What Color Suit For Professional Photo

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Believe information technology or not, we once had a client show up to a photoshoot with a

ripped, dirty t-shirt and stained jeans


True story.

Simply the craziest part? He was scheduled for a 3-hour, multi-await headshot session with u.s.a., and that was the but outfit he brought.

​We had to go actually creative.

A few months later,

an actor showed upwards wearing a total tux and ruddy bowtie

, thinking he needed to clothes up “a flake” for his headshots.

Yep, that’southward too a true story.

Considering of crazy situations like that, we decided to put together this in-depth guide on what to wear for a headshot and then no one would e’er show up to a shoot once more with the wrong headshot outfits!

What to Article of clothing for Headshots: The Ultimate Guide

By the end of this guide, y’all’ll know exactly what to vesture for your actor headshots… and what Non to wear. Remember – wearing the incorrect thing could cause a casting manager to throw your headshot out!

Here’s what’s covered:

  • ​Part 1: Clothing Manner
    – Should you vesture a leather jacket and try to look intense? Or become for a obviously tee to capture a coincidental vibe? Or something more formal? You’ll learn how to decide in Part one.
  • Function 2: What to Avoid Wearing
    – Once you decide on the general style of clothing to clothing, it’s of import to be aware of what does and does Non work well on camera so you don’t make any mistakes.
  • Office iii: How to Pick Your Colors
    – Side by side, you’ll decide on specific colors to wear. Certain colors work Mode better than others on camera and some tin even send unconscious messages!
  • Part 4: Additional Training to Consider
    – Y’all should too retrieve about accessories,
    headshot makeup, and how to plan for your shoot in general. We’ll cover all that in Role 4.

Ready to go started?

​Part ane of 4: Clothing Fashion

Did you know?The clothing you wear in your headshot can mean the divergence between:

  • A headshot that gets you one-two auditions a month…
  • Or a headshot that gets yous 1-2 auditions
    a week – or more.

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what to wear for acting headshots female

Type: Daughter Side by side Door (not knowing their Types is one of the biggest reasons actors struggle to get auditions)

There’s a Large difference between a headshot that gets auditions and one that doesn’t.

For a headshot to really get y’all auditions, you need to be

Most “What to Wear for Headshots” guides give generalized advice like, “Scoop-neck shirts are best on camera,” or “Black V-neck shirts work better than white V-neck shirts,” but that’s one of the biggest reasons actors struggle to become auditions from their headshots.

Why? Considering those guides forget the fact that casting directors are
looking for specific characters when they’re casting. Wearing a blackness tee sounds nice because it’southward straightforward and simple, but information technology’s also and so
that it will almost never get you consistent auditions.

There’s a MUCH meliorate style to effigy out what to wear for headshots, and that’south to reverse the procedure:

STEP 1: Effigy Out Your Types:

To capture a truly constructive thespian/extra headshot, you MUST be clear on your Types. Nearly actors have about 3-four grapheme types they can realistically play.

To effigy out your Types ask yourself the following:

What kinds of characters can I see myself playing? Can I play students? Lawyers? Business professionals? Grandparents? Gang members?

It’s OK to exist stereotypical here

– in fact, it’s encouraged. Exercise you look like a typical business concern man? Well, if y’all accept a big bristles and messy hair, probably not. But maybe yous could play a gang member or a religious fanatic.

Retrieve: information technology’southward of import to be realistic! For instance, if yous’re only 16 years old, there’s no way yous could play a cop considering you’re non old enough.

Finding your Blazon(s) is beyond the scope of this article, but I’ve compiled a list of over 76 Types, plus a special ten-minute process you can follow to discover your Types (don’t worry – you don’t need to awkwardly enquire random people for feedback!).

​​Find Your Type… in Just ten Minutes

Download my special “Find Your Types” Hack

​The clearer y’all are on your Types, the more commercial auditions yous’ll book.
This guide shows you how to shortcut the process of finding your Type frommonths tominutes

​Here’s what’s included:

  • A trivial-known hack to utilize Google to observe people who look like you and discover what their Types are
  • An in-depth list of over 76 Types that casting directors are actively looking for, plus how to know which ones apply to y’all.
  • The 2 biggest mistakes actors brand when discovering their Types, and how to avoid making them yourself
  • BONUS Video:Upgrade Your Blazon to a Brand
     – this xviii-minute video workshop (originally sold for $97) shows yous how to truly stand out to casting directors by upgrading your Types into an elegant, easy-to-think5-Word Brand


​Downloaded by over 1,300 actors and then far.


