Skip to Main Content

Headshot Preparation Tips for Men

Our Headshot Preparation Tips for Men blog post offers a few helpful portrait suggestions to keep in mind for your Business Headshot Preparation.

Following are two other pages you may find of interest:

• Basic Headshot Preparation Tips
• Headshot Preparation Tips for Women

Headshot Preparation Tips for Men


Collared shirts are imperative for a professional look. Non-collared shirts (t-shirts) can work in certain scenarios and usually work best in conjunction with a sport coat. Turtlenecks are also acceptable.

Headshot Preparation Tips for Men | Orange County Headshots

A plain, non-patterned shirt always works best. If patterned, a very subtle one is acceptable.

Shirts that work best do not easily wrinkle and bounce-back when scrunched.

An off-white or color shirt is much preferred over white. However, white shirts are acceptable, especially when covered by a dark jacket or sweater. Regardless, if a colored shirt is available, it’s your best option.

In general, a slightly looser fit is preferable over a tight-fitting shirt. Choose a snug-fitting shirt only when there are no weight concerns. If not, the tight look can easily add around 20 extra pounds of “visual” weight.

The main concern is for collared shirts that buttons to the neck. The top should button easily, allowing for a loose-fitting collar (i.e. skin must not be pressed tightly), making head turns a breeze. If a new shirt is not in the offing, it’s possible to remedy the problem in post-production PRO retouching.


Men-Jackets | Headshot Preparation Tips for Men | Orange County Headshots

Think “professional” and you should do just fine. Again, simplicity is the key. Also, keep in mind the audience you wish to attract and narrow your focus to speak to your target market.

A plain, non-patterned jacket always works best. If patterned, a very subtle one is acceptable.

As with shirts, fabric that works best does not easily wrinkle and bounces-back when scrunched.

By far, darker colors tend to be your best choice. Darker tones are not only viewed as being more professional but engender a healthier and slimmer persona:

Black: stirs a sense of both creativity and protection, as well as power, seductive, authority, and nimbleness.

Navy: evokes a feeling of trustworthiness, integrity, caring, credible, conservative, orderly, calm and loyal.

Dark Brown: practical, solid, reassuring, reliable/dependable, friendly, stable, wholesome and genuine.

Dark Green: masculine, vitality, dependable, tactful, family, nurturing, flexible, conservative, and wealthy.

Deep Purple: feminine, romantic, luxurious, inventive, intuitive, mysterious, wealthy and sophisticated.

Deep Red/Burgundy: harmonious, balanced, supportive, imaginative, spiritual, kind, non-conformist.

Dark Gray: knowledgable/wise, classic, mature, sleek, refined, dignified, controlled, and contemporary.

The primary concern for any garment is tightness. While you cannot go wrong with a jacket that is a skosh too loose, a garment that is too snug evokes negative attributes of disheveled and careless – both of which are not only non-conducive to evoking a positive sense of who you are and what you represent, but are decisions made about you at the subconscious level. You’re rejected yet they cannot tell you why.

Therefore, a comfortable, loose fit is vital. Where our clients are unsuccessful in this fundamental requisite, we are equipped to remedy the oversight in post-production retouching.


Men-Shirts | Headshot Preparation Tips for Men | Orange County Headshots

Think “professional” and you should do just fine. Again, simplicity is the key. Also, keep in mind the audience you wish to attract and narrow your focus to speak to your target market

We recommend keeping patterns simple and colors subdued. Again, the idea is to keep the viewer’s gaze fixed upon your eyes/face, not an abundance of colors and patterns.

Colors to avoid are orange, pink, and iridescent hues. If interested in learning about tie color psychology and what sort of persona you’re exuding to the world, followings is a link to my blog post: Tie Color Reveals The Man.

Need help in tying your tie? Here are a few helpful YouTube links that’ll get you up to speed in a hurry:

• How to Tie A Half-Windsor Knot

• How To Tie A Windsor Knot

• How to Tie a Four-In-Hand Knot

Should you prefer printed instructions, has everything you’ll ever need: Learn How To Tie A Tie

Feeling adventurous? Take a look at this fascinating article on 30 DIFFERENT WAYS TO TIE A TIE THAT EVERY MAN SHOULD KNOW!


