Inside: You’ve been asking me, what to wear for a professional headshot? I’ve done a few of these and here’s what I’ve learned along the way.
I never felt confident when dressing anything professional when I first started out. Until I really discovered what professional means and looks like, I was never super sure about what I was wearing. Add a camera for a professional headshot now I’m really confused…
You might have a lot of questions, even if you’re used to dressing professionally, but I’ve got some answers for you if you’re worried about what to wear for a professional headshot.
Headshots, while they sound like they can be intimidating, really are pretty straightforward. I’ve got the tips and tricks for you to narrow down what you should be wearing on this corporate picture day.
Allow me to answer your questions and you’ll know what to wear moving forward!
Corporate fashion is hard enough without all of the questions about how well will it photograph? Don’t sweat it, you likely have the perfect outfit in your closet!
What Is A Headshot Anyway?
A headshot, if you were to search it online can be several different styles of photograph. There is technically one headshot style, however, that is the correct framing for this style.
Headshots are exactly how they sound– just your head in the camera shot. These are usually photographs from the shoulders up, sometimes even cutting the shoulders out except for the very top.
Professional headshots are usually taken with your body at a slight angle with your face turned fully towards the camera. The backdrop is usually a solid color, typically black, white, or gray. They create pretty plain photos, but they are usually used for ID cards or an introduction page on a website. All people need to see is what you look like!
There are other styles of professional photos that come up when you search for headshot examples. A lot of these belong to the category of lifestyle shoots, capturing you at work in your position.
Some more photos of you may be taken in a more full body or waist up angle, which are not technically in the range of headshots. Depending on what the photos are needed for, these may be super helpful to have though!
What Colors Photograph The Best?
Best colors for headshots depend on what colors look best on you and what color the back drop is.
The rule of thumb is to never wear the same color of the backdrop so that you don’t blend in, but if they don’t tell you what color it is going to be, you can’t really pay too much attention to that aspect. While they can sometimes be white, they’re usually on the darker side.
So plan to stay in the lighter shades of your blouse. Unless stated otherwise.
Neutral colors are always best, staying understated is a good move.
White, cream, tan, sage green, or a pale blue are all beautiful colors for a headshot that you might already have in your corporate closet.
This is where you have to take over as your own color connoisseur. What’s your favorite light shade on you? Make your eyes pop and bring out your beautiful natural coloring. But in the subtle corporate tones.
Should I Wear A Blouse Or Blazer?
This is another question I see a lot. Blouse or blazer?
Blazers are so trendy right now, I totally get the appeal of wanting to rock one in your photoshoot.
This can be tricky though, but you have to know your body type to know the difference.
Personally, blazers are too overpowering on my body. My shoulders are too broad already for the rest of my frame that when I wear something as large and structured as a blazer, I am swallowed up! And I love that look sometimes but it doesn’t photograph well.
If this might be you too, and a structured fit is a little overpowering, ditch the blazer for this shoot! Let this be a nice clean look. A cute little high neck blouse will be cute and flattering!
Great Professional Headshot Examples
Professional headshots that are done correctly are hard to come by.
I want to give you a few examples of some that are done well that you can pull from to see what it is you should be looking for when it comes to planning what to wear for a professional headshot fro your own shoot. You can see how colors, fits, and styling is factored in.
For some, more is more and some, less is more. It’s all about knowing yourself, your style, and the context in which these photos plan to be used.
Here are some great examples for you!
2. Dark Backdrop
Outfit Tips For More Casual Shots
Now that we kind of know what we’re looking for, here are some outfit ideas! These may not be headshot photos, but they’re cute professional outfits that would be perfect for professional headshots if they turn into any other angles.
Corporate fashion has never been known to be stylish or cool– while I love the idea of revealing your personality through work clothes, it just isn’t in the cards for this style of professional clothing. It’s all in the little details that show who you are through the classic wardrobe.
A perfect, classic, slack and blouse combination can never go wrong, but if you want suggestions of how to pair them and what style of blouse is still cute, here are my favorites!
7. Beautifully Subtle Details
8. Button Up
9. Light Blouse
10. Color Pop
11. Black Turtleneck
12. Pearl Details
Professional Outfit Tips For Headshots
We’ve talked about what you should wear, but what about what you shouldn’t wear?
Anything distracting, casual, or doesn’t photograph correctly (shiny or sheet fabrics) are a big no.
While you want to bring the whole photo and outfit together, distracting accessories give an unprofessional finish to a photo, and may result in needing new photos if these don’t end up giving the right illusion.
Professional headshots don’t need to look fun and cool, just professional.
This is something I used to struggle with because my field was always in fashion, so brands have to see you dress like their branding, not necessarily just professionally. Once I got it down though, I understood the science. Clean cut, not necessarily fun.
Here are some more good examples.
13. Solid Colors
14. Subtle Colors
15. Soft Fabrics
16. All White
17. High Neckline
I get it. Figuring out what to wear for a professional headshot the first time can be nerve wracking. Who knows who will be receiving this and studying your face so that they know who they’re looking for?!
But with the right outfit, you can walk into this photo session with all of the confidence in the world. The quality is going to be better than your driver’s license or your former student identity card, so you know you’re already going to look ten times better.
Keep it simple with light hair and makeup styling, and you’re looking clean, fresh, and professional for your professional headshot. Your outfit shouldn’t be doing all the talking, so just nail down the perfect blouse for the shoot, and you’re good to go! No stress here.
If you want to shake up your corporate wardrobe, check out these cool leather pants outfits and how to wear them! You can dress them up for the office or dress them down for streetwear, and both are super cool styles.