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Pre-Shoot Tips


We advise you to read through the following hints and tips to ensure that you are well prepared and know what to expect at your portfolio shoot. You can also use a lot of this advice for general portrait shots.

If you're having a modeling portfolio shoot you will need to discuss clothes, styles, make-up and hair options with your photographer before your visit.

If there's anything you are unsure about then feel free to ask us before you come along.
What to wear

When selecting your wardrobe the general rule is ‘the simpler the better", avoid busy patterns like pleats and stripes which can distract. Textured materials work well whilst clothes that drape are better than clinging knits which can ride up on the arms, shoulders, and body, creating undesirable lines.

If you require a colour portrait select colours that compliment your skin-tone and eyes, rather than loud stripes or patterns that take the attention away from you. Look at other headshots to see what colours work and above all please avoid white! For women, unless you have really slender arms don't wear bare arm garments such as tank-tops.

For men, if you're wearing a suit jacket ensure that it's plain. Layered looks like coloured t-shirts with an open shirt are great if you want a casual look. A simple black top or t-shirt are handy to have too. Once again discard any floral patterns or garments which are heavily logo'd as they are too busy for headshots.

Always ensure that you have plenty of outfits to choose from, as the pictures are about you not your clothing. Always make sure that you feel comfortable and not confined in what you wear and remember if we're shooting outdoors think about your outfit's suitability for the weather conditions.

Your clothes must be clean and mark-free. We would advise that you have everything pressed or dry-cleaned so ensure that it looks its in pristine condition and, in the main, don't wear jewellery as it distracts from your face.
Commercial Look

This commercial shot is most likely to be for a television commercial or print ad so the look should be casual and mainstream. Go for an open collar or a jumper/shirt combination in light to medium colours that will contrast well with your skin.

This requires a more sophisticated, seductive look. To get a good idea of what to wear for this shot familiarise yourself with current TV shows, focusing on the type of role you are going for.

For women it's essential that you think how you are likely to be cast, for example a blatantly suggestive neck-line might undermine your credibility but if you're going for the seductive role then you need to show it. Select something that shows your potential and that you would be comfortable wearing to an audition.

For men - if you're going for the romantic lead, go for a more sophisticated option, ie what you might wear on a first date, rather than a suit and tie.

"Theatre" shots should capture you as your natural self -you should appear rested, relaxed, in a positive frame of mind and raring to go. You can let your personal sense of style come through for this shot, always keeping in mind the role you are going for. Character actors should not dress for specific roles and vice versa.

Industrials are typically training films for organisations, mostly businesses, narrated by actors. If you think this is the route for you, imagine what you might wear to a job interview for a financial institution so a conservative, tailored, ‘business like' look is the order of the day. Suit and tie for men and business attire for women.

General Wardrobe Do's and Don'ts

 Wear light to dark colours but not too close to your skin tone (apart from for colour images ) .

 Anything textured is good as it adds interest without distracting.

 Ensure all items are immaculately clean and pressed .

 Wear the proper size .

 Think about how you are likely to be cast - use films, television and print ads for people in similar roles to see what they are wearing? Remember: it will make it easier for a Casting Director to see you as slipping easily into a role .

 V-necks flatter most people apart from men with a long slim neck when collared shirts are best .

For shirts and blouses always wear long sleeves .

Men should come armed with a selection of t-shirts in different shades .


 Avoid wearing  jewellery .

 Don't try and squeeze into an outfit that's too small for you.

 Big round necklines don't work for headshots .

 No bold patterns or black velvet .

 Wearing black is ok in small quantities .

 No blouses with padded shoulders .


When you are having a child's headshot done, either for acting or modelling, it is NOT an opportunity to play ‘dressing up'. Think casual and natural and go for things that they would normally wear. Our best advice is to watch television commercials to see what children are wearing as this will give you a good idea of what the market is looking for. Remember to keep it all age appropriate.

Feel free to bring any props, particularly if your child has a hobby - it may or may not be used but is better to have than not. Bring a broad range of outfits as some things work better than others.

Generally, plain colours (but not blacks and whites) work best for girls rather than anything that's TOO distracting.