Bring a happy heart and your smile will take care of itself. Remember, your session should only take a few minutes. It’s a short enough time to turn off the outside pressures of the day and simply be present.
• Smile Challenged? If so, practice in front of a mirror, remembering the feeling of a natural smile.
• Also, a helpful technique is something we call “Lifting Your Apples.” The roundness of one’s cheeks is referred to as “apples.” In those instances where a smile is required but it’s challenging to do so on cue, simply “lift your apples” while placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth and a smile will emerge.

• NOTE: my goal is to not only capture a range of expressions, from wide smiles to soft but also capture both sides of your face. This way you can evaluate not only which expression you prefer, but from which side of the face you feel best expresses it.


If a 5:00 shadow is a concern, please shave beforehand or you may opt to arrive early and take care of it here. We offer disposable razors with our complements – just be very careful to avoid razor burn…


SIMPLICITY is the key.

Necklaces that photograph best are simple with no center focal-point design. Even though we can center a necklace feature (such as a diamond or cross), it may not appear to be so in the image – so much depends on how your body is turned. Generally, this is not a detriment for most people, however, the slight off-center feel can cause heartburn for perfectionists like myself…

Earrings that photograph best are simple and small. Dangling earrings can be problematic (for both men and woman) as with any sort of a tilt of the head the earrings will hang freely on one side while falling askew on the other side of the face.

Bracelets & Watches, though do not generally become an issue in a headshot portrait, if there is a possibility that your hands might show, please keep any wrist-wear simple so that it does not distract and draw attention away from your face.


ALL glasses present two essential challenges:

1. glass glare
2. distortion (eyes and temples)

BOTH aberrations can be remedied with judicious retouching and are included with our Pro Retouching. However, for the best possible results, we recommend either wearing Non-Glare glasses or arranging with your Optometrist to remove your lenses prior to your session. Eye/temple distortion is much easier to restore than eyes being obliterated by glass glare.

  • Glasses without non-glare coating are problematic, and therefore we do not recommend regular glasses for portraits. The resulting glare can be light (easy to remove) to severe, which may require a complete rebuilding of the eyes.
  • Non-glare glasses work wonderfully and generally are no problem. However, non-glare can still present a challenge depending on the degree and where the soft-green glow appears, as well as distortion eye, face, and temples caused by thicker lenses.
  • NOTE: Contact Lenses work well, though they can cause a bluish ring to appear around the iris.


Finally, the last consideration in our Headshot Preparation Tips for Men is Makeup. Generally speaking, men require no makeup. Any issue that does exist can easily be remedied with Retouching.

Makeup Artist
If you prefer to hire a makeup artist, please inform the artist we are using digital capture. Also keep in mind that unless you have very specific makeup needs, it’s less expensive to request post-production retouching from us rather than hire a makeup artist. Our Pro level is your best option.

In the meantime, and as always, should you have questions regarding any aspect of professional headshots or our Headshot Preparation Tips for Men, no concern is too small.

Orange County Headshots | Mark Jordan Photographer

Headshot Preparation Tips for Men


When looking for an Orange County Headshots Photographer please call 949-713-4050 or complete our online request form.


Orange County Headshots Photographer, Mark Jordan, is internationally recognized and serves all of Southern California, including San Diego County, Los Angeles, and the Inland Empire.

For four decades Orange County Headshots has served and created professional headshots in the cities of Aliso Viejo, CA | Anaheim, CA | Brea, CA | Buena Park, CA | Corona del Mar, CA | Costa Mesa, CA | Coto de Caza, CA | Cypress, CA | Dana Point, CA | Dove Canyon, CA | Fountain Valley, CA | Fullerton, CA | Garden Grove, CA | Foothill Ranch, CA | Huntington Beach, CA | Irvine, CA | Ladera Ranch, CA | Laguna Beach, CA | Laguna Hills, CA | Laguna Niguel, CA | Laguna Woods, CA | Lake Forest, CA | Los Alamitos, CA | Mission Viejo, CA | Newport Beach, CA | Orange, CA | Placentia, CA | Rancho Mission Viejo, CA | Rancho Santa Margarita, CA | Robinson Ranch, CA | San Clemente, CA | San Juan Capistrano, CA | Santa Ana, CA | Seal Beach, CA | Shady Canyon, CA | Trabuco Canyon, CA | Turtle Rock, CA | Tustin, CA | Tustin Ranch, CA | Villa Park, CA | Westminster, CA | Rancho Mission Viejo, CA | Yorba Linda, CA | Las Flores, CA | Modjeska Canyon, CA | Santiago Canyon, CA | Silverado, CA | Emerald Bay, CA |

Contact Us Today