Tips for Making the Most of Your Headshots

It's never easy being the person in front of a camera. I would imagine that even Gisele used to get nervous before big shoots. While we can't all be expected to be supermodels (wishful thinking!), there are certainly things you can do to make your headshot experience a relaxed one. 

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General Headshot Tips

  • Stay away from flesh-tones, like light yellow, nude, or light tan. Clothes that contrast against your skin tend to look better.
  • Avoid neons and bright white. It will likely wash you out and that's no bueno. 
  • Look for jewel tones: navy, maroon/burgundy/ruby, mustard, emerald. These look good on just about everyone!
  • Skip logos and busy patterns. We want to focus on you! 
  • Don’t worry too much about pants and shoes; the image will not capture anything below your hips - likely nothing lower than your waist. 
  • Practice posing in what you’re wearing. No, seriously. You could rock the cutest outfit of all time, but if the only pose you're comfortable with involves crossing your arms and that blazer is too snug to make it work, you won't be a happy camper!
  • Practice in the mirror! Again - I'm totally serious here! True life: if I force a smile for the camera, I literally look dead inside. But when I think about something funny and let myself laugh a little, I look like me! I would never have realized that if I hadn't spent some time in front of the mirror figuring it out. Be a little vain! Your headshot will thank you.
  • Wear what accentuates your best features, and conceal what you're not comfortable with. I don't like drawing extra attention to my upper arms, so you can bet I won't be going strapless!
  • If you’re hoping to get a haircut sometime soon, aim to have it done about a week before your headshot. This gives you enough time to get used to styling your hair, and getting used to the look, and you don’t need to worry about an awkward just-cut look.
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Tips for the Ladies

  • Scoop or v-necks work best to elongate the neck.
  • Simple jewelry is best. Statement necklaces can work if they aren’t too busy, and earrings aren’t competing for attention.
  • Chunky fabrics can make you look heavier, but too thin fabric can show lines through it, so watch the weight of what you are wearing. Textured fabrics tend to photograph well. 
  • Even if you don’t wear makeup, it is recommended for your headshot since we will likely be using some studio lighting. A few things to think about: 
    • Curling your eyelashes can make a big difference.
    • Don't forget about your lips! Even if you don't regularly wear lipstick, a neutral shade can really help your lips pop a little. 
    • A little blush and bronzer is great, but if you're not used to contouring, don't take this as an opportunity to copy Kim Kardashian. Keep it simple! 
    • When all else fails, check YouTube for some basic makeup tutorials. The summer I was in a million weddings, this was my saving grace. God bless YouTube, Amen. 
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Tips for the Men

  • You have it much easier than your female counterparts. Rejoice. 
  • If you’re clueless on what to wear, you can’t go wrong with a solid colored button down, rolled at the sleeves, with dark jeans or neutral colored pants.
  • Facial hair is fine, but make sure to trim it up so you don’t accidentally rock a 5 o’clock shadow.
  • If you typically wear undershirts, make sure they aren’t visible under your top shirt (v-necks are easier to hide).
  • Opt for a tailored look over something that may come across as too relaxed. Tuck in your shirt, grab a nice belt, and make sure your clothing is more fitted than loose.

Want to learn more about headshots with Mad Photo?