What to wear for your actress headshot

What to wear for your actress headshot

Not sure what to wear for your new Actress Headshot? Our 5 expert tips will help you out.

One of the most common questions we receive from our female clients is “What should I wear for my Actress headshot?”. And we’re so happy you ask, because your wardrobe plays an important role in the first impression your headshot gives to casting directors.

We’ve compiled a list of foolproof tips to help you prepare, and make sure you leave your photo session with new headshots that you’ll love.

Tip 1: Know the role you want to get cast for, and let that guide what to wear. 

Your new Actress Headshots are your first step in getting cast in your dream roles. 

Let me explain: imagine that you always play the same ‘sweet girl next door’ role, but you feel that you’ve outgrown that character and want to play a more mature and serious role. Dressing for the role you want to get cast for, will subconsciously help the casting director see you as playing that character.

A portrait of French actress Sarah Perriez

Sarah playing a strong female role

However, we don’t advise getting dressed ‘in full character’. Casting directors want to see the real you, dressed and posing in a natural and neutral way.

A headshot of French actress Sarah Perriez

And now playing a ‘warm mother’ role. Notice how the clothes make a subtle difference.

Tip 2: Don’t let your clothes take the attention.

Of course, while your choice of wardrobe plays a key role, the most important part of any headshot is your expression and connection with the camera. We want your headshots to ‘talk’ to the casting director. 

If you’re getting your new headshots taken by a specialist headshot photographer, they will know exactly how to guide and direct you through the session to ensure your body language, eye contact and expression show you in a way which looks like the genuine you, while showing your variety and range. 

Your clothes are like a supporting actor, which should strengthen, but not take the attention away from the star of the show – your beautiful face! 

A professional headshot of actress Irene Aguilar

Expression and connection are essential in your actress headshot

Tip 3: Bring these essentials to achieve a variety of looks. 

Essentials: For female actors, we recommend bringing a variety of top options. It’s important that the clothes fit well and don’t look old (an old T-shirt with a stretched neck can ruin an otherwise great headshot).

Bring tops with various neck lines, and wearing layers are a great way to add depth to your headshots. 

Musical Theatre actress Eva Dugre

Bringing a range of top options is perfect.

Colours: In general, we normally recommend keeping the colours darker than your skin tone as this helps the attention stay on your face (however, there are always exceptions). 

  • Safe colours to bring include black, earthy colours, grey and neutral tones. 
  • Rich colours (like navy, blue, burnt orange, green) can be great choices and really help your headshots stand out.
  • If you know which colour palette works best for you, bring options in those colours, or try hues which bring out your eye colour and flatter your skin tone. 
  • Colours to avoid are anything too strong, such as bold red or bright pink, as these tend to overpower the subject and draw the attention away from their face. 

Your specialist headshot photographer should be able to recommend colours based on your skin tone, hair and eye colour.

A professional headshot of actress Annika Sirel

We use colour theory to recommend clothing colours and backgrounds that compliment your natural look.

Patterns: In general, plain solid colour clothes work best, as patterns can be a distraction (remember that we want the focus of the portrait to be on your face, not the clothes). The same applies to logos; avoid anything with a distracting logo.

Fit: We always recommend trying your clothes on a week before to check how they feel and fit. Suitably fitted clothes will always be the most flattering (avoid anything too baggy or too tight). You can always take photos on your phone beforehand to see how they look, or ask a friend for their honest advice. 

A professional headshot photograph of Spanish actress Mireia Ruiz

Well-fitted clothing will enhance your headshot

Accessories: When it comes to jewellery, we believe in keeping things simple. A simple pair of earrings can work well. 

Whatever you bring, make sure you feel good wearing it.

Tip 4: Don’t forget to iron.

Please make sure that your clothes are neatly ironed before the shoot. If your top is wrinkled in real life, it will appear wrinkled in the photo. 

We suggest to our clients to get changed once they arrive to our studio to avoid unnecessary creasing that can happen when travelling to the studio wearing their outfit. 

Tip 5: A little grooming goes a long way

While not exactly a wardrobe tip, being well groomed is essential preparation for your photo. 

  • Keep your makeup simple and natural looking. When you arrive to a casting, it’s essential that you look like you do in your headshot.

If you choose to do your own make up, make sure you read our ’20 insider tips’ to doing your own headshot makeup.

A professional portrait of actress Martina Valero

Many of the actresses we work with get the help of our professional hair and make artists.

But for the very best results we always recommend working with our professional Hair and Makeup artist.

Here are some other ways to help you look your best on the day of your headshot session:

  • Drink plenty of water in the days leading to your Actress Headshot session. 
  • Get lots of sleep the night before your shoot to avoid dark bags under your eyes.  
  • Moisturise like your life depends on it – ideally twice a day for the past 15 years. But if that never happened, twice a day in the days leading up to your shoot will help. 
  • Recently cut hair is usually a good idea, and it’s always good to have a quick spruce up before the shooting begins (don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for a few moments to check everything in a mirror before the session starts). 


What should I wear for my Actress Headshot – That’s a wrap! 

We hope this guide has helped prepare you for your Actress Headshot session. The most important thing to bring to your session is a positive attitude, as that looks great on everyone! 

If you’d like to learn how our actor’s headshots can help you land your dream role, click here.