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My 4 favorite headshot portrait tips for men

Gentlemen, before we get started I would like to just say, you are welcome. You are welcome for what I’m about to tell you. I know that you hate getting your headshots done. I know that you all have insecurities and that when you step in front of a camera they all come to the surface. I also know that when getting ready to get your headshots done you stand in your closet for a good 30 minutes trying to decide what to wear…right?!?

Well, I am here to help you with all of that. I am going to give you a few easy tips I tell all my male clients before their headshot session.

Tip number one: I tell everyone this is the most important one — come with your clothes freshly washed and pressed. Get those neck stains out of the collar and have them pressed professionally or ironed before you come to the session. I don’t care if they’r expensive Egyptian cotton shirts or a cheap polyester ones, iron them and bring them to your session on a hanger — not rolled up in a gym bag!

Tip number two: Bring at least three options for clothing. I know that might sound like a lot, but just go with me for a sec.

The first option should be something casual and something you feel comfortable in. You don’t want to show up feeling nervous and out of place. Maybe a t-shirt and shorts, it doesn’t matter.

Your second option should the wife’s, mother’s, brother’s, sister’s or girlfriend’s pick. The one that you might not like, but so and so told you they loved it so you have to bring it along. Bring it! Generally, if people tell you they like it, it’s for a reason whether that is the way it makes your butt look or the way it brings out the color in your eyes. Whatever their reason, know that they take note of features that you might not.

Your third outfit should be your choice of your favorite shirt, jacket or suit. Bring your favorite piece of clothing that makes you feel like a boss. Clothes have the power to give you confidence, so use it! That being said, be cautious of your color and fabric choices. I typically tell guys to go the darker route with colors like navy blue or gray. Try to stay away from really reflective, shiny, silky fabric and don’t do any crazy patterns or designs. The focus is your face, it shouldn’t be on the flamingos covering your chest.

If you are going to wear a tie, choose a tie that lands between the suit tone and the tone of the shirt. For instance wear a light shirt, a dark suit, and a tie in a shade somewhere between them. If you don’t want to wear a tie and you want to wear a button-down shirt, make sure you can’t see your tee shirt beneath, wear a v neck or no undershirt at all. If you are feeling a little self-conscious of your weight try going with a layered look. Throw on a jacket or blazer as it helps slim your chest and make you look a little narrower.

Tip number three: Onto my third and my favorite tip of thinking classic. Now, I mean this in two ways, first let’s start with what the word classic means. It has two definitions: Definition 1: Judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind. Definition 2: Remarkably and instructively typical.

So, what do I mean when I say classic? I mean it in these two ways: First, bring clothes that are of good quality, that fit you well and preferably aren’t faded, covered in holes or stains. Pick a shirt that when you button it up it doesn’t look like it’s about to pop one of them off. Second, what represents you in your most classic form? Are you a suits dude? Maybe you’re a classic polo or a classic button up type. I, for instance, am a classic black type. I wear black 99.9% of the time when I am working. So, showing up in purple wouldn’t be a classic idea for me.

Tip number four: For my guys, treat yourself to a spa day beforehand. Now you are probably thinking that sounds ridiculous, but every guy has some sort of spa ritual they like to do to make themselves feel better. Maybe you just like to get your hair cut or you like to visit Geno, the guy at the barbershop because he gives you a killer straight razor shave. Dye your hair so the gray babies don’t show. Get your yearly eyebrow waxing before your headshot, cut your fingernails, trim your nose hairs if you need to. Do whatever you need to do to feel pampered and looking your best. I promise it all helps.

My last tip for you gentlemen is to try and enjoy getting your pictures taken. Relax, loosen up and trust your photographer. I promise it’s not as painful as you think! Actually, it’s a lot of fun!

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