“LOVED this!!! THANK YOU! Types I’ve narrowed down to – Edgy Business Pro, Punky Mom, Sexy Rockstar, Love Interest, Leading Lady, Sexy Powerhouse Boss, and CEO. Fun and And so HELPFUL! Scheduled another photo shoot now to really capture these characters discovered!! Honestly, Give thanks You, this tool has been invaluable for me!!”

-Kate J.

​Stride 2: Decide on Wearable That Supports Your Types:

Once you lot make up one’s mind on at least three-4 Types you can play, you should decide on the styles of wearable that supports those Types.

For example, if you think ane of your Types is street thug, you probably wouldn’t habiliment a business adjust for your headshot. It would exist better to wear a leather jacket or hoody. If you’re going for “Young Mom,” yous might want to clothing chambray shirt.

To figure out exactly what style of wearable to habiliment, go to

Google Image Search

 and search your Blazon(s). For instance, type in “street thug.” Photos will come up of people who look like that, and you lot’ll instantly know the kinds of clothes to wear.

Notice how nosotros did this in reverse society from what nearly actors practice. Almost actors expect for uncomplicated guides that say what more often than not looks good on photographic camera and what doesn’t, only those guides don’t accept into consideration the kinds of roles that will actually accept the highest shot of getting you auditions.

Now, if you’re concerned about pigeonholing yourself into one particular Type past being too specific, you lot should try doing a few different “looks” for your shoot. Capturing multiple different “Type” shots that are each specific will allow you to submit to a wider variety of auditions, but they’ll still be specific plenty that your shots will effect in plenty of auditions.

As an overall takeaway, NEVER wearable generic habiliment in your headshot because information technology will outcome in a shot that rarely gets you auditions.

Want to keep things elementary? Stay focused on what matters about with my gratis Actor Headshot Checklist.

​Part ii of four: What Should You Not Wear for a Headshot?

At present that you’ve decided on general clothing styles that supports your Types, y’all need to be sure what you wear won’t be distracting or problematic on camera.

We’ll go through a series of
Don’t’due south
in this section.

​Don’t Wearable Potent Patterns

Keep away from plaid, checks, and anything that has high-dissimilarity colors right next to one-another. The only patterns that can work are subtle ones with a slight variance in color.

Patterns generally draw too much attention and appear distracting

and some patterns (especially small ones) can cause a miracle chosenmoire where information technology looks like there’s a weird pattern showing up on-camera that’southward invisible in real-life because of the way the pixels on the camera piece of work:

what not to wear for headshots

An example of moire.


There is no moire, but this blueprint is very distracting. Every bit a side annotation, his smile isn’t very good in this picture either.

Don’t Habiliment Logos or Pictures

Logos and images are incredibly distracting

and definitely don’t work for actor headshots. If you accept a shirt with a small logo such as a Ralph Lauren polo shirt, information technology can unremarkably be photoshopped out (just exist certain your lensman includes retouching in your package).

The simply time a logo or picture show is OK is if information technology’s beingness used on your actor website – don’t employ it for submissions or casting directors will toss information technology!

Don’t Wear Also Many Accessories

Should you wear jewelry in a headshot? Non unless you’re just wearing tiny stud earrings.

Avoid wearing whatsoever form of jewelry in headshots because casting directors find information technology very distracting


You should also avoid hats, scarves, chains, or other accessories.

If you lot wear glasses

, you can keep them on during the shoot (or exercise some with and without) – but just

be sure to tilt the lenses downwards a flake

to reduce glare (by lifting the sides up slightly off your ears).

Want to keep things simple? Stay focused on what matters near with my costless Thespian Headshot Checklist.

what to wear for actor headshots

No glare in the glasses. Notation that his shirt has a pattern, just since the photograph was taken horizontally, it’s not too distracting. A solid color nevertheless would have been meliorate!

​Don’t Article of clothing Sleeveless Tops

For women, unless y’all love your arms, in general it’s best to only prove skin around your neck and confront. Wearing a sleeveless summit not only causes your shoulders and arms to draw attention abroad from your face up, but

sometimes your bra straps can creep into the shot

which is highly distracting and will need to be photoshopped out.

If you practice plan to have shots where you’ll be showing your artillery, be sure to hold them slightly off your body. If they’re pressed up against you, it can make them look bigger than they are.

​Don’t Wearable Clothes That Fit Poorly

what to wear for a professional photoshoot

Rich, deep colors piece of work best on camera. But be sure they back up your Type(s)!

