The last time I renewed my passport was pretty much a disaster. I moved to a new town and was scared I would get lost on my way to the government office. I was sick on the day and barely had the energy to drive. I had to get a lot done that day and was tense & stressed because of the tight schedule.
What happened? I arrived looking tired and dishevelled with barely brushed hair. The result was one horrible photo I wish I could destroy. But for the next few years I will see it every time I travel.
This can NOT happen with your headshots. Every time I take out my passport I wish I put a little more thought into that day so the picture doesn’t show the worst side of me.
So let’s help you get it right when your photo shoot comes up.
Let’s Talk Color
Your headshot will show much more of your clothing than my passport photo does. Will the color complement you or steal attention away from you?
You don’t want to wear neon hues because no one will ever remember your face; only that vivid color will be processed via visual impulses. And don’t even think of wearing patterns.
Your best option is green or blue—only one shade—since they complement most people’s complexions.
What’s Your Style?
Your style says something about your personality and this is one aspect a future employer or client wants to know more about. While you shouldn’t be too extravagant it’s smart to wear something that represents who you are. The added bonus is that you’ll feel comfortable and proud wearing it which will make for an impressive image because headshots allow your attitude to shine through.
Jewelry—Yes or No?
A simple pair of earrings can add that final touch of professionalism but if they’re too large or dangly you can ruin the project. That’s how careful you must be when picking out accessories.
The golden rule is to keep it small and discreet because once again you want everyone to look at your face not your hands, neckline or wrists.
Don’t Forget Your Industry
What will seem relevant to people researching your profile?
Wearing clothing synonymous with your industry will make you seem to align with requirements. A teacher doesn’t necessarily have to wear a double breasted suit and a lawyer’s new boss won’t deem a T-shirt as appropriate.
A Tip for Actors: Stay Out of Character
You may be tempted to showcase yourself in the latest role you played on stage or as the dream character you hope to play one day. Even if you’re applying for a certain role it’s not ideal to dress up as that character.
Firstly you’re limiting the roles the producer or agent will imagine you in. You don’t want to be labelled as a one dimensional artist. Secondly you don’t know what the producer is after yet. Show him your best aesthetic features and leave the acting for the audition.
Universal Tip: The Focus Should be on YOU, not the clothes
Does all of this seem complicated? Let me help you with the #1 rule when you’re trying to make an impression with headshots: Does your outfit details put the attention on you as a person or on your attire? Avoid the latter.
Now plan your clothes, arrive on time and take photos even you’ll love every time you look at them.