Prior to a photo shoot with me, as a customer, I like to send you a document with tips to take into account in terms of clothing. 

How important is clothing during your LinkedIn profile photo session?

The holistic effect of clothing.

Clothing can obviously determine your appearance but it can also have an effect on your self-image and performance.

Did you ever read the story of The Emporer´s New Clothes as a child?

Most of us have at some point in life experienced that great feeling of donning an item of clothing that saved up for and treated ourselves to. You probably found yourself instantly feeling better about yourself, stronger and more beautiful than ever in that new outfit!

How much more confident did you feel, to smile at everyone looking your way?

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It´s Psychological

As if we needed scientific confirmation, research by Penn State, Notre Dame and the University of Kentucky showed that people with designer clothing perform better and have more self-confidence.

They went to a golf course and gave players Nike clothing and what they thought was a Nike golf club that the pros play with. 

The people with clothing and a golf club from Nike performed 20% better than the other people who did not wear designer clothes.

This is because the test subjects felt more confident, stronger and smarter in these clothes.

 The effect is called 'Enclothed cognition'.

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How much influence can clothes really have on the psychology of the person wearing them?

Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky, two psychologists from North-Western University in Illinois, USA, found it interesting to see that we not only think with our heads but apparently with our bodies.

Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky wondered whether clothing has the same kind of effect. Previous research has already shown that sports teams play more aggressively in black than teams in a different colour.

What they wanted to know is whether and how our clothing affects how we perform. They did three experiments and had some of the participants wear a lab coat to have them compare scores and photos.

The one wearing a white coat turned out to make only half the mistakes the other participants did.

The researchers said that the white coat suggests scientific focus and ensures that you work more carefully.

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When some of the participants were told that their white coat was one that artists wear in a studio, they made as many mistakes as the jacketless participants.

The association with scientific focus had proved crucial to the result.

The perfect illustration, Adam and Galinsky suggested, that something trivial like a garment can have an effect on how we act, think and feel.

Wear your favourite clothes and be comfortable.

It´s important that you like the clothing you wear so that you feel comfortable and look comfortable.

Even if you´ve gone out and made a new purchase especially for your photos, you want those items to be your new favourite clothes!

I remember photographing a lady who was told to wear a suit by her boss and, having not worn one for years, she went out and purchased a suit at the last minute.

All through the first half of our session, I noticed that she looked stiff, awkward and uncomfortable in every shot I took so I suggested that we try some without the jacket.

As she was afraid of upsetting her boss, I went and asked if it was ok to try some without the jacket. Her boss was absolutely fine about it and the difference it made to this lady´s posture, body language, facial expressions and confidence was incredible to see from my side of the camera.

Make sure that even the new clothes you purchase for the photoshoot are going to be your favourite clothes before the time the shoot comes along.  

What colours are good to wear for a headshot?

I usually suggest clothing with solid block colours, generally avoiding strong patterns as they´re usually too distracting.

I have noticed that Blue´s and Red´s seem to work really well with a dark grey backdrop.

If you know that a particular colour suits your hair/eyes or skin well, use it.

What type of clothing should I wear for a headshot session?

We've established that you should make sure you are comfortable and that you look fairly smart. Even if you don´t wish to look formal, it is important to have a neat and tidy appearance so as not to distract from the most important thing in the photo, your face. 

If you are wearing a t-shirt, make sure the collar has not been stretched.

If you are wearing a collared shirt, make sure the collar pops nicely and the shirt is ironed. I can usually help fix a collar if its a little flat or uneven.

Matte fabric like cotton or wool is better than silky or shiny.

Textured or mottled fabrics like knitwear etc, work really well.

Ladies tops are sometimes sleeveless and if you have a very pale complexion, the lights will brighten the tops of your arms a little too much, creating a distraction. I suggest avoiding them unless you have a dark complexion.

Try to avoid frilly seams on necks and shoulders. It may be too busy for a headshot.

Here are some examples of what tops usually work well in headshots for women. As you can see, the tops that have a simple, neat neckline and cover the tops of the arms and shoulders are best.

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