It’s never easy being the person in front of a camera. I would imagine that even Gisele used to get nervous before big shoots. While we can’t all be expected to be supermodels (wishful thinking!), there are certainly things you can do to make your headshot experience a relaxed one.
Know Your Colors
I used to tell my clients to wear certain colors for their sessions, but I’ve since stopped doing that as I’ve learned more about color theory and photography. The reality is, what colors look best on YOU are unique to you. I highly recommend working with House of Colour (the Sioux Falls gals are wonderful!) to figure out what looks best with your unique features.
If getting your colors done isn’t in the cards, spend some time in front of the mirror to figure out what colors you love most against your skin. If there’s a top in your closet that you love, but every time you put it on there’s just something off about how it looks, that’s a great sign that it may not be the color or style for you. Stay away from those types of outfits for your photos, and stick with the things that make you look and feel amazing when you look in the mirror.
Keep It Simple
Some people can pull of patterns, but in general you want to keep it simple for your headshots. The focus should be on you; not your outfit. Also, keep logo-wear at home so your photos look as timeless as possible, and you won’t feel the need to update them in a few months.
Focus On What Matters
Unless my clients request a certain crop of their images, most of the headshots I take don’t show your pants or shoes. You don’t need to worry about what’s on your lower half unless you specifically want a full body photograph.
No, seriously. You could rock the cutest outfit of all time, but if the only pose you’re comfortable with involves crossing your arms and that blazer is too snug to make it work, you won’t be a happy camper!
Practicing in the mirror is the biggest photo-hack that not enough people think about before their session. True life: if I force a smile for the camera, I literally look dead inside. But when I think about something funny and let myself laugh a little, I look like me! I would never have realized that if I hadn’t spent some time in front of the mirror figuring it out. Be a little vain! Your headshot will thank you.
Minimize and Optimize
Remember to wear what accentuates your best features, and conceal what you’re not comfortable with. I don’t like drawing extra attention to my upper arms, so you can bet I won’t be going strapless!
If you’re hoping to get a haircut sometime soon, aim to have it done about a week before your headshot. This gives you enough time to get used to styling your hair, and getting used to the look, and you don’t need to worry about an awkward just-cut look.
Additionally, spend some time before your session thinking about what prep would make you feel the most confident, and make sure to get that scheduled. Do you need to make a nail appointment? Stop in for some Botox? Order that new pair of glasses? Spend a few nights doing some teeth whitening? Let me be clear that none of these things are mandatory, but if it is important to you and will make you feel like the star you are, make sure you have time to do those things before you get in front of the camera.
A Little Frosting
You can absolutely wear jewelry to your session. For most people, simple jewelry is best. Statement necklaces can work if they aren’t too busy, and earrings aren’t competing for attention. That said, if you are always rocking larger jewelry, feel free to do the same for your headshot. We want you to look and feel like YOU.
Amp It Up
Even if you don’t wear makeup, it is recommended for your headshot. It’s true that you need to do a bit more makeup for a photograph than you’d typically do in daily life for it to appear best on camera. False eyelashes can be a great addition, and I’ve never thought they looked “too much.” The same goes for lipstick. Even if you don’t typically wear any, without a pop of color on your lips they’re going to be more likely to blend into your skin. Find a shade you love and rock it.
What About the Men?
First of all, you have it much easier than your female counterparts. Rejoice.
If you’re clueless on what to wear, you can’t go wrong with a solid colored button down, rolled at the sleeves, with dark jeans or neutral colored pants.
Facial hair is fine, but make sure to trim it up so you don’t accidentally rock a 5 o’clock shadow.
If you typically wear undershirts, make sure they aren’t visible under your top shirt (v-necks are easier to hide).
Lastly, Opt for a tailored look over something that may come across as too relaxed. Tuck in your shirt, grab a nice belt, and make sure your clothing is more fitted than loose.