CHOOSING YOUR WARDROBE
When it comes to actor headshots, wardrobe is one of the most important parts of a successful shoot. You want your headshot to represent you, your range, and your personality all at once. What’s more, you want to look professional yet approachable and unique but still accessible so that casting directors can find the right role for you. To ensure you nail your wardrobe selection, here are some tips on how to pick the perfect outfit for your next actor headshot session.
The first thing that casting directors see is how professional an actor looks in their headshots. It is important to remember that what you wear should represent who you are as an actor, not who you are in everyday life. This means avoiding trends or off-the-wall fashion choices. Instead, focus on creating a look that exudes professionalism and elegance—not something overly showy or too casual. Consider investing in a few quality pieces that will last through many seasons and photo sessions. Neutral tones such as black, grey, navy blue, and white are always safe options that will not detract from your face or features when photographed against them.
Examples of trends that I would avoid are crop tops, neon, overly big clothing and sweaters, ripped/distressed clothes. Also avoid overly textured clothes, like ruffles or lace. But of course, if you are going for character headshots and want to showcase a specific look, make whatever wardrobe decision you need to for the look!
Present Yourself as a Professional Actor
Be Confident & Uniquely You
Choose clothing pieces for your headshots that make YOU feel confident! After all, confidence translates through your photos and helps make an impression on those viewing them—casting directors included! Adding subtle touches of texture or color details such as scarves or jewelry can help create visual interest without going overboard or being too distracting from the most important part—you! Your individuality should be expressed through every aspect of your photos including wardrobe so don’t be afraid to break away from traditional looks if it captures who YOU are better than anything else ever could!
The clothes you wear should fit you properly but still be comfortable enough so that you don't feel distracted while taking pictures. Make sure there's no extra fabric bunching up around the collar of your shirt or waistband of your pants—you don't want wrinkles showing up in your photos! Iron or steam your clothes! And if you're wearing a dress, skirt, or blazer, check that nothing feels too tight or loose—you want it to fit just right!
Fit & Comfort
Solid Colors vs Patterns
One of the key elements to consider when planning your actor headshot wardrobe is color. Solid colors generally work better than patterns because they create a more consistent background and don't draw away from your face as the focus of the shot. If you decide to bring patterns, make sure they aren't too tight, like a bunch of small polka dots placed closely together. Tight patterns can look a squirrely on camera.
Choose colors that are complimentary to your skin tone and eye color—but avoid solid white. White reflects a lot of light and can make you look washed out on camera. White can work underneath a coat or jacket, but avoid solid white tops. Although it absorbs light, I'm okay with solid black, but it depends on the background color and lighting setup we're working with. Feel free to bring black tops, but also bring bring mid-tones like navy or grey. These produce consistently flattering flattering result.
Neutral tones are always a great option for actor headshots because they don't draw attention away from your features and let your personality really shine through. Think classic shades like navy blue, grey, brown, khaki and olive green for timeless results that will never go out of style in casting rooms across the world. These shades also tend to match easily with other pieces of clothing so you have plenty of options for mixing and matching different looks without clashing outfits together or having anything stand out too much (unless you want it to).
I also recommend choosing colors that aren't similar to your skin color. We want your skin to pop and contrast with your clothing color.
Accessories can make or break an actor headshot outfit so choose wisely! I recommend leaving accessories out of your headshots unless you are going for a specific look or type that can be accented by your accessories. With the exception of glasses. If glasses are a part of your daily looks, please bring them! If you do want to include accessories, they should be modest since they should complement but not overpower your look. For men, a nice watch or pair of glasses can add subtle sophistication while women may opt for something more delicate such as earrings or a scarf. Avoid any bulky items like necklaces or hats as they will take up too much space in the frame and detract from your face as the main focus of each shot.
Like I mentioned earlier, poses are overrated. What I like to do is set my subjects up in a pose and then ask them to explore the space with their body and find the freedom to play around and move. The best poses are the ones that are not planned and instead come from natural reactions, so please be open to dropping the poses and just being yourself.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me at email@example.com and we'll talk!