Preparing for your headshot photoshoot! "Clothing!" (part 2 of 7)


So what do you wear when you are getting your headshot taken? This is a very important aspect in the grand process of preparing for your headshot photoshoot. Choosing the right colors, style, and feel can have YOU popping off the screen, looking healthy and energetic. Choosing the wrong colors, style or feel can make your CLOTHES pop out making you a second thought, or make you look washed out or uneven. Since my knowledge of clothing, style and color goes so far I reached to a professional that I know to ask her a few questions. Mary Lou Manlove is an Image Con­sul­tant and Color Spe­cial­ist. She helps women and men find and hone their personal style. Making sure you know what colors look and work best with your skin tone, hair color, eye color and more. Do you have a shirt, pair of pants, accessory or anything else; when you put it on you know you look and feel damn good? Well, Mary Lou makes sure all the clothes you have in your closet make you feel that way. So I asked Mary Lou for some pointers for people that haven't had a chance to use her services yet. (if you haven't yet check out her website and schedule a meeting with her now!) 


Alright no more lolly gagging lets get to it. 


Me:  What is the first thing someone should consider when choosing an outfit for a professional portrait?

Mary Lou: My first consideration is where the picture is being used? The background and what the person is wearing needs to coordinate with the website colors, business card logo, or the wall on which a portrait hangs. Consider the end use first and work backwards from there. So if you are picking colors for your website or brand, consider colors that look good on you both in your clothes, logo and any background. Get your colors done.

Secondly, I want the person to show up in the best light possible. So wearing             medium value colors helps the photographer balance the light. Your best medium value color will come from one of the colors in your eyes, if you want to look approachable and engaging. Color can really change the feel of a photograph, so deciding the effect you want to have is the first step, is it formal, friendly, accomplished, casual and then pick the color(s).

Me: Are there certain things people should stay away from?

Mary Lou: Stay away from colors that turn you gray or wash you out. Pick colors that make your skin glow and eyes sparkle. Remember it is not about fashion or what is in style; it is about the colors that support your natural coloring.

Me: How does someone know that their colors are right for them?

Mary Lou: When you wear colors that are right for you people will engage with you, complement you and want to be around you. When you wear colors that are not right for you, people will be a little more distant. It sounds weird, but people do judge you by your cover and if the cover is pleasing to the eye, they will respond positively.

Me: How does someone know they have the right outfit?

Mary Lou: For a portrait or a headshot all you need to do is get it right from the waist up. Wear a color that brings out your eyes. Frame your face with the right neckline or collar and colors. Remove any distraction: i.e. Women should wear a sleeved top and men should not wear a white shirt whiter than the white of their eyes. And it is best not to wear white, wear a medium value color, i.e. teal, tan, peach, blue, green, etc. Then relax and trust the photographer. 

Me: What tips can you give for someone wanting to go shopping before their shoot?

Mary Lou: Shop with someone who looks like you, dresses well and gives good advice. If you cannot find that person, hire an expert who can put their personal preference aside and choose clothing that looks good on you. But you may consider taking my workshop: Mastering the Art of Illusion Dressing: A,B,C,D & E of Style

There you have it my friends. Before meeting Mary Lou I didn't know why I was really drawn to certain clothing and why I always circulated a handful of shirts and pants that I own. Once she created my color wheel I soon found out. Mary Lou is amazing at what she does.

If you would like to know more about Mary Lou and what she can do for you please checkout her website She would also be more than happy to answer any questions on dressing for a portrait with a complementary 30 minute consultation. You can reach her via text 650 400 2230 or e-mail: