What To Wear For a Headshot?

When was the last time you went to a photo shop to get your photos done?

The number is lower in certain aspects, but it is on the raise in some others.

There is a statistic that says that nowadays, in these modern times, only ten percent of what was once produced is “being developed”, although it is photographed almost a hundred times more than two or three decades ago.

Photoshops, the ones that survived, still have a business, but clients are committed to quality instead of quantity.

And many of us are thinking why should we go to a professional photographer when we have amazing cameras on our mobile phones?

Many of us are even daring to call ourselves photographers, and truly this is the case, our phone cameras as professional.

But still, there are some areas of work where a work of a professional photographer is still needed.

These are the times of our weddings, some important corporate events, for identification documents, like passports, or driver’s licenses, or in some cases, when we are artistically in the mood, and we want to do an aesthetically pleasing photo.

As in the case of fashion, in the world of photography, the old can become new.

Therefore, the production of black-and-white photos, photos in polaroid format, is in demand, and in the last ten years, the trend of professional photography in studios has been growing.

Therefore, the formation of a waiting list for photographing families or children on the occasion of the Christmas and New Year holidays is already current.

Now, one of those shots that are still done in a professional way is a headshot much needed for our identificational documents.

Whether you’re brand new to this type of photography, you have not done it before, or you want to learn some new information, there are some straightforward directions when you do it.

Headshots include a portrait photo with a special focus on the individual’s face.

This photo is for many of us, not the favorite since it is so close and all of our features which some of us do not like very much are in the spotlight.

The photo itself has the central subject, initiating from the head (of the subject) to its shoulders, with the landscape as a background.

The background can vary a lot, depending on many things, but the fact that on the headshot the primary focus is on a person’s face stays.

This is the picture that your new employer might see, this is a photo that represents you in any way and this is why such a photo must be the best it can be.

To make the most promising first appearance, every one of us requires a quality headshot, specifically for documents, a profile picture on LinkedIn, or maybe Teams.

In other terms, all of us are in constant need of a top-quality headshot, so if you can dominate the photography practice, it can bring you a lot of jobs, successful meetings, etc.

Now, there is some preparation before you go and get this shot, and this is very important to know, although we know that the headshot should be simple.

A headshot by its definition includes as we have said a person’s face, appropriate clothes, and a suitable backdrop.

In some cases, props are ok to have on a photo, but, they must remain as simple as they can be, as nothing should distract from a person’s face.

Binding to plainness is the direction when we are doing a headshot.

A photographer must guarantee to concentrate on the right piece of your face.

Confirming that everything is accurate and that the emphasis pinpoint is on the eyes.

A good headshot is about the individual who is taking a photo, not the background.

Preparation for a Headshot

Now, when you know that you are doing a headshot, these are some simple, but mandatory rules to follow if you want to take on the best out of this picture.

First of all, you should go to a photographer who understands your needs, whether you are doing this headshot for your documents, or you are doing it for the purpose of artistic reasons.

Consultation – A consultation is required before the start of the session; so there is no misunderstanding when the shot starts.

The situation must be relaxed to the maximum.

The consultation should define any potential misconceptions between you and the chosen person who is doing your photo.

One of the first questions you two must speak about is whether this is a private or professional headshot.

This answer will organize a photographer to outline a clearer way of your photo and provide a head start on choosing the style of headshot lighting it is needed.

When it comes to lighting, you’ll want good lighting on a face, as this is the primary element that is in the center of the headshot.

It is important for the photographer to avoid intense, sharp shadows unless it’s an intended innovative headshot photo session.

Nevertheless, often the main thing is to have a nice, clean skilled headshot without any absurd lighting that does not fit in, in the photo, and that ruing the entire picture.

As with most other cases, precise and compelling communication will become the best possible way between you are the person who is taking your photo.

Here, a good photographer can give you a sense of possible poses and spaces required for the shot and place you as a true professional.

Also as a side note, a good photographer can think of air conditioning to ensure that you feel as relaxed throughout the entire photographic experience.

The atmosphere of the photo – another element that you and your photographer should discuss is your preference, do you want a cheerful headshot or one with a slight moodiness?

The background can determine this to a certain extent – and have in mind that not all headshots must be done in a professional studio with a traditional backdrop.

