Dancer Headshot Photography 1

What should I wear?

So if you are reading this page, you will have already booked in for your Professional Dance Portrait Session with Divine Photography. I'm here to help guide you get the most from your shoot. As with everything in life, preparation is key! This is where I can help. Some of the points in the guide below may not be relevant to you if you are only booking in for a headshot, so just take from it what you need.

A lot of clients find this part the hardest. Choosing your outfits is important so I'm happy to help. If you have an agency, make sure to run your outfits by them first. They should be happy with what you use and when you invest in professional images, you don't want to spend money foolishly. Wear what makes you look good and is in keeping with the image you want to portray. What is your dance style? Think what represents it and consider if you want your images only to reflect this or show diversity. Avoid larger logos on clothing as it makes it about the brand rather than the person.

I would advise bringing a variety of clothing to choose from and then we can select the best ones for you. Select a choice of necklines - some that are slightly higher to frame the face and then some lower, like a leotard or strappy top. You can opt for bare shoulders but I would probably avoid this is younger children. Please ensure that your leotard fits properly and isn't too large/baggy.

Dancer Headshots Northern Ireland


Confidence - one of the most important things you can bring to the shoot. Be prepared to try new things, approach suggestions with a smile and if you have any images that you have seen online that you like, feel free to send them through beforehand so we can discuss. Practice before your shoot holding a neutral or pleasant expression on your face whilst moving for action shots. This takes a little time to perfect so better to do it beforehand than on the day. No tongues sticking out or grimacing!


Colour also plays a very important role in your shots. We can shoot on location or indoors. I can also provide a range of backdrop colours to choose from for headshots (most people tend to go for more neutrals like white or grey or dark blue/black) but there are brighter more vivid colours that you can choose from too. Select colours of clothing that suit your skin tone and hair colouring.

If you are also getting longer length shots, think about bringing some form fitted clothing and some flowing pieces as well. If you are have a portfolio shoot, do you want to incorporate any street looks? This can include shorts, chunky boots, jeans and crop tops. Wear something comfortable and that you can easily move in as you will be working on action shots.

Only the top half of your body is visible in headshots so pay most attention to what will be featured in this section of the image and bring more choices for the top half. If wearing a jacket, keep it fitted and think of a top/shirt underneath that will add a pop of colour. Primary colours (blue/yellow/red) work well as do jewel colours (jades/pinks/silver/gold).

Avoid clothing with busy patterns. Go for solid colours. Form fitted clothing is best.

Layers are good too so that you can mix it up quickly to give a totally different look.


For the ladies, pay attention to your underwear up top. If your top or dress is a sheer fabric, light coloured or one that you can see the pattern/texture of your underwear, please make sure that you wear a suitable bra. Please avoid ones with textures (such as embroidered detailing / lace) or patterns as it will show in your images and doesn't make for a good photograph


Prepare your clothes & accessories the day before and have them ready & waiting for your session. Have them pressed and hung up all ready to go. This will mean that you aren't stressing on the day & running around last minute. It's important to present the best version of yourself in your photos.


If you are getting your hair cut/coloured before the shoot, do it a week in advance to allow it to settle and not look to severe. For anyone with longer hair, I recommend wearing it down initially and tie it up for a variety of looks during the shoot. Bring along some hair ties, brush, hair spray and serum to smooth down any stray hairs which can detract from your face in images.

Soft, sleek, loose waves in your hair will look ethereal and more natural. If you want an edgier look, then probably go straighter in style. If you can, get a blow dry and hair styled. It adds a little bit of polish to your shots and is more flattering. If it's a headshot only you are getting, tell your hairdresser so they can pay particularly attention to the front of your hair (around your face) as that's the part we will be capturing in the shots. If your hair is shorter, just keep it in your normal style. Choose a style that highlights the natural curve and shape of your face.

Facial Hair - Prepare your facial hair in advance - if you know that your skin gets very red or irritated leave time between the shoot and work you get done. If you have beard, try and get it trimmed and smooth with some hot oil treatment for a more conditioned look.


If you use fake tan, please try and ensure it is properly applied to the hands - not to heavy or patchy. I tend to find that when I'm applying it if I exfoliate beforehand and use lots of moisturiser on my hands just before I apply the fake tan it works best. Also if you have an old, clean powder makeup brush you can then use it to apply a thin layer of tan to the hands works a treat!

Your hands may end up in some shots, so ensure that your nails are trimmed/tidy and without any chipped polish. For women, neutral colours are popular however if you are in a more creative industry then you may wish to be a bit more adventurous. For men, a clean trim is sufficient.


I would strongly recommend that you get your make-up professionally applied for your personal branding portrait session unless you are proficient at applying it yourself. It can make a real difference to how the end result turns out. It doesn't have to cost the earth and you don't have to end up looking like a clown with over-the-top make-up. I am happy to recommend a number of talented make-up artists who can give you a totally polished look whilst still allowing your natural beauty to shine through.

Some other general tips regarding make-up: -

Emphasize your eyes – they will be the main focus of your closer headshots. Avoid anything too heavy or overdone. PLEASE do not wear eyeshadow with glitter in it. It doesn't photograph well (for the purposes of this type of shoot) and can fall down on your face and clothing. Not a good look. Neutral colours are always good but you can ask your MUA for guidance on your colouring and eye colour.

Avoid too much shine - bring along some powder to the session if your skin tends to shine or sweat. Oil blotting pads are also useful to eradicate shine. You will probably be rushing about before the session and maybe stressing a little about getting your photos done so we want you looking your best.

Lip colour - mauves, browns & berry shades are good. You want some colour to your to brighten up your face but avoid lots of gloss. A more matte/sheer finish is good. I love Catrice Ultimate Colour in shade Maroon 020

Makeup Application NI


Brows - whilst there is a real focus on brows right now and a trend to heavily sculpt and define them, natural is best. Feel free to shape the brows but avoid heavy painted on brows and concealer above/below them. If you can also tidy brows up before the session to eradicate stray hairs outside the main brow line that works best.

Look after your lips - if they are chapped/dry ahead of the shoot, use lip balm to try and improve the surface. I also have found that rubbing with an old toothbrush over the top can help shift dry skin on the lips and then apply moisturising balm such as Blistex Intensive Moisturiser Hydrating Cream.

Drink plenty of water - this keeps your skin hydrated & plump and looking amazing for the photo shoot

Face Mask - use a facial mask the morning of your shoot. This will give your skin next level hydration and leave your skin luminous. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes if you have time for optimal skin glow. This will revive your skin and prepare it for your make-up

Moisturise - If you don't normally moisture your skin, try and prioritise this in the week leading up to your shoot. If using a new moisturiser, use one that's fragrance free to ensure that your skin does not have an allergic reaction. A moisturiser will boost hydration and ensure your skin glows

So there you have it! I hope you found this useful and I look forward to working with you soon at your session.


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