​Don’t Wear Low-Cutting Necklines or Turtleneck Shirts

Turtlenecks can cut you off and brand you announced uptight (like the result you get when you fold your arms).

Low-cut shirts, on the other paw, tin can exist distracting unless they’re cropped in closely. Showing cleavage is a large no-no for histrion headshots.

Even though some photographers will say otherwise, the truth is that at that place are no hard and fast rules for necklines in headshots – your photographer should be able to shoot you no matter what kind of neckline you wearable.
Just keep in mind that
scoop necks and v-necks typically work best for women, and
for men the but neckline that doesn’t piece of work well is a tight t-shirt or turtleneck
that goes up high on the neck.

If you’re not sure near something, experience costless to bring it equally an selection and ask your lensman to take a test shot.

​Don’t Wear Shiny Clothing

In general, shiny clothing tin can look distracting and should exist avoided. That said, certain kinds can work (such every bit black leather jackets), but you should absolutely ask for a test shot earlier committing to something shiny for the shoot.


avoid wearing silver or white shiny clothing

because pieces similar that can look way too vivid in the photo, which volition draw attention away from your face.

Want to keep things simple? Stay focused on what matters most with my gratuitous Thespian Headshot Checklist.

Function 3 of 4: The Best Colors to Article of clothing for Actor Headshots

At present that you’ve decided on wear style and y’all know what to avoid, information technology’s time to option out your colors!

headshot clothing for her

Rich, Deep Colors Look Best on Camera

In general, I recommend

staying away from white and other stake colors as the principal color

 (pink, pale yellow, low-cal green, sky blue, etc.). They tin can overexpose, distract from your face up, and sometimes even make your skin tone look paler than it is. This specially applies to outdoor shoots.

Sometimes lighting can be also bright on certain colors, making them wait completely white in places.

A bright yellow might overexpose and appear white, whereas a dark, wood green would expect great because the amount of light reflecting from information technology is less.

If you lot really want to wear a pale color, vesture a jacket or other darker layer over the pale color. You can go out the jacket open so nosotros see some of the pale color, but not too much.

best colors to wear on camera

His shirt is too bright and takes away from his face.

what to wear for professional headshots female

Darker colors look richer and nicer on camera.

Wear Colors Y’all Beloved

Anyone who tells you lot that a certain color always reads well on camera is forgetting that

colors are highly subjective


Your complexion, hair color, backdrop, and fifty-fifty the feeling you want to requite off in your headshot should all be taken into consideration, and for that reason, I recommend starting by choosing colors y’all really love wearing.

​I also recommend that you actively avert wearing colors yous don’t like because y’all’ll await (and experience)

less confident

 in your shots. Nearly any color tin can technically work as long as the photographer knows how to light it properly.

​Bring Different Variations of Each Color

​Different variations of your favorite colors will requite you options. Your photographer or stylist can help suggest which versions of a color might look best.​

For case, if you love blue,

bring a light bluish, dark blue, and really dark, navy blueish

. And so, based on where you’re shooting and the background and lighting in the image, certain versions of that color might piece of work better than others.

Note that if you lot only take one variation of a color, don’t worry – you don’t have to go and buy a whole agglomeration of new clothes. Showing up with merely i option won’t exist the finish of the world!

what to wear for headshots female

Wear Gratuitous Colors When Layering

When wearing layers (like a jacket over your shirt), be sure the colors compliment one another​.

Intense color combinations tin can be distracting, so proceed your combinations simple.

​Make sure the combinations you wearable are made of solid-colored pieces layered over one-another.
Layers can add together more interest
and make you look more dynamic and visually appealing.

If you’re wondering whether to practice your headshot with a jacket on or off, I almost always recommend keeping it on… merely if your lensman is open up to it, ask to do a few of each!

You lot can download my free “Instant Color Matching” table

 to make combining different colors for layering easy.​

​Transport the Right Message By Wearing the Correct Color

​Some colors can subconsciously send the incorrect message to people if they’re worn the wrong mode.

For instance, a large amount of green can signify

harmony and stability

, simply a pocket-size amount of green tin can actually make you come beyond as

jealous or inexperienced


​​​Why do we interpret green like that?

​Well, evolutionarily, nosotros learned that lots of green meant grass & forest, or a prophylactic identify. But small amounts of green tell us a fruit is not ripe nevertheless, meaning we should avoid it.

Since subliminal color meanings are across the scope of this article, I’ve created a guide that explains not simply what each color says to the viewer, simply also how the meanings alter based on where the colour appears in the image –as an inner layer, outer layer, or even as a backdrop.

