Outfit Ideas for Headshots

Go for clean and simple when it comes to a headshot.

Photo: Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Every professional actor, musician and model knows a headshot is her calling card. It's the first impression any agent or casting director is going to have of you, so you really want to make it look great. This means a high quality photo that is an accurate representation of what you look like in real life. Most photographers will let you bring a few outfit options. Before you rummage through your closet or hit the local mall for some new ensembles, make sure you know what kind of impression you want your photo to make as well as what works and doesn't work in a headshot.

Know Your Type

The most important thing to decide before you choose a slew of outfits for your headshot session is to know what type you are. If you're a wannabe model, go for clean and simple. If you're an actor who specializes in playing the tough girl, choose an outfit with a little edge.Those gals who play the businesswoman or the suburban mom should pick something more conservative. If you have a wide range, choose one outfit that's super basic and a few outfits that suggest your other sides. This doesn't mean you should hit your headshot session in a complete costume. Regular clothes only.


You want to stand out in your headshot. "Skip wearing black and white, " says Jennifer Lauren Grant, a Los Angeles-based photographer. She suggests choosing a color that really brings out your eyes or complements your skin tone. Cool skin tones, or those ladies with blue veins, should try intense colors like red, hot pink or bright blue. Warmer skin tones, or those ladies with greenish veins, should stick to muted, rich colors like olive, orange or dark brown.


"Keep it simple," says Grant. For tops, try a fitted tee shirt, racer back tank or button down shirt, depending on what you feel most comfortable wearing. "Make sure the neckline is high enough so it's visible in the photo. You don't want to look naked," she says. As for bottoms, clean, newish looking jeans, slacks or a simple skirt work best. A dress is also an option, as long as it isn't too sexy or too fancy. "Stay away from tops and dresses with patterns or decoration on them. They can be distracting," Grant warns.

Makeup and Hair

Hair and makeup is also a vital component of your headshot outfit. "You should look like an enhanced version of your everyday self," says Grant. This means doing your makeup one layer thicker than how you would normally wear it to an audition. Foundation, powder and concealer are important, in order to cover up any blemishes and give you a shine-free look. As for your hair, wear it down, styled normally. If your hair is straight, flat iron it so it looks super smooth. If you have curly locks, make sure the curls look their best.

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Jennifer Lauren Grant; Jennifer Lauren Grant Photography; Los Angeles, California TheSoko.com: How to Match Colours to Your Skin Tone

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