Many times we get caught trying to tell a client what to wear and not to wear for a headshot. I have been there many times myself and finally have come to a couple things that I prefer.
1.) Jewelry. Don’t wear it, I find that it is distracting in the final image. We want to see the person not what they are wearing. It will suggest a personality type or status. As an actor, if you want to portray a certain image for a specific role be aware that you will have eliminated yourself in other role considerations.
2.) I use to say, when I was first starting, stay away from black and from white. As you can see here its okay to have them wear white you don’t lose detail, this is accomplished with proper exposure control and camera position.
3.) Stay away from busy prints and favor the solid colors. There are exceptions but not many.
What you wear greatly affects how you are perceived so clothing style should support your image. There are no hard and fast rules but here are a few things that rarely work well in photographs. Avoid solid white although a semi-sheer linen will work. deep “V” necks, ( unless a more sexy image is desired) , and sleeveless tops. Avoid big prints, paisley, polka dots, checks and leave your Hawaiian shirt at home. Generally, the idea is to not compete with your clothes for attention. Wardrobe should compliment your image.
Wardrobe ideas for men include:
• Business, executive, evening formal
• Ivy league, business casual
• Urban rough-cut, denim, black and other dark colors
• Outdoor rugged, bulky garments, ski and fishing ware
• Sporty, particularly with tennis whites, sweats and colored patterns
Wardrobe ideas for women include:
• Evening, elegant, sexy, particularly black with low necklines or off the shoulder
• Lacy camisoles and romantic lingerie
• Business suits and jackets
• Small Patterned blouses, vintage clothing
This image was shot using the clam shell technique with two small chimera soft boxes and two lights for the background to go white, camera left and right. f4.0 @160 ISO 100.