.

However, there is a lot of scope beyond these basic recommendations to be inventive with the clothing you take to your session, in accordance with what you wish to portray.

So is it a case of ‘anything goes’, then?

Alas, not quite. First of all, you do need to bear in mind your ‘natural’ casting when you are considering what to wear to your photo shoot, and yes, we do all have one. If you are a rugged-looking bald male, for instance, you’re unfortunately unlikely to be given many lead roles as a sensitive and vulnerable love interest.

So while you may be proudly versatile as a performer, you also need to at least keep your most likely casting type at the back of your mind when choosing items to wear. Ultimately, choosing what to wear to your session with a headshot photographer is often about going for a range of items to subtly suggest a range of casting possibilities. Each and every potential outfit can imply something ever-so-slightly different to the last.

There are a lot of factors to consider

Even the most basic clothing choices can have big implications for headshot photography. Just consider the perennial ‘black or white’ question, for example. White and similarly light colours work brilliantly as a layer under cardigans, jackets and jumpers, but can also make you look ghostly and ‘washed out’ if you have a lighter skin tone. Black, meanwhile, is timeless and flattering, really helping to draw attention to the face, but you may yearn for a choice with a bit more character.

Brighter colours unquestionably have a real vibrancy about them, but it’s important to consider which ones best compliment your eyes and skin tone. Necklines are another key factor – a lower one can work really well for elongating the neck and possibly making you appear a bit taller, while higher neckline T-shorts often make you look younger, especially when a bright colour is chosen.

As we mentioned above, you’ll need to also think about the parts that you want to play and how you can communicate this through what you wear. Classic period dramas and modern dramas, for example, are each associated with very different wardrobes.

These are certainly far from the only elements to which you will need to give a lot of thought when deciding what to wear in front of a headshot photographer. Nonetheless, I hope the above will all be useful pointers to inspire you in preparing for your session.

Why not take a look today at the prices and packages that could make me, Steve Lawton, your headshot photographer of choice, whether you are an actor, businessperson or other professional?