Which necklines on clothes are best for headshots?

Simple is good but simple doesn’t have to mean boring. In a headshot the focus should absolutely be on you and your eyes but what does the top you’re wearing say about you? It’s an important part in communicating the right thing about you to anyone looking at your headshot.


First of all, pack more tops for your session than you think is necessary. It’s better to give your photographer options rather than limit them, and some tops you love might not work well in a headshot.


It’s important to find tops that frame your face well. Round neck, v-neck, crew neck, shirts and jackets can all do this well. Roll necks can be tricky because there’s a risk they can make you look like a floating head.


For girls, low necks, vests and off the shoulder tops can show off your structure and collar bones nicely, and don’t forget to look through your dresses to see if any have necklines that will work.


Layering is great too, so bring tops to go on top of others – jackets, cardigans, blazers, jumpers etc. A simple white top underneath a top in a rich colour can look lovely.

Also think about different time periods when choosing your tops. If you want to get seen for classical work it’s good to bring a collarless shirt or a lacy top. Hoodies and t-shirts give a more contemporary feel.


Textures are important to consider too. Look out for tops with bits of detail in them (button detail, bit of texture in the fabric) and knitted tops often shoot well but can give a softer look.

And don’t forget to look at the quality of your tops. A threadbare t-shirt you’ve had for years is not going to look great in a headshot. Inevitably clothes from more expensive brands will look better – the material will be good and it’ll fit well – but of course price of the top is a consideration. But give yourself the best possible chance of getting the best possible headshots: it’s pretty common for people to buy new tops for their session and keep the label in to take them back afterwards.

All content ©The APHP and headucation™  2019 / Except images © individual APHP members as noted.

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