When it comes to a photoshoot for an actor’s headshots, wardrobe basics is just as important as the actual photo itself. The right clothing can enhance your features, especially your eyes, showcase a spunky personality, and make you stand out to casting directors. Here are some basic wardrobe tips to keep in mind when preparing for your headshot session.

  1. If you do nothing else… do this.  If you know what shows, or type of shows you want to be cast, study what the characters from those shows are wearing.  Whatever that style might be… go buy those clothes, or at least a very similar style.  There are ways to keep that cheap, thankfully, by picking up similar styled items at thrift stores and second hand clothing stores like a Plato’s Closet or similar.
  2. Keep it simple: Your wardrobe should not detract from your face or personality. Generally, we want to avoid clothing logos, or overly distracting designs.  But this also a case where over time, things have changed a little bit.  I can remember taking headshots back in the not-so-distant past where ANYTHING plaid was considered too distracting.  But now, plaid is the go-to for any “Dad” look, especially left open and layered over a plain t-shirt.   But for sure have options of solid colors and simple patterns that complement your skin tone and features.
  3. Bold Colors: Here is another example of a wardrobe option that has recently changed.  Bright colors can be attention-grabbing, and while they used to be thought of as distracting in a headshot, with all headshots being viewed online now, instead of the old school hardcopy headshot, bright colors for COMMERCIAL headshots are the hot ticket, especially with backgrounds that reflect a very similar colors. Stick with neutral or subdued colors, such as blues, grays, or earth tones for your more dramatic, theatrical shots.
  4. Consider your character type: When choosing your wardrobe, think about the characters you typically portray or the roles you are aiming for. Your clothing should reflect your brand and type, whether it’s business professional, casual, or edgy.  Again, if you are that “mom” or “dad” type and want to work commercials, then start watching more commercials and take notes about what your age group “mom’s and dad’s” are wearing in those ads.
  5. Bring options: It’s always a good idea to bring a few different clothing options to your headshot session. And honestly, the more, the better, but this is also why we do an initial wardrobe consultation.  The better prepared, the faster and smoother things flow.  This gives you and the photographer more choices to work with, and ensures that you have backup options in case one outfit doesn’t work out.  And yes, sometimes what we may think looks good ends up not being so hot on camera.  In that case, we try to move on to the next outfit immediately.  Most headshot photographers have a good idea though, from taking 1000’s of shots, of what works, and what won’t.  Trust your photographer on this one.
  6. Accessorize sparingly.  Better yet, don’t accessorize AT ALL. While accessories can add interest to your outfit, they can and will also be distracting in a headshot. Avoid large or noisy jewelry.  The casting director wants to see YOU. Not your earrings. The few pieces of jewelry I would recommend keeping in are nose rings, if that is your style, and if you have large gauge flesh tunnels in your ears.  Otherwise, lose the earring, lose the necklaces.

Overall, the key to a successful wardrobe for a headshot session is to keep it simple, neutral, and reflective of your character type and the industry you are targeting. By following these basic tips, you can ensure that your wardrobe enhances your headshots and showcases your unique personality and brand.