It's a common question and important consideration. A typical headshot will only include your collar and shoulders, but that is still enough to be an important element of the shot. With a little thought it's not difficult to choose clothing options that will compliment rather than distract in your profile picture.
These are the most important factors to consider:
- Avoid wearing anything too distracting. Our attention is drawn to lettering so a prominent logo is best avoided unless it's your brand and you specifically want to make it a feature of the image. Similarly avoid complicated patterns. The image should be about you, not the clothes.
- Choose clothes you feel comfortable in. It will help you feel (and most importantly, appear) relaxed through the shoot.
- Avoid any colours that are close to your natural skin tones.
- Avoid wearing too much jewellery. Again it can be a distraction.
- Long sleeves are generally preferable to short sleeves. Although most shots won't include your arms, some wider shots will and long sleeves generally look more professional.
- Darker colours are usually a good choice, or at least a combination of light and dark. Reds or oranges can tend to overpower skin tones.
- Dress as you would for your business. Think about how you're going to use the shot, who will be viewing it, and what image that you want to portray to them.
- Avoid a strapless top or dress. For a headshot you'll look naked and that's probably not the look you want to go for.
- Bring along an accessory or two, especially if you have a favourite hat, scarf or glasses. They can add variety and a bit of fun near the end of a shoot.
- Consider bringing a second top. If you're not sure you've made the right choice, put an alternative in a bag and you can discuss the options with your photographer and, in most cases, try both through the shoot.
- For an outdoors shoot, dress for the weather. It's easy to take a coat off for a few shots so make sure you're not cold (or too hot) before the shoot has started.
These are just suggestions and don't feel that you have to stick to them if you'd rather do something different. They are your headshots so make sure they make the statement that you want to make.