What to Wear for Kid Actor Headshots

It can be difficult to figure out exactly what to wear for kid actor headshots.  Casting directors have very specific tastes and every piece of your headshot, from the background, lighting, and crop, to hair, make-up, and outfit selection will have an effect on your headshot.  …for better or worse.  We love to shoot for BETTER! After talking with casting directors, acting coaches, and acting agencies from Los Angeles and the Denver area, I have found out exactly what casting directors will be impressed by when it comes to outfit choice.  The end result is a lot simpler than you might think!
Here are 7 rules for what to wear, and what not to wear, for your Young Actor Headshots.
Keep it simple
Busy patterns might look cute and be in style, but they can take away from what really matters – you!  When an outfit is demanding more attention than the actor, we have a problem.  Stay away from loud or busy patterns, like polka dots, big stripes, etc. Keep the colors solid or patterns light.
Speaking of Color….
For girl actors, the best colors are light blue, turquoise, purple (any shade), pink (any shade except for hot pink), and pastel yellow.  These colors are young, fresh, and feminine.  Rich colors should be considered carefully, as they can age a young actor, but can sometimes be used for a serious look.
Girls must avoid green, red, black, grey, and often white. Neutrals like cream and pastels are good and current with the trends.
Boys have it a bit easier and should wear blues, red, sometimes green, and can wear grey, black, and white under particular circumstances. The character we are trying to portray plays a very big part in color choice.
Layers and texture are a YES.
A couple of layers (not too many) and textures like lace or fringe can add depth and professionalism to your photo.  Plain, solid shirts are great as well, but don’t be afraid to add a touch of understated personality with texture.  For boys, one outfit with layers is great.  Depending on the character you would like to portray in your headshots, a hoodie and t-shirt, or dressed up look with tie and suit jacket are good choices.
No logos!
This one is pretty obvious, but no logos or words on your outfits.
Minimal or no accessories
A very minimal necklace is ok, but avoid large scarves that will hide you and accessories that will steal the show (like a big bow in the hair or chunky earrings).
Denim denim denim!
A jean jacket goes a LONG WAY.  Casting directors love to see denim in outfits of both girl actors and boy actors. It keeps young actors looking young and fresh and adds a bit of “spunk” to the overall vibe of your headshot.  Denim also helps you look confident, current, and comfortable.  YES to jeans and denim vests and jackets!
Wear jeans on the bottom
Jeans just go with everything and are neutral. We will often get pants in the shot, especially when we have a several-look photo shoot.  We want to keep the focus up top, though – at the actor’s expressive, super cute eyes and smile! Wear plain (non-ripped) jeans of any color on bottom.  For a more dressed-up look, a cute dress bottom for a girl, or slacks for a boy are ok.
Here are more examples of what works well for your Young Actor Headshot Outfits.  Go shopping for a good standard set of outfits (which you will wear to auditions also!) and get ready to look amazing!

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