This info will get in like shooting fish in a barrel for you to figure out what to wear and what backdrops to request and then your headshot sends the correct bulletin!

​Are Your Colors Sending the Right Message?

Download my Complimentary “Hidden Color Meanings”

Nautical chart

Scientific inquiry has shown that every colour sends a specific bulletin depending on how it’southward worn.My “Hidden Color Meanings” chart volition help yous speedily and easily pick outfits that send the right message.

  • Use color to testify casting directors you’re
    confident, and

    instead ofinexperienced,
    jealous, or
    (yes, the wrong colors can actually send those letters)
  • Match your outfits perfectly with the included “Instant Color Matching” table
    – it works even if y’all dislike matching clothes and have trouble figuring out what to wear.
  • Take your headshot from expert to fantastic… by going ane pace deeper than other actors who simply desire a “regular” headshot

Let me know where to send the guide by clicking the button beneath:


​Role iv of 4: Of import Tips to Gear up for Your Shoot

In this last section, I’ll outline a few terminal things to go on in mind as you become almost planning your outfits for your headshots.

​Don’t Be Afraid to Bring a Few Options

Almost photographers are fine if you bring more than what you’ll need for the shoot. Feel costless to bring a few dissimilar options so they (or their makeup creative person) tin can assistance you determine.

​Sometimes they just demand to see you lot in-person to know what will work best based on your skin tone, eye color, hair color, etc.

And of class, if the lensman does test shots, they can let you see them and so y’all tin can see whether y’all like the way your outfits await in the pictures.

​Go along in Mind How Far Out the Image Will Be Cropped

Unless you need to do full-body or iii/4 length photos,

y’all won’t need to worry about your pants and shoes.

That being said, some people similar to wear an entire outfit that matches. We oftentimes shoot with women who want to article of clothing heels because information technology improves their posture and how they carry themselves in their photograph.

Learn more about cropping for actor headshots here.

best colors to wear for pictures

A half-body or 3/4 shot won’t evidence your shoes, but does show your pants.

what to wear in a headshot

Beneath this suit, his pants were biker shorts (merely kidding).

​Looking Practiced in a Headshot is About More Than Your Outfit

A corking headshot is nearly more than only your clothes. It’due south also about your expression! And since expression is so important, you demand to
adept about what you’re wearing.

If you lot choose clothing you don’t similar only because someone tells you lot to (or y’all wear clothes that are uncomfortable), it volition exist harder for y’all to relax plenty to get practiced expressions. So habiliment what you lot beloved!

If you lot want to become deeper on expression, cheque out my gratuitous guide called
Upgrade your $400 Headshot to a $1,400 Headshot (without spending a dime more).

​Pilus & Makeup Tips

Swoop deep on how to do your own makeup in our free guide:
Headshot Makeup: How to Do Your Own

Makeup for camera is different than makeup for everyday life. Camera lighting washes out your face, so your makeup needs to be a bit more than pronounced than what you’d do normally.

If you plan to hire a makeup artist, be certain to utilize someone who has experience in headshots. Most headshot photographers piece of work with a makeup artist they recommend who can customize their makeup to your ain personal manner.

Here are a few pilus and makeup tips if you’re planning to do information technology yourself:

  • Keep your hair simple and remember we can’t see what’s behind your head – Your hair should expect similar to how it usually does in every 24-hour interval life. Avoid asking your photographer or makeup artist to practice your hair differently considering hair is so subjective and you’ll probably be uncomfortable with whatever they propose. As well, go along in heed that in a photo, we tin can’t meet annihilation backside your head, so if you pull your hair back into a ponytail, it will wait like you lot have really brusk hair. To show a ponytail or pulled-back hairstyle, slide it over a bit so nosotros tin see it sticking out on the side your head.
  • Don’t practise your makeup significantly different – Your headshots should look just like y’all practise in real-life (unless you want to re-do your makeup exactly as information technology was in your headshot every time you go in for an audition), so be sure the makeup you do is similar to your normal way (and not overly glamorous). If your makeup looks too different, you’ll be uncomfortable with your shots and probably won’t desire to apply them. Plus, casting directors HATE when you lot walk in the audience room looking different than you lot did in your headshot.
  • Contour your face a chip more than –
    Because of the 2-dimensionality of photos, you should add together a flake more contouring to your face so you lot look more than iii-dimensional on photographic camera. Also, with the way lighting works, your features can appear washed-out, so you might need some boosted lip color and eyeliner.
  • Add extra powder to cover upwardly polish –
    Studio lights are very bright and tin can make y’all look shiny. Even though polish can wait nice in real life, it can be distracting and make you look sweaty in your headshot, so it’s best to bring some powder or tissues to lightly wipe downward your confront if announced shiny.
  • Bring extra makeup and make adjustments afterwards the photographer takes a test shot –
    The photographer should give you an extra v-7 minutes at the start of your session to accommodate your makeup after you run into your test shot. Exist sure to ask if they’re open to this ahead of time.

