Why You Shouldn’t Wear White to a Headshot Photo Shoot

LA Headshots

We’ve discussed a bit on what you should wear to your headshot photoshoot session before. In this post we’re going to tell you the one thing you should not wear for your headshot.

You should never wear white for your headshot photo.

The reason for this requires a short tutorial on photography.  The exposure of a photo depends on reflected light.  The lighter the color, the more light it reflects.  Set on automatic, a camera will average out the exposure over the whole scene.  If there are extremes of light and dark, both will suffer.  The lights will be overexposed and the darks underexposed resulting in a loss of detail in each.

When exposure is manually set like we do in your headshot session, we can select which of the areas are going to be properly exposed.  In this case, we want the exposure right for your skin tones.  Regardless of your skin tone, a white shirt or top will reflect far more light than your face.  If you’re dark complected, this is even more important. Either the shirt or your face will not be properly exposed.

White can be worn when it’s not the predominant color.  A white shirt under a suit or jacket such as in the actor’s headshot above is fine.  It’s only when it is the top garment that it creates problems.  This is also somewhat true with blacks, but it’s not as critical as with white.

The other situation is that when the wardrobe is lighter than your face, it tends to steal the show.  The eye is naturally drawn to the lightest portions of the image.  The exception here is the background.  Being completely solid, a white background tends to make your skin tones and face stand out more due to it’s simplicity.

We can take your headshot with you wearing white.  We’ve even taken fashion photos where the models are in pure white against a white background.  But it isn’t the best option unless there’s a good reason for doing so.  Be sure to let us know in advance if this is your preference.  It takes special lighting and planning to make it work.

If this leaves you feeling a bit confused on what you should wear, see our post on what to wear for your headshot photo session.  In particular we talk about how to select clothes that flatter your face the most!

We hope to see you soon.  Don’t forget to ask about our service where we bring our headshot photo studio to you to save you time!