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  • How to prepare for your Headshot: Colors, Clothing, Make up and more...

  • Now that you are ready to make a great first impression with a new headshot by Christine Robin Photography below are some guidelines to give you both specific and general direction on what to bring and how to prepare.  We typically use a white, gray and black background for our studio headshots (unless otherwise requested) and the following advice is based on that foundation.



    Bright clothing colors pop nicely off our white background.  Think of the bright blue domes and white buildings in the Greek Islands.

    A bright color palette also goes well with our white background.

    Bright colors "pop" nicely off our white background as illustrated above and below.

    Navy and white is also a classic look so a navy top, blazer, or dress on our white background will also go well.  A navy blazer, top or dress also does well on our gray background.

    Navy clothing looks great on our white background.

    Jewel tones are “deep” in color and saturation and therefore go nicely with a black background and are complimentary of almost any skin tone.

    Jewel tones go well with our black background and are very complimentary to most skin tones.

    A gray or black leather jacket, sweater or T-shirt will go nicely with the black background for a classic, casual look. Black-on-black and gray-on-black is always a classic winning combination.

    Black-on-black is a great look for headshots. Dark colored clothing often looks great on our black background. And a black leather jacket is always classic, cool look.

    Darker colored clothing tends to slim the body. If that is your interest, choose shades of black, brown, blue, dark green and other jewel-toned colors.

    Soft light tones, such a powder blue or light pink also present well on our white background.

    Example of a soft color palette. These go well with a white background.


    Light on white is a winning combination. This light powder blue sleeveless dress illustrates how lovely pastel or light colored clothing looks against our white backgrounds.

    Necklines:  Bring tops (or dresses) with a variety of necklines including but not limited to: V-neck, crew neck, loose neck, and scoop neck are just a few examples.  Strapless shirts are not recommended as they don’t tend to photograph well for headshots.  Scoops or v-necks flatter shorter necks and full faces. Turtlenecks or high-necked garments flatter longer necks and slender faces.

    Sleeves: Bring pieces that have a variety of sleeve styles such as: sleeveless, fitted sleeves, and loose sleeves. Bring items with both short and long sleeves.

    Textures: Bring pieces with a variety of textures: sweaters, silks, and cotton.

    Patterns:  For headshots, solid colored items are generally preferred over pieces with busy stripes, patterns or designs but patterns and designs in moderation may be appropriate and add visual interest.

    Layers: Bring a lightweight, casual jacket, or blazer. For example, a jean jacket, leather jacket and/or a fitted blazer.  A lightweight jean jacket and leather jacket are classic and go well with the white and black backgrounds. A fitted blazer is a great professional headshot look so please bring that piece as well.

    A lightweight jean jacket is a classic, timeless look on our white background. Thin jackets and layers add visual interest without adding bulk.

    Even though it’s a headshot don’t shy away from bringing dresses.


    Scarves are not recommended because they hide your neckline in a non-complimentary way, add bulk, and are a negative distraction.

    Jewelry: No necklace and minimalist earrings are recommended to keep your headshot look timeless, classic, and focused on you, not your accessories.

    Ties: Men should bring a variety of tie styles, colors, pattern (non-pattern), and textures.

    Make up

    From our experience, the following make-up tips tend to help women look their best in headshots:


    • Soft blended eyeliner is recommended in contrast to hard-edge liquid eyeliner which is not.
    • No lines of demarcation or heavy smoked-out eyeshadow are preferred.
    • Neutral color eyeshadow is usually best.
    • The purpose is to keep eyes looking defined but natural.


    • Lip color close to your natural lip color or one shade darker is recommended.
    • A glossy lip is suggested over matte.
    • No visible hard-edge lip liner is preferred.


    • False lashes are not recommended.
    • Mascara with no visible clumps is ideal.


    • Liquid foundation preferred over powder.
    • Go light on any blush or bronzer.

    No makeup is recommended for men.

    In summary, use make-up, jewelry and patterns in moderation. Bring a wide variety of styles and pieces of clothing. Don’t think twice about arriving to the studio with 10-15 pieces.  It won’t mean we will shoot you in all of those items but options are king.  A typical headshot shoot with Christine Robin Photograph will give you a variety of looks you’ll love including casual, business, and dress.  As you can see there is a wide range of options for you to choose from in colors, clothing and styles to help you look your best for your shoot.

    For more inspiration on “what to wear” and how to prepare, see our headshot portfolio gallery on our website.  Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or clarifications.