Want to keep things simple? Stay focused on what matters virtually with my free Thespian Headshot Checklist.

what to wear for headshots female

​Ready Your Habiliment in Advance

Make certain all your clothes are ready to become at least ii-3 days earlier your shoot.

We’ve had clients needing to reschedule because there was a
delay at the dry cleaner, and nosotros’ve had others show up with
wrinkled clothing
(luckily we have steamers in our studios, only some photographers don’t).

Be sure your wearing apparel are neatly pressed, clean, and lint-free. And if your photographer doesn’t carry them, you can bring a lint roller and steamer to your shoot.

​Finally, if y’all’re going to clothing a tie and are unsure of how to tie it properly,

watch a YouTube video

and tie it alee of time. During the shoot you tin just slip it over your caput and tighten information technology. Some photographers don’t know how to tie ties, and so you should prepare but in case.

For a complete list of all ix things to bring to your shoot, download my free

Actor Headshot Checklist


Make Sure Your Photographer Shoots on the Right Backdrop

Although backdrops are beyond the scope of this article, you should still pay attention to them because

shooting on the wrong backdrop tin can create confusion in the casting managing director

, causing you to miss out on an audience opportunity.

When the photographer takes his or her examination shot, pay attention to whether your outfit is ambivalent with the backdrop. For instance, you wouldn’t desire to practise a shot where you’re playing a
Young Professional
Type… against a blurred greenery backdrop outdoors!

The properties you use tin can assistance strengthen (or clash with) your Blazon.

To learn how to pick the best possible backdrops, check out my free guide:

​Choose the Right Properties for Your Headshot

Download my Costless “Headshot Backdrops Guide”

I created this uncomplicated guide to assistance you choose the proper properties for your histrion headshot.
Not but will you detect your
as an actor, but you lot’ll also larn what type of properties will work best to capture information technology.

​Hither’due south what’s covered:​

  • ​​The About Mutual Backdrop Mistakes – Did you lot know that a night greyness backdrop could make your histrion headshot await dated if it’south non lit properly? Learn the meanings of each backdrop so you choose ane that works right for your goals.
  • Backdrops Based on
     – The student, the father, the detective – they all require unlike backdrops. Learn which backdrop works all-time for each specific Type.
  • How to Find Your Actor Brand – Larn my simple step-by-step procedure calledM.I.S.T.
    Method to figure out your role player brand and the overall aesthetic and wait that will best capture it.


Did you find this article helpful?

​Book more piece of work by thinking “Exterior the Manufacture.”

​As someone who has worked with people in thousands of industries (through my
headshot business organization),

I’ve been able to take marketing strategies that piece of work for other businesses and apply them straight to actors – to assist them grow their careers faster than most would think possible

 (examples: one of my clients landed his kickoff-ever Broadway role in simply 4 weeks of working with me, and a brand-new actress signed with a high-level amanuensis in only half dozen weeks of working with me).

I’d like to invite you to my

free insider newsletter

 where I’ll share my best cloth, including:

  • How to network hands and authentically with casting directors – fifty-fifty if yous hate self-promotion.
  • How to find yourType andBrand in just xviii minutes (it doesn’t require awkwardly asking lots of random people for feedback)
  • How to find a hardworking and reliable amanuensis – even if you don’t take a potent resume or reel
  • And much more…

Download my free
Player’south Toolkit

to become started and you’ll hear from me a few times a week with unique “outside the manufacture” strategies. I promise they will assistance you build a career you’re truly proud of.


Martin Bentsen (author of this guide) is an actor marketing coach who uses “outside the industry” thinking to help actors volume more work. He’southward helped over vi,000 actors with their careers andactor headshots since 2009 and his photography studio Urban center Headshots is ranked #1 on Yelp. He’south spoken at NYU, The New England Theater Conference, The Actor’south Green Room, and other venues.

Want to book more acting work by thinking different? Start with his freeActor’s Toolkit to create new opportunities correct away, or visit his website atwww.martinbentsen.com.

​Further Reading:

Source: https://www.cityheadshots.com/blog/the-best-colors-clothing-to-wear-on-camera