Congratulations on choosing one of the best photographers for headshots in the Los Angeles area. Now it’s time to decide what clothes you should bring to your headshot photo session. There are a lot of resources out there, giving you advice on what type of clothing works best in photos. It is important to realize that advice is just one person’s opinion. It isn’t the end all and be all because opinions vary from one person to the next. However, there are definitely some consistent guidelines you should follow to assure your headshots represent the best and most bookable version of you.
DRESS FOR YOUR TYPE
First of all, it is important that you realize that you have to be fluid in this business. There is a difference between what you may want to play vs. what you look like you can play. Always choose what your look supports. When you are first building a resume, you have to rely on who you are naturally, not who you can push yourself to be. That will come after you’ve built a career. You can accomplish this by doing your homework. Watch episodes of the top shows on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more. Figure out the characters that match your list of looks and make sure you truly look like those characters, both visually and in your essence. Be honest with yourself. Are you the edgy bad guy or the barbeque dad? The girl next door or the urban hipster? Embrace your look and dress to your strongest types.
Let’s talk about color choices. Unlike most photographers, Alan Weissman uses studio lighting as well as natural light. This is what sets him apart from other headshot photographers and makes him one of the best photographers in L.A. His unique lighting allows him to work with all colors of clothing without them getting blown out or overexposed. You want your face to be the focal point of the shot, so solid colors are your best choice. Patterns and prints can distract or date your photo. The exception to this rule can sometimes be a plaid shirt for layering. Denim jackets are also good for layering. Having a jacket or button-down shirt (unbuttoned) over another shirt can add an interesting visual quality to your headshots. This can enhance your look and often feels more complete than just a plain t-shirt. Just try not to pick anything that has a distracting pattern or design on it. Definitely avoid neon colors. It is best to choose medium tones or darker than medium tone shades. Try to wear colors that will complement your skin tones and bring out your eye color. Pick colors that contrasts against your skin color. You want your face to POP!
As for quality of clothing, these next requirements seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times they are overlooked. First, make sure your clothing is making a good impression. You don’t want to look messy or rumpled. Your clothing items don’t need to look perfect, but you also don’t want to wad your shirts up and throw them into a bag before the shoot. Bring your clothes on hangers to keep them looking fresh. Clothes should also be clean. Again, they don’t need to be perfect. Smudges and lint can always be retouched later. Fit is also important. Loose-fitting clothes can make you look frumpy and heavier than you are. Choose clothes that fit and are flattering to your body type. Try not to wear a shirt with a logo on it. However if you have a favorite top with a small logo we can remove it in photoshop. You don’t want a logo or any other design to detract from what’s important...YOU!
Remember to bring a wide selection of clothes. The more choices, the better. Even if your headshot photoshoot is only for one look, never bring just one shirt. Bring at least one or two other tops so you have alternates. It is better to have too much and not need it. Remember, these are headshots, so shoes and bottoms are not of priority. A good variety of tops is what is needed. Many actors are on a tight budget. If you need to buy some clothes for your headshot session, you can usually return them to the store after your photoshoot. Just tuck the tags in, save your receipts, and be sure to check the return policy!
Finally, bring items that you consider to be your favorite types of clothing. Your outfits should make you feel great. You want to feel confident, at ease, and at your very best. When you feel good, you look good. Comfortable clothing will allow you to experiment and figure out what works best for the shot. You need to look and feel most like yourself. Remember, the focus of your headshots should always be you and not the clothes you are wearing! Lastly, relax and have fun!