JDP headshot Style Guide

Top to bottom style

OK ladies and gents, it's portrait time!  Time to use all that style info you have, time to pull out all of your favorite outfits and accessories!  We know you have great style, but wearing an outfit for photography can be different than just wearing it out.  Here's how to plan your look from head to heel.

1.  HAIR: We see hair as an accessory!  Our HMUA will take care of styling you so you look just like you normally do...just polished. 

2.  NAILS: Often forgot about, nails are next.  Most clients choose to get their nails professionally done for their portraits, but even if you're more of a DIY girl, make sure your fingernails look good! Choose a light, neutral polish or no polish at all.  Just don't go for the "chipped month-old black polish" look.  Details matter, and this is an important day!

3. STYLING: Be sure to choose clothing appropriate for your type of work and industry position. If in doubt go more conservative with a classic-neckline that’s flattering. A V-neck gives length and height to shorter necks, while tank tops may flatter toned arms. If you love your arms – tank tops can work nicely, however, long sleeves work better than short sleeves. Add a lightweight tailored jacket over a tank to cover arms and give a more polished look. The neckline is very important! Fitted and tailored clothing works best. Loose or baggy tops will make you look larger than you desire. Photoshop can fix pimples, wrinkles, and shine, but oversized or undersized clothing can ruin a great headshot any day.

JENN’S TIP! Consider modeling your tops for a friend and taking some quick closeup photos with a phone so you can see yourself. Simple is better.

4. COLORS: In general solids are better than patterns. Avoid pastels if you have light skin tone – they can wash you out. If in doubt bring one neutral that is light (think cream, beige or white), one neutral that is dark (think black, brown, gray), and then one bright color option. Deep purples look good on every skin tone. Purple is like neutral gray but with a bit of color. If you have long dark brown or black hair and then wear black, your hair will blend more into the clothing, so you may want to consider a lighter colored top. As we age, lighter colors may be more flattering and fresh than all black as darker colors near face can draw more attention to wrinkles.
JENN’s Tip! You can never go wrong with a simple, classic well tailored White Blouse. They look good with all hair colors, all skin colors, and reflect the best light.

5. UNDERGARMENTS: Ladies, please bring bras that do not show through your garments and make sure that they fit. Studio lights are bright and may shine through thin fabrics revealing your lovely little unmentionables underneath. Nude bras are a must under lighter colors. Strapless bras as needed, racer back bras as needed, and absolutely no ruffled or lacy bras if your shirt fabric is thin and tight. Select a bra that FITS and flatters your body. If your bra is too small it can easily make you look overweight, just as a bar that is not supportive enough could also make you look overweight. Make sure you try on your top with your bra and check in bright light with mirror to see how it looks.
JENN’S TIP! Always go with nude. Bring multiple options in case you decide to go with a different wardrobe styling. Being prepared with options is always better than not having the right “equipment” for the job.

6. ACCESSORIES: Accessories are fun, but be sure to choose accessories that do not overwhelm your face. The point of a headshot is to accurate your most engaging features, your face, so distracting from that was a giant pair of earrings or a monster necklace is not a good choice. Most earrings do not show much with longer hair styles, so choose wisely. Often we end up having to Photoshop out (remove) earrings because the reflection looks odd or the headshot looks odd with only one earring showing. While Photoshop can crop out the little things, larger pieces could cause for delayed photo delivery, or strange retouching.
JENN’S TIP! Simple is always best. While accessories can provide a polished and complete look in person, often these little details can go unnoticed in the images due to long hair or angles. Choose your accessories wisely, and keep it simple.

Avoid too loose or baggy clothing, see through tops, wrinkled tops, crazy busy patterns, big ruffles, (sometimes cap sleeves or loose short sleeves do not work well), jackets that are too small for you, shirts that are too tight causing your buttons to look like they could bust out at any moment.
Yes, these all probably seem like no brainers, but you’d be surprised how many people bring these kinds of items to their shoots. Once you’re here, what you’ve got is all we’ve got to work with. That shirt that fit “perfectly” a few years ago might not fit so well today, so be sure to test everything.
Trends may seem fashionable today, but keeping with a clean classy look will ensure that your photos will last years longer and still flatter your best assets.
Contrary to popular belief, there are really no absolutes when selecting wardobe for headshots. So please bring anything that feels good and looks good on you.

session style countdown


Start planning your outfits! Expect to bring at least 3 to 4 outfits to your session! We will photograph 2 but if you can't decide, bring them and we'll help you choose.

Make your Pinterest board to pull together outfits, hair, makeup, and locations!

Make appointments for your hair, nails, and skin.  

 Wash any clothes that need freshened before your session.  If you know you won't wear it, get it steamed or ironed and hung up so it's ready!

Get your hair cut and/or colored.  Remember, right before your portrait session is not a great time to try out a radical new hairstyle or new stylist!

Put all outfits together with all accessories, undergarments, and anything else you need.  

Look up directions to the studio or even do a trial drive so you know how long it will take to get here.  Add ten minutes to your drive just in case!

Make sure all clothes are steamed or ironed and hung up.  

Put accessories in bags separated by outfit.  

Double check to make sure your finger-and toenails are manicured and ready to go!

Drink a ton of water and stay away from greasy or sugary foods.  It might be tempting, but don't try any new face, skin, or hair products that you've never used before!

Do a final walk-through of your outfits to make sure you have everything you need.  Keep outfits on their hangers and lay them across the back seat of your vehicle.  Leave the house earlier than you think you need to, and if there's time, stop by Starbucks for a drink to celebrate your fantastic planning!

We can't wait to see your style!

Jennifer Dworek Photography

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