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What to Wear for a Professional Headshot

Here are a few “favorite things” that will make your professional portrait photography session easier and more polished – while still focusing on what makes you, you.

My #1 suggestion: If you don’t feel great wearing it, leave it at home!​

That said, I can work with what clothing makes YOU comfortable and shows your wonderful and individual personality!

The bottom line is, I want my clients to feel comfortable and as much like themselves as possible. These are my suggestions only – I trust my clients to choose outfits that will bring out their personality and flair.

Preparation is everything when it comes to your headshot.

There are lots of things that can affect the end result, from making sure you get enough sleep the night before, to taking a few minutes to compose your thoughts and clear your mind of the worries of the day before you step in front of the camera.

Deciding what to wear is a big part of that preparation. Getting it right will have you feeling positive and upbeat.


I don’t generally recommend prints, because I think they can appear too busy and compete with your face for control of the image, but if you are a bold pattern person, don’t shy away. We’ll make it work!


MID-TONE PLAIN COLORS are universally flattering and help the image stand out on a page. They convert well to black-and-white as well.

BLACK is classic and safe. If you usually wear a lot of black, you may consider substituting it for richer, more neutral colors. Colors such as navy, chocolate, maroon, or dark green.

PASTEL COLOURS, cream or beige, are often similar to flesh tones. Keep in mind they can look weak, washed-out, and unflattering to your skin.

WHITE can look beautifully simple and fresh. White shirts and/or blouses under a dark jacket are perfect. If you are worried about not appearing slender then it is safer to avoid white.


Avoid sleeveless tops, as bare arms highlight the contrast between the tone and color of your arms in contrast to your face. ​I find too much skin can distract from your face in a portrait photography session and also, even if you have very thin or toned arms, they don’t always appear that way in images.


I personally love jewelry and if you wear it normally, definitely wear it to your session! Very large necklaces and earrings can be a bit distracting, so I do tend to recommend smaller pieces. However, if you are known for your statement necklaces, wear them!

Jacket-On or Jacket-Off
It’s an easy way to create 2 different looks — jacket on or jacket off.

A crisply ironed shirt by itself will give you a look that works well across many different sectors and looks great under a jacket too.


Don’t be afraid to experiment with textures and layers. A scarf or pashmina can be an easy change between a summer look and a winter look. It will also change your neckline and add volume, texture, and dimension to the photo.

If you want to vary your hairstyle during the shoot, please do!

We can try some shots with your hair tied up and some with it down. When it’s tied back, it will look better with volume rather than being pulled back too tight. And please remember to bring a hairbrush for last-minute adjustments. We will remove any pesky stray hairs in Photoshop.


Keep it light and natural and remember that it’s the eyes and mouth that the person viewing your photo will focus on. DO NOT FRET, PIMPLES or anything not being on your face in 2 weeks can be magically removed.

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