Classic clothing is always a winner for gentlemen. If you wear a suit and tie, go for a dark suit, such as navy or dark gray, that fits you perfectly. Make sure the suit jacket buttons comfortably and smoothly, even when you sit down. Your shirt should be comfortable and lie flat, especially around the neck. A casual business look is often a jacket and open dress shirt, shirt and tie (no jacket), or dress shirt on it’s own.
In selecting ties, steer clear of any bold, distracting colors and patterns that are small and busy or large and overpowering.Ties look best when their tone lies between the suit and shirt - so a light shirt, a dark suit and a tie in a shade somewhere in between. Some ties are very shiny and reflective and should be avoided. Patterns are OK but keep in mind that the tie should compliment the suit in your portrait not stand out on its own as a distraction.
It is usually best to stick with well fitting, medium or darker shirt colors if you are not wearing a dark jacket. Darker or mid toned colors put more emphasis on your eyes and smile instead of the clothing. Avoid pastels if you have light skin tone since we want a contrast between your face and clothing. You may want to consider wearing a color that will help bring out the color of your eyes. Long sleeves in a dress shirt photograph better.
Polo shirts are a good look for some businesses. Be sure the shirt is in good condition, a mid toned or dark color and fits well.
If you are not planning on wearing a tie, choose a non-white shirt if possible. White can be distracting and details can be lost without a jacket or tie to break up the color. If you are wearing a button-down shirt, it's best to wear a jacket or sweater to layer the look. Dark colored shirts in a color that looks good on you are great. One with a few details or leaving a button undone can make your outfit a bit less stiff.
If your hair is very light or greying, it might be a better idea to wear darker colors (avoiding grey) that contrast with your lighter hair.
Have your hair cut about one week before your session. This gives your hair a bit of time to grow out and relax into the new cut.
Shave with a new razor, shaving cream, and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid bumps and redness. Trim up your beard, sideburns, mustache or goatee, especially looking for wiry stray hairs.
Your hands may appear in your finished portrait. Please make sure your nails are freshly manicured.
You probably have a good idea of the colors that best compliment your skin tone and eye color so wear a favorite color. Stick with darker shades in your chosen color since mid tone or darker colors will emphasize your eyes and smile as opposed to your clothing. Avoid lighter colors that are too similar to your skin tone - a contrast between your face and clothing is recommended. You may want to consider selecting a color that will help bring out the colors in your eyes. Substitute black, which can look harsh in photographs, with rich neutrals like chocolate, navy, charcoal, maroon and forest green.
A simple, solid suit, professional dress or shirt or blouse in a flattering color work better than a print or pattern which can distract and date your portrait. Fitted clothing translates better in photographs than very baggy styles although avoid anything that feels too restrictive or requires a lot of adjusting.
For ladies, a simple neckline or modest v-neck is universally flattering because it lengthens the neck and draws attention to your face. Opt for blouses with sleeves. Fine to medium gauge knits work very well because they introduce textural interest. If you choose to wear a jacket, pair it with a collarless blouse or one with a collar designed to wear under a jacket - a simple cowl, for example.
If you are wearing a jacket, choose one where the lapels create a 'V' shaped front, which is much more flattering than the straight up and down front (known as mandarin collars). If possible, we recommend wearing a jacket that buttons. Buttoning your jacket will create the flattering 'V' shape front and also prevent the fabric from hanging loose around your body. If you don't have a jacket that buttons, we can use a small clamp that I carry with me.
Select very simple, preferably small scale jewelry. This will keep the focus of the portrait on your face. Items that work well are simple stud earrings and necklaces that are structured, like a pearl, and are shorter than the neckline of your top. Big statement jewelry can distract and date your portrait.
Hair and Make Up
Make up should be clean, natural looking and neutral. Use a layer of translucent powder for flawless looking skin and bring extra for touch ups. This will eliminate shine, pores and create an even skin and areas of blush.
Use lipstick close to your natural lip color. Line lips before applying a matte lipstick. To prevent color feathering, dip a cotton swab in powder and run along lip line. Avoid shimmers, products with lots of sparkle or shine, frosts or overly bright colors.
Wear eye makeup slightly more intense than your daily routine and definitely use mascara.
Hair should be styled simply. Adding some wave or curl to your hair usually looks great in head shots. Avoid getting a radical new hairstyle or color right before the session. Most cuts look better after one week. Make sure your nails are in good shape and use coordinating colors.
Wear clothing that is comfortable, well fitting and that makes you look great. Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new. Wear something that is appropriate for your workplace - dress to the formality of a business meeting in your industry.
You may want to consider selecting a color that will help bring out the colors in your eyes.
Avoid busy patterns, logos and large lines or stripes. Feel free to bring several clothing choices with you on the day of your session and we will decide on the best look for you. It's better to have and not need it than to need it and not have it!
Please avoid wearing white unless you wear it under something. Select clothing that is not seasonal so that you will look relevant all year around.
Avoid clothing or hairstyles that are too trendy as it can date the portrait and shorten it usefulness.
Wear your glasses if you wear them everyday. However, lens glare can distract from your eyes. You can have your lenses removed for your shoot or have anti-reflective coating added.
If your portraits will be taken outdoors, make sure you wear comfortable shoes. They will not show in your head shot.
Try to get good nights sleep in the days before your portraits and drink plenty of water. Eat well and avoid too much sun on your face. Don't stress about blemishes - they can be retouched.
At the end of the day, the key to a wonderful head shot is your smile. It may take you a few moments to relax in front of the camera. Once you've received my direction and are comfortable, stare straight down the barrel of the lens and think of someone or something you love. That feeling will show up as a beautiful smile in your mouth and eyes.