An inquiry into other landscapes can be good as well, once again relying on the definition of a headshot.

All of this can also drastically change your clothes for the shooting, and this will make a major difference in the photo.

But more of this is in another section.

In any case, it is required to be and feel so cozy, otherwise, the photo becomes rigid and fake.

Another essential part of a headshot is working the scene.

They should be uncomplicated, but not dull.

When natural light is utilized then you should move from the ground to create space, and clouding the background can be a good concept.

Additional tools – it is forever good when a photographer has some extra tools for the session, as you may need them, depending on your preparation for the shooting.

The photo studio should have things like a comb, mirror, or other tools that are needed.

Lighting – Now, one of the most crucial things when it comes to the perfect headshot, or any shot for that matter when it comes to photography is of course lighting.

In photos, light is utilized to emphasize your face form and characteristics.

Too little light can cause you to appear threatening or too serious, and too much lightning might not accentuate any of your details at all, bringing to the ‘dull’ look.

And this is not what you want when you are doing a headshot.

The angle – now, another important thing when it comes to the headshot is the angle – everyone has their own best angle; the one that for whatever reason you look great.

We all have known that we have that one angle that makes us feel and look confident.

Everyone has their motives; some people hesitate because they have problematic skin, and scars and they do not like to show them to the public.

And this is something that a photographer must understand.

Some people love to do a headshot based on an angle that puts an emphasis on a jawline, or a better cheek.

The purpose of the headshot – depending on what purpose you are doing a headshot, and if the headshot is not for an ID, or a driver’s license, then a photographer must use compositional rules.

Because of how little is revealed in a headshot, awareness of detail is the distinction between a great photo and a horrendous photo.

The eyes are always at the center of attention, and they must be open, and in some cases, slightly smiling.

The eyes give more substance to the headshot.

Standing, posture, etc – and also we must mention how some small, but also very important details to the headshot.

When you are doing this shooting, never, ever minimize the influence of fixing apparently trivial attributes like pointing eyes, clearing dandruff, fixing posture, and bypassing double chins, if you have something like that.

A good photo can cover this up, for sure.

What To Wear For a Headshot?

The impact of a photographer – The photographer must be prepared for this type of shooting, and we have said that the most important thing here is the purpose of the headshot, which will determine the look of the photo itself, and an experienced photographer bringing numerous objects of clothing.

He knows what is suitable for what occasion, and this is the key when you are doing a repetitive shoot, selecting an extra outfit for each photo that looks distinctive.

Not everyone will be appropriately attired for the perfect headshot, so it’s totally fine to receive a recommendation based on their choices.

Light colors – for starters, wearing some good neutrals that aren’t too vivid and cheerful is forever a good idea.

Recall that the main principle of the headshot is your facial features.

Any colors, brands, and designs that are too vivid or too attention-grabbing should be bypassed unless they fit the need of the photo.

The purpose of the photo changes the outfit – and as essential as it sounds, hearing and fulfilling the anticipations of the headshot is fundamental – and here the major difference sets on what preference that headshot is.

If it is for LinkedIn – then you should wear a nice shirt with a white backdrop.

This is something that looks very professional.

If you are doing a headshot as the representative of a certain brand – then it is likely that some props/additions can be sported as long as they do not break the design or take up too much room.

The emphasis should be on the model, or in this case, your, and not should be too much focused on the additions, that are welcomed, but not the main start of the headshot. And truly when you look at the photoshoots of headshots with famous people, for example, the watch he or she is marketing is not only in the picture but his or her head.

So, the headshot, not the accessories.

Poses –  Photographers can assist make your photo as complimentary as it can, and this also directs the clothes you are wearing on this occasion.

The postures you select will rely on the glance you are attempting to achieve.

If you are going to be in a bit different position, then the clothes must not wrinkle, and they must be on your body perfectly, and it should be as simple as possible.

Here, have in mind that posing for men and women is very diverse, as some postures are deemed to be more girly than for males.

A traditional pose for males who are doing the headshot applies to placing an arm in a pocket; even though it’s only a headshot, it allows them to be more comfortable and comfortable.

A helpful tip for females is to make pictures from a negligibly extended or reduced angle rather than straight on.

