DIY Headshots: Clothing Styling Tips

November 25, 2022
Headshot styling tips from Berks Headshots photographer Jennifer.

When it comes to wardrobe for your headshot, there are lots of options! How do you know what is the best thing to wear for YOUR headshot? When clients come to the studio and are unsure what to wear, my #1 tip is to bring in a few options. I can see the colors, textures, and styles of their pieces and then guide them on what would work best.

Then, when they are in front of the camera, there are styling elements I constantly look for to make sure everything is in place and looking great.

For a DIY shoot, when you don’t have a photographer to guide you, here are some headshot styling tips. First, you need to know the basics about how to pick what to wear. Read the outfit tips in this post about what to wear for your headshot to learn more about choosing your wardrobe.

7 Headshot Styling Tips to Guide Your DIY Photoshoot

When you’ve chosen your outfit and are ready to take your photo, use these tips to ensure your outfit helps you look your best.

  1. Suit Jacket: to button or not to button
    • Even if your final photo only shows your head and shoulders, buttoning the jacket can make a big difference. Usually, having it buttoned is the way to go because it brings the collar and the lapel lines to where they need to be. However, if it’s causing bunching, it’s a better idea to leave the button undone.
  2. Tie the tie (well!)
    • If you are wearing a tie in your photo, keep in mind that the close-up nature of a headshot photo will show the details of your knot. The most recommended knots for their symmetry and professionalism in a headshot are the Full Windsor or the Pratt knot. Be sure to check that the tie is tight up against your collar and that the top button of your shirt is covered.
  3. Check your Collar
    • With your shirt collar buttoned all the way up, see how many fingers you can fit between your collar and your neck. If you can fit more than two fingers, the collar is probably too big and may have a noticeable gap in your headshot. Also, ensure that the collar is standing up nice and even on both sides and that the collar of your suit jacket is laying tight against the collar of your shirt at the back of your neck.
  4. Tighten the Looseness
    • While loose-fitting clothes might feel comfortable, they can often make you appear wider in a photo than you are. Showing shape is complimentary, especially if you zoom out for a waist-up shot. Take that shirt you love, and use binder clips on the back or on the arms, where you need to snug it up a bit to show your shape.
  5. Keep it Centered
    • Pay attention to centering the elements of your wardrobe that fall in the middle of your chest. Whether it is your tie, necklace, or the neckline of your shirt, those elements being at an angle or off-center can be distracting.
  6. Speaking of Necklines…
    • If you are going to crop your headshot to a head and shoulders-only composition, keep in mind everything that will get cut off. If your neckline looks great at a distance but is visually weird when cropped at shoulder length, you don’t want that shirt for your photo! Cowl necks or deep v’s can often be a problem. Strapless shirts in a head and shoulders shot will leave you looking like you forgot to wear a shirt for your photo altogether!
  7. Bunches of bunching
    • Bunching and wrinkling are magnified in a close-up headshot photo. Pay attention to what the shoulders of your jacket or shirt look like. Is your shirt is bunching under your jacket? Are there any weird “piles” of fabric happening anywhere? In the studio, I often direct clients to move their shoulders back a bit to straighten distracting wrinkles. It’s amazing how much of a difference it can make to move an inch one way or another!
  8. Bonus Tip – Accessorize!
    • While this tip is not about styling your clothing, accessories can compliment your clothing and take your headshot to the next level. Don’t forget to wear jewelry or a pair of glasses that will coordinate best without being too distracting. And, if your industry or the purpose of your headshot allows, consider wearing a funky hat or scarf that will help you stand out.
Headshot styling tips from a Berks Headshots photographer

It’s all in the details!

Getting all the details right might seem intimidating. I hope these headshot styling tips will help you feel more confident about what to wear and how to ensure your outfit is styled well for your next DIY headshot.

And if you decide you would rather have someone behind the camera guiding you and paying attention to your wardrobe details throughout the shoot, we would love to help you out here at the Berks Headshots studio. Get Started Now.

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