1. Headshots

  1. Hair cut or styled the way you want.
  2. Three Options for Clothing (See tips below).
  3. Glasses clean and in good repair.
  4. As little makeup on as possible. (This assumes professional makeup will be part of your session.)
  5. Get a good sleep the night before.
  6. Be prepared to have fun.

The most important is a great attitude and being prepared to have a good time. (There is a lot of laughing and music at our SRK Headshot Day sessions.) Even though many people use these photos as business headshots, we think having a good time lets the real you come through in your photo.

Both men and women should come with their hair styled and ready to be photographed. Men, if you are going to get a haircut, have it done at a few days ahead of your appointment. Make sure nose hairs are trimmed. Eyebrows should be trimmed or plucked the way you like. Unless you normally wear a beard, have a good shave the morning of your photo.

Dress For the Job You Want: Stick with solid colored tops. They’re more flattering and less distracting. Jackets and collared shirts are highly recommended. Depending on your industry, you may be tempted to wear casual attire. But, based on our experience, we recommend you dress up for your professional photos.

Try to avoid any large pieces of jewelry or excessive makeup. Avoid logos or badges on either your shirt and your jacket – or you risk looking like an advertisement.

For guys, unless you have a strong preference, try not to wear an undershirt with your dress shirt. If you do, wear a white undershirt – not a black or grey undershirt.

In general, you want solid-color and high-contrast outfits. For example, white shirt and dark blue blazer, white shirt and black blazer, or light blue shirt and black blazer etc. 

Make sure your clothes are ironed and/or without wrinkles. If you have a lint roller, use it the night before. 

Do not wear glasses with “blue light reflectors” or “transition lenses”, those will ruin your photos. There’s not much we can do about that in the editing process either. Regular glasses are totally OK though.

NOTE: If you’re taking headshot to be put on your employer’s website, make SURE to check with them on the proper attire. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes customers will need to come and re-shoot because they wore a suit (when they should have been dressed casual) or were under-dressed. Every employer is different, and what you should wear depends on what they’d like to convey on the website – so make sure to ask.

Shave: If you have facial hair, either cleanly shave or maintain a trimmed beard. Anything in the middle looks sloppy. When in doubt, shave. However, do not shave immediately before your shoot – as razor bumps and discoloration will become more apparent.

Stick with Simple Jewelry

The best professional headshots enhance your natural features without distracting from them. For this reason, simple jewelry is a better choice for professional headshots – especially if your headshot will be cropped closely to your face (as most are). 

So long as you have the right hair and makeup for your headshot session, jewelry should just be a “finishing touch.” For necklaces, make sure the pendant is visible above the crop of the photo. For earrings, stick with simple metallic or gemstone studs, and wear dangling earrings with caution. Hoop earrings and anything that dangles tends to be caught in hair and gets lost in the photo. 

What Colors To Wear for Headshots 

Consider Color Theory

Color theory refers to the science of how certain colors influence our moods, thoughts and behaviors – and how certain wardrobe hues can influence what others believe about us. For instance, red conveys confidence and energy, whereas navy blue and black elicits a sense of dominance and authority. Think about what message you want to convey in your professional headshots and select colors accordingly.

  • Dark colors are perceived as more formal, dominant and authoritative
  • Light colors make the wearer appear more friendly and approachable
  • Some bright colors convey confidence and energy
  • Muted colors are conservative and less threatening
  • High-contrast pairings like a dark jacket and light shirt can create a powerful image that conveys influence and authority

Stick with Solid Colors

Regardless of your portrait style and setting, simple colors and subtle patterns usually look best on everyone. Bold or busy patterns tend to distract from your face and can lead to moire, an unpleasant visual side effect of repeating patterns. 

Contrast with Your Backdrop

When choosing colors for your professional headshots, consider your portrait backdrop. Unless you’re getting a company-branded headshot, choose wardrobe colors that contrast with your background so you stand out. This is especially true if you plan to have black and white headshots – a dark top against a dark background could make you look like a floating head!