The clothes you wear say a lot about you, and in the world of business, they say a lot about your professionalism and how you interact with customers, too. For that reason alone, it’s important to know what to wear for a video shoot and think about how you’ll appear on camera when addressing your target audience.
At Gillespie Productions, we work with our clients to discuss the specifics of filming and are always happy to make recommendations before the day of the shoot, but we also think it’s important to provide valuable information about what to wear on video.
So, in this piece, we’ll explore some basics – spanning color and patterns to makeup and accessories.
Here’s what to wear for a video shoot.
Before we discuss the best color options, let’s first talk about the items of clothing you can use to introduce particular colors. For men wearing white shirts, a necktie, or a blazer is a good option for introducing colors. Bright ties are usually the easiest option for men, but if you have a wardrobe of stylish suits and blazers, that’s not a bad idea either – as long as they aren’t too distracting!
For women, it’s generally a little easier. Whether it’s a blouse, jewelry, a blazer, or a scarf, any item of clothing that can deliver a punch of color can look great on camera. Combined with more neutral, solid colors on the rest of your clothes, that pop of color can help you stand out on camera.
But the question remains…what colors are best for a video shoot?
Typically, we advise against wearing bright white clothes or other bright colors. For men, suits with a white shirt are fine if a jacket is worn and a tie. A small amount of white poking through into the shot won’t cause problems, but if you’re wearing entirely white, it may cause exposure problems. When the camera is adjusted to focus on your face, the white or other light/bright color on your clothes will appear as though it is glowing.
You may experience similar issues with dark colors and black. When the camera exposure is adjusted to make your face appear natural, black simply looks too dark, and you’ll lose the detail on your clothes. You may appear as though you are a floating head!
Don’t Wear Green
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t wear green on video. This is technically only true if you plan on using a green screen, but just to be certain you don’t run into any issues on filming day – and in case a green screen does need to be used at some point – it’s wise to just avoid wearing the color completely.
If you’ve never used a green screen before, you might be surprised at how simple the concept technically is. During shooting, green backdrops are used in place of what will be a new background introduced in post-production. But it’s not just the background; anything green in the shot will be automatically replaced with the replacement background or color.
So if you’re wearing a green dress in front of a green screen, and the background is replaced in post-production, we’ll run into that floating head issue again!
Beyond color, you should consider the patterns on your clothes. A good rule to follow is to wear clothes that look professional or suitable for the kind of shoot you’re doing, but not to wear clothes that will distract your audience.
So, for instance, if you’re filming a video about your professional life and working in an office environment, a suit or formal attire will work fine. Nobody will be interested in what you’re wearing because your clothes are perfectly appropriate, meaning they will be more interested in what you’re doing and what you have to say.
However, if your suit has bright yellow stripes, then people may be more interested in what you’re wearing than what you have to say. That’s not good whether you’re trying to sell a product or service or if you’re aiming to educate customers, clients, or employees.
Just remember to look neat and tidy, clean, and wear appropriate clothes for your setting and surroundings. Patterns are acceptable if they are subtle, but block colors tend to work best.
When it comes to wearing accessories, we recommend keeping things relatively simple.
- Hair ties/pins
It’s absolutely fine to wear accessories and look good on camera, but remember that the focus is your message, not you. With this in mind, strive to look your best but not too distracting.
Furthermore, you should consider the two previous rules we’ve talked about and how they may also apply to your accessories. Avoid wearing any green accessories for the same reasons we described in the first section and avoid any garish patterns.
Unless your video shoot involves a very specific storyline, your hair should generally be the way you tend to wear it during a normal business day. This typically doesn’t mean much for men, as it’s simply a matter of styling as normal.
However, for women or anybody with long hair, there are a few more things you should consider. First of all, we recommend that you keep your hair out of your face. Not only might it be distracting, but you want to make sure that viewers can connect with you as best as possible while watching the film. That means seeing your face and your facial expressions.
Secondly, remember that there will typically be a lot of light during a shoot. That means greasy or oily hair will shine even more on camera. A good trick to avoid this is to apply hairspray or mousse into wet hair rather than directly onto dry hair. It reduces shine while giving you the hold you need to style your hair.
It’s not a matter of not styling your hair, but instead, finding a way to style your hair so that it doesn’t distract viewers or reflects too much light.
There are three ways to use makeup for filming. These are divided into:
This kind of makeup is designed to combat any changes in appearance that may occur in filming. For instance, makeup may be used to make your skin tone look more natural when additional light is introduced.
Corrective makeup is used to hide any undesirable blemishes or flaws. It might be covering a pimple or correcting tired-looking eyes. This kind of makeup is also about removing any possible distractions for viewers and making you look healthy and perfectly presentable for the shoot.
And finally, “character” makeup is about changing your appearance entirely. This is less commonly used in normal commercial, infomercial, and professional communications videos but may be used in films with storylines and which require the transformation of a character.
For most professional shoots, “basic” and “corrective” makeup is perfectly suitable and useful.
If you wear makeup on a daily basis, then be sure to wear the same kind of makeup you would typically wear on a normal business day. Just like with clothes and accessories, don’t wear anything too distracting or “out there,” and instead let your professionalism speak for itself.
Remember that the intention is to get the viewers to hear what you’re saying and understand the concept of the video. Therefore, makeup should be used to ensure you look presentable and professional on camera…unless the shoot requires something different, of course!
It’s All in the Planning!
Deciding what to wear for a video shoot is all a part of the process. The rules we’ve listed above are good for general commercial and/or informative videos designed for interior or exterior business use, meaning you should be able to make your own decision about what you wear when it comes to the day of the shoot.
However, depending on the kind of video you intend to film, you may wish to discuss clothes, accessories, and makeup beforehand.
Remember that the filming process typically follows this process:
- Idea Formation
- Script Writing
The first four steps of that process are where your clothing really matters. During the idea formation stage, you’ll get an idea of the kind of thing those appearing on camera will need to wear, whether that’s something very specific or just general business wear.
In the scriptwriting and pre-production stage, you can make final decisions about clothes, makeup, and accessories and make sure that everybody is on the same page and ready for the day of the shoot.
At Gillespie Productions, our team is always happy to help in those pre-production stages, coming up with ideas and helping you make these important decisions.
For more information about what we do and to learn about our video production services in Wisconsin, call the team today at (920) 857-2224!