3 Headshot Takeaways from Teacher that Wore Same Outfit for 40 Years in Yearbook Photos

Man's yearbook photos over 40 years wearing same outfit

Could you imagine wearing the same outfit for 40 years? Well…you don’t have to imagine, because PE teacher, Dale Irby, did just that for his yearbook photos at Prestonwood Elementary School. 

What started out as a funny accident quickly turned into a tradition after Dale’s wife dared him to wear the same outfit again once they noticed the coincidence. 

This funny story reminded us of a few important things we frequently tell our clients when it comes to their headshots.

1. Consistency is Valuable 

Wearing the same outfit was an accident in Dale’s case, but a few well-known individuals consciously do it. Two popular examples, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg mention it reduces decision fatigue which is very harmful to CEOs who make decisions all day, such as themselves. There’s another benefit of wearing the same thing often though. Consistency. If you’re building a personal brand, this is something you need to be very much aware of. 

Now, we’re not saying you have to go full ‘Zuck’ and wear the same outfit EVERY single day, but we are saying you should be mindful of finding your personal clothing style and using it as a tool to shape the way people experience your personal brand when meeting you. After all, your clothes are an extension of yourself. They communicate a lot about you. 

Mark Zuckerberg wearing basic outfit on stage while giving a talk
2. Don’t Get Stuck in the Past 
Old masters background

While Dale’s outfit was stuck in the 70s, yours doesn’t have to be. When deciding what to wear, think about your personality and how you want to portray yourself. If your personality is fun and bubbly, maybe wearing more color than you typically would for a headshot makes sense. If your demeanor is more serious, consider more subdued colors. The key is to update your headshot as frequently as the way you look changes, whether that’s hairstyle, glasses, or weight loss. This helps ensure that you’re portraying yourself online as you would in your day to day. Need more guidance on how frequently to update your headshot? Our blog post about the 10 best occasions to change your headshot can help you decide. 

Also, notice the blue painted background that shows up over and over again in his photos? While this style of background has stood the test of time, if you’re an executive, we’re not sure having the same background in your headshot as in your fourth grade yearbook photo sends the right message. 

At Omaha Headshot Company, we use clean and modern backgrounds to ensure you look your best, no matter which year it is.

3. Mind the Composition 

As you look through Dale’s photos the composition changes many times. Sometimes we can see some of his shoulders, some of his arms, and some of his torso, but it’s not very uniform. We generally show both shoulders and photograph you from about the chest up. This attention to detail makes for a cohesive look when photographing individuals, which is great for companies who want their employees’ headshots to match a certain look. 

Shooting headshots this way also makes for better profile pictures because they fit perfectly into the small profile icons.  

While you may be afraid to have your headshot taken close up, you don’t need to worry. We’ve photographed countless people and have mastered the details (flattering lighting, angles, expressions, poses, retouching, etc.). Come into your headshot session with your guard down and we’ll do the rest. 

Headshot collage
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