Other than the shoot itself, nothing can instill more anxiety in someone than choosing what to wear for their headshots. Relax… it’s okay, and it’s easy.
Your headshot is about your face. It’s your eyes, your expression, and really, it’s kind of about your essence. And because it’s about your face, and especially your eyes, you don’t want anything competing with your lovely visage. You want a casting director or a potential agent to see you, not your clothes.
So what works best? Forget stripes, dots, houndstooth or paisley. For my money, subdued, solid colors rule. I like to go by this… if you have green or blue eyes, go with green or blue. It will accentuate your eyes and that’s a good thing. If you have brown or hazel eyes, you can’t go wrong with earth tones. And don’t worry… green- and blue-eyed people also look great in natural colors. If you have blond hair, go with darker hues. If you have dark hair, go with lighter shades. That provides a nice contrast to your face.
What solid colors don’t work? Mostly white, black, red or pastels. Those colors make you see the clothes and not you. We want you.
Your clothes should maybe give a hint of the type of character you can play without defining that as you. You still want to be you, for sure, but you want to show your range. Are you a tough guy? Let’s see a bit of leather. Are you a soccer mom? Show a sweater set or a bit of a cable knit cardigan. Harried businessman? Button-down shirt, rolled-up sleeves, a loosened tie. CSI investigator? A blazer. Of course, in one session, you can combine looks to get your commercial and theatrical headshots. Remember, commercial is a little lighter, more smiling in tone and theatrical is a more dramatic, serious expression. But that’s not set in stone, you really can go either way on that and be totally successful.
And iron your clothes. Pulling a wrinkled shirt out of a bag doesn’t make you look professional. It just doesn’t and Photoshop will not be a magician to make rumpled clothes look crisp. Bring your ironed clothes on hangers.
No logos! I think I need to say this again. No logos, no logos, no logos! You want people to read your face, not your shirt.
Keep ornamentation to a minimum. Can you go without jewelry? Try to, unless that is a really important part of your type.
Make sure you like what you’ve brought to the shoot. Now’s not the time to bring something you’ve never worn that’s been hanging out in your closet that you bought on sale but don’t love. Bring clothes that make you feel happy… powerful… as actors who are on their way to scoring an audition. Believe!
Most importantly, wear the clothes… don’t let them wear you.
See? It really is easy. Just bring a lot of different outfits with those tips in mind and we’ll pick from there. Don’t worry about your clothes.
Got questions? Email me at diana @ dianalundinheadshots.com, even if you only need a little piece of advice.