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What to Wear On Camera

June 9, 2020

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The first question we are often asked once someone is booked for a shoot is always, ‘what should I wear?’ We know that being on camera isn’t always everyone’s favorite thing to do, so it’s important to feel comfortable and confident. The following tips should help to do just that! They apply to any time you are going to be on camera, whether being filmed for an interview or photographed for headshots or other still imagery.

First thing first, wear whatever you are comfortable wearing!

Avoid anything too constricting, itchy, ill-fitting or otherwise potentially troublesome. If you are uncomfortable, it will show on-camera!

From there, the most important thing is that you feel like you look like you. This probably isn’t the time to try an entirely new style. Plus, you’ll want to make sure that whoever sees you in the final product recognizes the ‘real’ you!

Think about the purpose of the shoot.

Different types of shoots will require different types of outfits. For example, you will likely have a different outfit on for a professional headshot than you would for a fitness class shoot. Wear clothes that are appropriate for the occasion.

Avoid “dating” the final product.

Unless the shoot requires something from a specific time/place, try to keep your outfit seasonally neutral. You probably wouldn’t want to be wearing a huge winter coat, hats, and gloves unless it makes sense in the shoot to be wearing that.

When in doubt, go business casual.

Just as a recommendation (and this is just a suggestion – again, the important thing is to wear whatever you are comfortable in!), you usually can’t really go wrong with a classic “business casual” look – for men, a collared button-up shirt with or without a jacket. For women, a dress or slacks with a blazer or sweater always works well!

Options can make things easier.

Depending on the type of shoot and timeline, you might bring a couple of options as far as blazers, ties, or cardigans, and you and your photographer can decide together what will look best. This is also helpful when a shoot requires different backgrounds.

But what about colors, patterns, or logos?

In general, solid colors work better on camera than busy patterns. Darker colors (like dark blue) are a classic choice. Jewel tones work well for women, especially. We suggest avoiding white as it sometimes interferes with the overall lighting of the shot. Black can work well, too, but you might avoid it if you have lighter skin–the contrast can prove challenging. We also suggest avoiding tops or dresses that are fully sleeveless.

Try to avoid anything that has a noticeable logo or text, unless it is relevant to the purpose of the shoot itself (for example, wearing a pin with your organization’s logo might be appropriate if you are being interviewed for a video for a 100th anniversary party).

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Don’t forget to accessorize!

A couple last notes (for women, especially): don’t forget about accessories! We tend to suggest going a bit bolder than your day-to-day. For example, if you normally wear simple ear studs, go for something just a bit bigger. Similarly, if you are doing your own hair and makeup, try going just a bit bolder than your day-to-day look (think more like what you might do for a fancy date or a wedding). In general, a little extra makeup looks normal on-camera.

And remember, no matter what you wear, feeling comfortable and like yourself when you’re on camera is the most important factor for getting a great final result!

As always, you can reach out to us if you still have any questions.

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