My Actor Headshot Outfit Tips
What to wear?
That’s one of the big considerations before having your actor headshots taken.
While your outfit isn’t the feature of your headshot (you’re the star of the shot after all!), considering your outfit can make a big impact on the final image.
Firstly, it is important to wear something that makes you feel comfortable, confident, and happy. You’ll look much more relaxed in the shots. When you’re not stressing about your outfit during the shoot, you can focus on the experience itself.
Secondly, consider the visuals. Colours that work with your skin tone, hair colour and eye colour. Flattering shapes for your body type. Something that reinforces your ‘type’ or the personas you are wanting to convey. This doesn’t mean costume, but simple colour and cut choices can emphasise your type more than others.
Other than these two key points, it is always good to have a look at other actor headshots to get ideas. Have a look at some of the styles my subjects have worn:
Simple: Neutral, clean, cut t-shirts:
There is nothing wrong with a basic t-shirt. The examples below are flattering: they’re neutral, they don’t distract, and they keep the shot simple. This style enables all focus to be on you, and works with most backdrops and colours. Of course stick to the tones and colours that are flattering to your skin tone. Avoid tones that wash you out too!
I’ve written about necklines previously. A lovely open neckline helps open up the face, and create leading lines into the portrait. These ladies below show a great example of a strong, natural black, with a lovely open neckline. This reduces the heaviness of the black and allows for a lovely open headshot.
Button up shirts:
Shirts are great! They show a little more formality and professionalism. Stick to colours that work well with you. In the first shot, the blue shirt works really well with his blue eyes. The second shot with the pale blue shirt portrays ‘business professional’, so paired with a grey background it tied it together. And the third shot shows a little more character. It links back to the blue eyes, and a striking blue background created a well rounded headshot.
A bit of colour:
Don’t be afraid of a bit of colour! Colour can show personal style, portray character, and keep things interesting. It is definitely one way to make a portrait pop. When all things are considered, pairing backgrounds and other elements can create a really striking image.
Showing personal style:
This last one is important too. Acting headshots need to show a little you. They need to portray your type, acting ability, and emotions, but ultimately you are selling yourself. Wearing something that makes you comfortable, happy, and shows who you are is great. You can see in the below images, each person has brought their personal style to the shot. Simple considerations like glasses matching the dress in the middle shot create a standout image.
Things to be wary of:
While it is easy to see what has worked for other people, there are a few things to be wary of wearing:
– Big, bold patterns that distract from you.
– Colours that clash.
– Clothing that washes you out, or does not suit your skin tone.
– Accessories that take the focus away from you (keep it minimal).
– Big, baggy clothing that swamps the body.
Things don’t need to be super skin tight, but just aim for clothing that shows a little form.
– Clothing that reveals too much: think about how the photo will be cropped. Make sure lower cut clothing won’t be cut out (or you might look nude!).
It’s not that daunting!
In my sessions I have no limit on outfit changes. I am a queen of indecisiveness myself, and I understand that choosing an outfit can be challenging. I invite all my clients to bring as many outfits as they like. We don’t need to shoot with them all, but we can certainly do a large range (so at least you have the options right!).
Remember, if you try something on and you’re not liking it (how it looks, how it makes you feel), don’t be afraid to switch it up! The key is being comfortable, confident, and happy in your shoot.