float headIf you’re like a lot of my clients, you know that looking your best is important when you’re being videoed or photographed. But you may not know how to bring your “best you” on camera. You may have even heard the horror stories of the people who looked like floating heads on film because their clothing blended into the background. In fact, if you want a laugh, take a look at one such incident that just happened this week when a British reporter was interviewing actress Julie Andrews.

Here are some pro tips for looking your best whether appearing on TV or participating in a photo shoot.

Photo Shoots: One of my clients has to go to a magazine shoot related to an industry award he’s receiving. He recently got great advice recently from their PR firm, Jill Schmidt PR. The PR team suggested:

  • Wear business casual: nice solid sweater, very nice jeans or slacks
  • Select solid colored clothing
  • Choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light)
  • Wear dark socks and footwear
  • Do your hair the way you’d normally do it once you’re dressed

TV Appearance: A different client had an exciting opportunity to appear on a local morning news show. In addition to selecting the right clothes, she needed to know what to do about hair, makeup and accessories. A colleague of mine, Kathy Krenger who is General Manager of Edible, owned by the famed Edelman PR firm, had some helpful suggestions, paraphrased here:

  1. Wear a single flattering color. No black, brown or gray. If you must wear a black suit, make sure to wear a colored shirt.
  2. Minimize accessories: No scarves or pins. At most, wear a simple necklace and simple earrings.
  3. Remember that the focus is on your face, so do your hair normally
  4. Makeup (tips for women):
    • Be sure to wear foundation, and it should be the right color for your face
    • Use cover-up but don’t go overly white under the eyes as that will show
    • Well defined lips in a medium color. Not too bright but not pale as they will disappear on camera
    • Be sure eyes are made up for focus, but don’t do “evening makeup”
    • Avoid shiny eye shadow or gloss

Overall, Kathy says that most of this is common sense:

  • Nothing fuzzy, shiny or busy. Remember, shiny reflects light!
  • Everything must fit right because any wrinkles will be seen  
  • If it’s a sit down interview, be sure to look at how your outfit photographs when sitting.
  • If your jacket is long enough, sit on the edge to keep it down. If not, check to see if the jacket looks better buttoned (not if it pulls) or open (probably not, unless the blouse falls nicely, because belly rolls show) Better to have a jacket that is a bit bigger and hangs right than one that is too tight 

Other tips I found while researching online include:

  • No black on top
  • Do not wear white of any sort
  • Remember that you can always bring an alternate outfit
  • Wear powder on your face since pretty much everything gets shiny on TV

Follow these tips and you’ll put your you forward!