Erin Malcolm Photography
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Headshot Wardrobe Tips


We've all seen the 'deer in the headlight' company photos or the unfortunate mustard colored shirt choice photographed under fluorescent lights. I'm here to tell you, rest easy, because you won't get that with me!

I've got you covered; with tips on wardrobe selection, hair and makeup considerations, jewelry and accessory suggestions, and most importantly, bringing a positive attitude and confidence to your headshot session.

What should I wear is the #1 question asked by every client. My answer depends on what type of job you have and how dressed up you have to be on the job. If you normally wear a suit and tie to the office, wear that for your headshots. Maybe take the tie off for some less formal shots, but take a cue from your boss and dress accordingly. Black, navy, or a subtle plaid sport coat photographs very well, with solid color shirts and a nice tie. Get a little creative with your tie choice to add your personality to the photos too.

Women in this type of profession, blazers with tailored blouses and tasteful jewelry is always a nice choice. Colors should be neutral, with maybe a pop of color by adding a scarf. If a second outfit is brought, a plaid jacket (or blouse or dress) in a smaller print is a great alternative. Stick to colors that don't overpower you; bright bold colors can be quite distracting on camera.

Please make sure your articles of clothing are ironed too. Nothing is worse that a totally wrinkled shirt! Even if you're wearing a blazer, the wrinkles will stand out.

Now, let's talk about hair and makeup. Please do not get a drastic cut or color the week before your headshots! You want to look like yourself in the photos, and a new look this close to your session may not be the best time to experiment.

Ladies, you may want to consider having your hair and makeup done professionally the day of your session. These artists know how to expertly apply makeup that will make your skin look flawless. And you will photograph beautifully with the right foundation applied by a pro. Same with your hair!

Don't forget about your nails either. Light colored polishes are timeless, whereas darker shades can detract from the image.

Guys, make sure you do some grooming as well. A little trim to your facial hair a day before would be nice, as well as a trim on top if needed. Again, nothing too drastic so others won't recognize you when you walk into the office.

A small travel bag with a brush, hairspray, face powder, lip gloss, a lint roller and blotting papers go a long way too!

For jewelry and accessories, my mantra is 'simple is best.' Like crazy bold patterns in your wardrobe, large bright colored jewelry takes the focus off of YOU. Keep your necklace and earrings classic and timeless and your headshots will look great for years to come.

If your company is less formal though, bring some fun accessories to wear in some shots. If you're a 'hat person' and you're allowed to wear things like this on a daily basis, by all means, show your true self and bring on the funk!

Let's talk about glasses now. If you wear glasses, ideally non-glare lenses are preferable. The lighting I bring with me won't create harsh spots in your lenses this way. If you don't have non-glare lenses, and are able to pop out your lenses for your session, that would be terrific. Or if you wear contacts sometimes, that would be great too. Taking your glasses off if we run into problems with glare would also be a huge plus.

Finally, in the days leading up to your headshot session, getting enough rest and hydration tremendously help you look and feel better. Your skin looks dewy and fresh, and who doesn't want that?

I promise, once we get rolling and you see how easy I make the whole process, you're not going to want to get off the stool! Like the Allstate slogan - "You're in good hands!"