What to wear for your headshot session

Clothing tips for your headshot session

In a nutshell

  • Whatever makes you feel good is the easy answer!
  • Choose clothes that you feel comfortable in.
  • One plain colour is best for each item of clothing.
  • If your job involves particular clothing (such as a sports instructor), you might like to wear that.
  • For a corporate headshot, wear clothes that you’d wear for an interview or an important meeting.
  • For a more casual headshot, wear clothes that you’d wear to meet a client or colleague.

I’m very happy to offer advice based on my experience – if you have a selection of clothes ready, I can recommend which will work best.


Female Headshots – What To Wear

  • Small earrings work well to smarten an outfit.
  • For necklaces, choose one that’s fairly short as otherwise the pendant may get cropped off.
  • Clothes with a little texture are the most flattering.
  • Layers are flattering.
  • For corporate headshots, avoid a rounded neckline on jumpers as these look a bit casual in headshots.
  • Avoid sleeveless tops, unless you’re wearing a layer on top.
  • Neutral or gentle colours tend to work better than very bright colours.
  • Avoid patterns, as this can be quite distracting.


Male Headshots – What To Wear

  • For corporate headshots, a shirt and blazer is the go-to option.
  • A pale blue cotton shirt is usually the most flattering option, or white.
  • If you usually wear a tie, by all means wear one. They’re not a necessity though! Look at the other headshots on your company’s staff page. If most of the men are wearing ties, it would be sensible for you to wear one too. Not wearing a tie makes for a more relaxed and contemporary headshot.
  • For a more casual headshot, wear clothes that you feel comfortable and relaxed in – avoiding text on your clothes.
  • Checks can be a bit distracting, so are best avoided.

Glasses And Contact Lenses

  • If you usually wear glasses, feel free to wear them for your headshot session.
  • If you sometimes wear glasses and sometimes don’t, I’d recommend going without for your headshot.
  • Please avoid transition lens glasses, it’s not great when they suddenly change to dark sunglasses mode!
  • If you wear contact lenses, bear in mind your eyes may feel dry after looking at the camera for a while. You might like to put some eye drops in (before you put any make-up on!) before your session.
  • If you can see comfortably without contact lenses in, you might prefer not to wear them.

Make up tips

I asked Britta D, a professional make up artist, for her advice on make up for a headshot session taken in natural light.

Britta is a hair and make up artist based in London. She also offers 1-2-1 virtual make up lessons. These sessions help you to look your best, enhancing your features with your own products. Britta advises you on techniques as well as products you might want to add.

Here’s her advice:

  • The most important thing is to feel as comfortable as possible.
  • Stay as close as you can to your own daily look.
  • Use a foundation with the coverage you feel the best with. If you want a dewy finish, go for a tinted moisturiser, BB or CC cream. If you want a velvet, matte or full coverage, use a foundation.
  • Eyebrows are important as they frame your eyes. Use a fine eyebrow pencil to enhance your shape. Use an eyebrow mascara to set them in place.
  • Use only neutral tones eyeshadow around the eyes. This creates some depth, and enhances the colour and shape of your eyes. Be sure to blend well.
  • If you use eye liner, keep it on the upper lash line. If you need it on your lower lashes, only use it on the outer corners.
  • Use an eyelash curler before you put on a couple of layers of mascara to really open up your eyes.
  • Next, use a concealer under your eyes and to cover any blemishes. I always recommend doing the under eye area after you have finished your eye make up.
  • Bronzer helps to give you a sun kissed finish.
  • Add a bit of blusher on the apples of your cheeks. This gives your face more dimension and makes it look fresh.
  • Always use some finishing powder – preferably loose powder – to mattify certain areas: your T zone, and your under eye area where you applied  concealer.
  • Lastly, chose a lipstick that goes with your outfit and your make up, as well as suits your personality. Don’t be afraid to wear a bold or bright lipstick colour.

If, like me, you’re never sure if you’re putting makeup on correctly, you might find this video helpful. The products recommended are all the same brand, but the tips are really clear and easy to follow:

What to expect