What to Wear for a Photo Shoot
March 22, 2016

What to Wear for a Photo Shoot

I’m very rarely on the other side of the camera for photo shoots, but whenever I am, I have the same dilemma anybody else does: What should I wear?

What you wear can make a big difference in how your portraits turn out, so I thought I’d share a few pointers.

some tips on what to wear:

whatever you feel most comfortable in

Most people don’t like having their photos taken, including me. That’s why it’s so important to be as comfortable as possible. If you’re not comfortable with your environment, your photographer, or what you’re wearing, it’s going to show up in your face, and you aren’t going to be happy with your photos.

First and foremost, you should opt for whatever clothing you’re most comfortable wearing. Of course you should consider what you’ll be using the photos for and dress appropriately (for example, you might be most comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans, but that obviously won’t be suitable for a corporate headshot).

Just remember: comfort is key.


neutrals with a pop of color

Neutral colors are almost always your best option because they’re less distracting to the viewer – but this doesn’t mean you’re limited to white, black or gray.

Neutrals can include shades of brown, light blue, green, soft pink or even pale orange. I sometimes encourage clients to wear shades that will complement their eyes, especially blue or green eyes.

It’s also nice to throw in a bold color here and there in your accessories, such as a scarf or shoes, or even a bold shade of lipstick, to add a little more personality and a pop of color.

solids or simple patterns

You don’t want your clothes to stand out more than you do, so it’s best to keep it simple. Solids are always a safe bet but don’t be afraid to wear an understated pattern, like pinstripes or a small checkered print.

San Francisco Headshot Photographer | Amanda Mathson

colors that complement your surroundings

When you’re trying to decide what to wear, be sure to consider the location of the shoot and the colors that will be most prominent there. Shooting in a park? Then you can count on there being many shades of green in the background, so wearing green might not be the best idea. Shooting in the city? Then you’ll likely have a mostly gray background, which means it could be fun to wear jewel-colored tones as a contrast.

Headshot & Portrait Photographer | Amanda Mathson
Portrait Photography by Amanda Mathson

as for hair and makeup…

Above all else, try to just relax as much as possible, and don’t get into your own head too much about how you might look on camera. A great portrait should reflect who you really are, not some contrived version of you. So just relax, be yourself, and allow for your personality to shine through.

Was this helpful? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments!

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