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What should I wear for a headshot session?

19 September, 2023

The 17 million dollar question. What should I wear to a headshot session? Should I just bring my black turtle neck? Should I only wear the simplest of greys and leave my paisley trousers at home? Is it true that royal blue is officially the best colour for an actor to wear and that this hue will dramatically increase my chances of playing Hamlet?

Let's get to the bottom of it.

So, my main thinking on this is wear what you wear in real life. You are the product you're selling so if you wear a wide variety of eclectic 90's sports wear and thats your vibe then bring plenty of that to the shoot. If you are the sort of actor who chills in tweed and a smoking jacket once worn by Geilgud himself then haul those togs along. Your headshot needs to represent you. In all your glory.

I would then follow this up by saying bring a few simple items in black and white for layering and also for catching something simple as an option. Express yourself, absolutely but also this is your opportunity to get headshots showing your multi faceted self. Bring gear that gives you some range. You don't get your headshots taken every day so you may as well pack a big suitcase. Your photographer won't mind.

Bring some cool clobber that you wear out and that makes you feel good/happy/wild. Jackets are great and anything that you might have stumbled home at 4am in will probably bring some magic to a headshot. Clothing holds life in it. It's a thing.

It's also worth thinking a little about your casting. If you're constantly in for disgruntled PE teachers then it might be worth bringing a track jacket. If you are always taping for medieval warlords then maybe don't bring a full suit of chainmail but perhaps bring something austere with a collar that could infer a period vibe. Be yourself, of course but if the business sees you in a certain way then sometimes its ok to lean into it.

Last but not least, check in with your agent. They are the ones hustling to get you in rooms on the daily so they might need a certain look that will help convince whomever to get you in for the new season of Happy Valley or The matrix Re-Reloaded, whatever, but you catch my drift.

Ultimately wear what you want to. It's your career. Your world.

Build it and they will come.

Wear it and I'll shoot it.


headshot of a London actor
London actors headshot
headshot photography of an actor

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