What to Wear to Your Photo Session: Women’s Edition
Selecting The Perfect Look for Your Headshot
The most challenging part of preparing for a headshot session is trying to figure out what to wear. Overall there are no hard and fast rules, but there are many factors to consider in order to ensure that you look your best.
Be sure to choose clothing appropriate for your type of work and industry position. If in doubt, go more conservative with a classic-neckline that’s flattering. Wearing a V-neck gives length and height to shorter necks, while tank tops may flatter toned arms. If you love your arms – tank tops can work nicely, however, long sleeves work better than short sleeves. Add a lightweight tailored jacket over a tank to cover arms and give a more polished look. The neckline is very important! Fitted and tailored clothing works best. Loose or baggy tops will make you look larger and wider than you desire. Photoshop can fix pimples, wrinkles, and shine, but oversized or undersized clothing can ruin a great headshot any day.
TRACY’S TIP! Consider modeling your tops for a friend and taking some quick closeup photos with a phone so you can see yourself. Simple is better.
In general, solids are better than patterns. Avoid pastels, unless worn under a darker jacket, because studio lighting is bright and can wash the light colors out. If in doubt bring one neutral that is light (think cream, beige or white), one neutral that is dark (think black, brown, gray, navy), and then one bright color option. Deep purples look good on every skin tone. Purple is like neutral gray but with a bit of color. If you have long dark brown or black hair and then wear black, your hair will blend more into the clothing, so you may want to consider a lighter colored top or jacket. As we age, lighter colors may be more flattering and fresh than all black as darker colors near face can draw more attention to wrinkles.
Tracy’s Tip! EXPRESS.com makes great solid colored shirts in a variety of colors and fits, with and without collars.
Ladies, please bring bras that do not show through your garments and make sure that they fit. Studio lights are bright and may shine through thin fabrics revealing your lovely little unmentionables underneath. Nude bras are a must for lighter colors. Strapless bras as needed, racer back bras as needed, and absolutely no ruffled or lacy bras if your shirt fabric is thin and tight. Select a bra that FITS and flatters your body. If your bra is too small it can easily make you look overweight, just as a bra that is not supportive enough could also make you look overweight. Make sure you try on your top with your bra and check in bright light with a mirror to see how it looks.
TRACY’S TIP! Bring multiple bra options in case you decide to go with a different wardrobe styling. Being prepared with options is always better than not having the right “equipment” for the job.
Accessories are fun, but be sure to choose accessories that do not overwhelm your face. The point of a headshot is to accentuate your most engaging features, your face, so distracting from your face with a giant pair of earrings or a monster necklace may not be a good choice. Most earrings do not show much with longer hairstyles, so choose wisely. Often we end up having to Photoshop out (remove) earrings because the reflection looks odd or the headshot looks odd with only one earring showing. Glass: If you normally wear glasses, we can always do a shot with and without your glasses. Make sure you have a non-reflective anti-glare coating on your glasses.
TRACY’S TIP! Simple is always best. While accessories can provide a polished and complete look in person, often these little details can go unnoticed in the images due to long hair or angles. Choose your accessories wisely, and keep it simple.
What NOT to Wear For Your Session
Styling selections to AVOID!
Avoid too loose or baggy clothing, see-through tops, wrinkled tops, crazy busy patterns, big ruffles, (sometimes cap sleeves or loose short sleeves do not work well), shiny fabrics, jackets that are too small for you, and shirts that are too tight causing your buttons to look like they could bust out at any moment.
Yes, these all probably seem like no-brainers, but you’d be surprised how many people bring these kinds of items to their sessions. Once you’re here, what you’ve got is all we’ve got to work with. That jacket that fit “perfectly” a few years ago might not fit so well today, so be sure to test everything.
Trends may seem fashionable today, but keeping with a clean classy look will ensure that your photos will last longer and still flatter your best assets.
Contrary to popular belief, there are really no absolutes when selecting wardrobe for headshots. So please bring anything that feels good and looks good on you. If you are still unsure of what to wear for your upcoming headshot or portrait session, take a look at my TIPS PDF for more details on how to look your absolute best for your photo session.
It’s always my goal to create a truly visionary photography experience for you from start to finish. This includes styling, make-up and hair, and wardrobe. All of my clients have the option to schedule a pre-shoot wardrobe consultation with myself or with one of my professional stylists so that we can ensure you look and feel your absolute best for your close-up.