How to stay in the “Safe Zone” with your wardrobe choices.

Headshots taken by LA Headshot Photographer, Vanie Poyey

If your headshot package includes four outfits, you should bring four outfits right?  Wrong!  I stress this over and over during my consultations and yet actors still put together their final wardrobe choices and show up with just enough to shoot in instead of bringing many options.

The problem with only bringing the exact number of outfits is that you may be limiting your photographer from a technical standpoint and may end up with results that are outside what I call the ‘safe zone’.  The safe zone is where most agents and managers will be happy with your headshot with no complaints.  Outside the safe zone is where most agents and managers may have a complaint about your headshot.  Because there are so many subjective opinions in the industry, you’re never going to make everyone happy at all times, but you want to aim to stay in the safe zone when you can.

For example, I had a client bring in a graphic tee for the “Gamer” look but it was black and had a very bright white image in the middle.  Because of how I expose for skin tones, that white image would end up a hot (too bright) spot on the headshot causing it to distract from the face.  The idea of a graphic tee for the “Gamer” was spot on; but this particular t-shirt was not.  Because the client didn’t bring a few more t-shirt choices, we necessarily had to settle for headshots outside the safe zone.  If my client had brought more options for t-shirts, I’m sure we would have found something more suitable for that look.

Even if you’ve sent your reps selfies with your clothing choices and you’ve gotten the thumbs up, it’s never a bad idea to bring a few options per look to avoid unforeseen problems during your session.  After all, your photographer is the one taking the pictures and only he/she knows the  lighting conditions that best showcase your outfits.

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