The best clothes to wear for portrait headshots

Published on Tue Jan 24, 2017 by

These are my tips on the best clothes to wear for professional actors, actresses, musicians, singers, writers and presenters who are getting new Spotlight style portraits made. While I don't claim to be a fashion expert, I have bags of experience knowing what works well in an image. And, equally as important, what doesn't.

I will suggest a range of different backgrounds for the shoot - from plain white backdrops to alternative solid colours. The key here is to avoid similar colours, in order to avoid clothing merging or blending into the background. I'm sure we've all seen that white shirt against a white background photo, done in a high-key style, making the person look like a ghost!

Solid coloured clothes are my recommendation, in particular creams and dark blues. I would avoid any clothes that have patterns, logos or motifs - they tend to be too busy, distracting and can date an image very quickly. Matching a colour to the colour of your eyes is very effective tip when selecting colours.

Bring three or four tops, with various colours and also various necklines to the shoot. I would recommend for both men and women at least one shirt with a collar. And a tie and jacket for a more formal look. Also things like scarfs and hats can make interesting accessories to your look for some of the photos but obviously not on every single photo!

I will provide black and white versions of all final images - which some people prefer. And also a variety of crops - ie close up traditional head and shoulders and US style top-half body shots.

Also I always like to try and use something a little different as a background - out of focus walls, or trees or some plants. Having this variation from just one shoot massively increases your chances of getting alternative roles and demonstrations that you have a flexible look. It might make the difference and get you that all important audition.

Finally, I guess the best bit of advice is to look neutral - a casting professional wants to see the 'real' you. So avoid too much make-up and don't ask me to airbrush out any wrinkles. Trust me to create some brilliant, honest portraits - give me a call - I am happy to meet up for coffee and talk over ideas for your shoot and provide advice about the best clothes to wear.

Tips on what to wear for a portrait shoot examples



Prev |< Maritime shipping simulator photography | Industrial photography in the North West >| Next

Tags: spotlight, headshot, headshots

Author: David J Colbran
David has been shooting construction photography for over 15 years producing images for clients across the UK. He is always happy to chat about your photography requirements.

Construction Photographer Liverpool

A lot of my recent commissions have been as a construction photographer in Merseyside and beyond. I've worked for both development companies and directly for manufacturers as their products are being installed on site. Read more...

Positive Vibration is a reggae festival situated in Liverpool's Baltic Triangle - music photography by David J Colbran

Positive Vibration reggae festival in Liverpool

Positive Vibration is an award-winning reggae festival here in Liverpool and I was covering it for my agency ArenaPAL Read more...

Liverpool photographer David J Colbran has image published in The Guardian

Published press portraits

Always nice to see my images in the press - these are of MP Kim Johnson in Liverpool in The Guardian and elsewhere ... Read more...

"I have employed David for conferences, presentations, social engagements, marketing materials, open days, portrait shots, official document signings amongst many others. David has always been amenable to our sometimes short notice and has delivered our photos in a quick time frame as agreed and sometimes much quicker depending on our needs. He has always been very helpful, he follows and delivers on the brief and is able to give additional value to jobs with minimal briefs. I am more than happy to recommend David and he will no doubt deliver the same quality he provides us."

 

Michael Humphreys

Development Officer at Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool photographer - event image example for a University client

Let's start a new project together