All of this can also make a distinction when it comes to the clothes you are wearing even if this is just a headshot, you should have clothes that fit you, that do not cover up any of your weaknesses, and should nice suited and with the great color.

If your headshot is not for a document then it must intake true emotion without any guard.

Wearing black – should you wear all black when you are doing a headshot – yes or no?

You can technically wear whatever you want for a headshot photo shoot, nevertheless, some other colors will look more pleasing on the shoot.

And then the next question is this – what is the best color to sport for a headshot?

As said in the last section, there is not, by all means, the one best color that only works when you are doing this headshot.

Once again, you’ll want to comprehend the purpose of the headshot session.

If you are going for a moodier headshot, that is artier, then sport darker shades.

If you’re going for a professional business picture, then you’ll want your issue to wear a case in a traditional shade (consider navy blue, grey, etc.)

In some cases, it is recommended and allowed to wear clothes that you have chosen in relation to the background you have chosen for the picture, and they should make a good contrast with each other.

Other parts of clothes and shoes – although it is not important what you will wear on the lower part of the body, sometimes it is also important that that part of the clothing is decent and that it fits into the whole story.

Wear something comfortable, because sometimes those pictures can last a long time and to make you feel comfortable and relaxed, especially if it’s summer, so you don’t sweat because then the flash will make a reflex from the light and the picture won’t turn out well.

Especially if you’re female and you’ve applied a little make-up, it can smudge.

If the weather is bad outside and you’re going to take pictures, be sure to take a taxi if you don’t already have your own car, so you don’t get wet and your hair doesn’t get ruined by the rain and wind.

Of course, the footwear you will wear depends on the season, but whether it’s sunny or snowy, make sure it’s comfortable and cozy.


What to wear for a headshot is just one of the questions that we tried to give you answer, but we have covered much more, and this is important because you will certainly have at least one headshot in your life but probably much more.

Clothing does a major role in headshots and is one of the things that should be discussed or modified during the consultation with the photographer.

If we are going to take a photo for a headshot for one of the personal documents, we must pay attention to the details so that we can look nice, and decent and appear professional in the picture.

Those pictures will be on the document for years and we don’t want to ruin it with bad preparation.

We also have to choose a good photographer who will do his job properly.

A lot depends on the light and the background behind us, and you don’t need to spend money on this type of photo.

Men must be properly groomed and not have overgrown, untidy, and greasy hair, and they are photographed with a beard as if they intend to wear it for a long time even if it is part of their image.

Otherwise, you must be clean-shaven.

All earrings you have on your head, even those with ears, are also removed.

If you are going to take a photo of your head for an ID card, it does not matter what piece of clothing you will wear on the lower part of the body, but in addition to the head, what you are wearing on the upper part of the body will also be visible.

You will also see the upper part of your shoulders, so be careful not to wear a sweatshirt with a hood, because it will be visible behind your head.

Or you can wear a decent shirt under the sweatshirt with a hoody, it can also be a shirt with a collar, although there is a high probability that your collar will get wrinkled under the sweatshirt, it is better to wear a shirt without a collar, so when it is your turn to take a picture, take off the sweatshirt and take a picture.

The same applies to the driver’s license, and for the passport, you should still come to take a picture in a jacket with a tie.

Always combine the same colors.

What you should not wear during the headshot is jewelry such as nose piercings, eyebrow piercings, and lip piercings, especially if you are a man, you have to look serious in the photo.

For women, the hairstyle that is required is neat, without piercings on the face, deep necklines and overly expressive make-up and tons of powder on the face, strong flashy lipsticks, and too-long extended eyelashes are prohibited.

The fairer sex should be photographed with a jacket and shirt depending on the purpose of the photo, but sticking to the simple shirt, or a thin sweater of some dark color may be the unmistakable combination for a headshot for males, with the comfortable down part clothes, like nice (not ripped jeans) or wonderful pants.

A good combination is a navy jacket with a white shirt and a neutral collar.

The hair must not fall over the face and the photographer will warn you about that, also shaved face is is always recommended.

Jewelry around the neck is allowed only if it is very discreet and not thrown out to be seen in its entirety, this implies also earrings, and necklaces.

If you have any tattoos they should be covered, especially if the photo is intended for professional purposes.

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