Are you struggling with what to wear for a business photo shoot?
You are not alone.
Naturally, we all want to look good in a business headshot, and many women are struggling with what to wear for a business photo shoot.
It is worth the effort of preparing well for a business photo shoot, as a decent business portrait displays who you are and what you do in a split second.
It conveys the type of person you want to be seen as professionally.
What you wear for your business photo shoot will considerably influence how professional your resulting photo will be.
And don´t worry, there are a few sure-fire tips on what to wear for a business photo shoot. If you follow them, you will feel comfortable when you step in front of the camera, and the result will be a picture you’ll love.
Find the Ultimate Preparation Checklist For Your Business Photo Shoot as a FREE Bonus here!
Remember, it is all about your face in a business photo shoot, and your tops and jackets will frame your face and help bring out your best features. So here are a couple of things to consider for your choice of tops and jackets:
The neckline will influence your face’s apparent shape: Tops with a v-neckline are an excellent choice, as they elongate the neck and face. On the other hand, turtlenecks are almost always a bad idea (since they crowd the face).
Ensure your jacket and shirt are the right fit for you, as a poor fit will be evident in the photos (especially around the neck). If you are wearing a shirt with a collar, make sure the collar is well-ironed or starched so it doesn´t “hang” in the headshot, as this creates a messy appearance.
With the right fabric of your clothing, you will help create depth and interest in the portrait. Layering will do the same. For blouses, the best materials to wear for your business photo shoot are shiny and silky fabrics. The silky fabric looks great on camera and adds interest to the business photo.
Go for Grey, Blue Or Mauve Jackets, Not Black
Opt for blouses with sleeves as sleeveless tops will draw attention to your shoulders and away from your face. Make sure your blouses are made from materials that iron well and don´t crease. Should you choose to wear a jacket, combine it with a collarless top. This keeps a sleek neckline and creates a modern look.
I recommend going for plain colors, and mid-tone colors are incredibly flattering when it comes to color. Avoid anything that will make you look “washed out” or distract from your face: “Flesh colors” such as cream, beige, or peach will create too little of a contrast to your face, whereas black and white are not ideal, as they mess with the camera’s exposure. Instead of black, go for softer colors such as navy or dark brown. Black is a bit too strict and creates a somewhat distant image of yourself, perhaps not precisely what you aim for.
Another secret tip is to wear colors that accentuate your eyes, blue with blue eyes, green with green eyes, etc. This is why jewel tones work so well—besides, pastels or rich colors like maroons or deep greens/blues photograph particularly nicely.
Silky shirts with a v-neckline in jewel colors are great choices for your business photo shoot.
A white shirt/blouse/sweater by itself is a bad idea – it draws attention away from the face. Better to wear white under a jacket or sweater
In terms of patterns, avoid big prints or busy patterns, as these tend to overpower what´s essential in a business headshot- your face. You should equally avoid large lines or stripes for the same reason.
Solid colors and simple designs are always preferred over striking patterns as a classic style is more timeless and will look great months after your business photo shoot. I recommend going with a solid-colored blouse, ideally darker than your skin tone.
Best Jewelry To Wear For Your Business Photo Shoot
Remember, the business photo shoot is all about your face, so keep everything around your face as simple as possible.
This, of course, goes for jewelry as well. Please keep it simple.
Wear understated jewelry that goes well with your skin tone. If you are unsure whether you’re a “silver” or “gold” jewelry type, go to my guide to find the best colors for your skin tone here.
Whatever your color type, the jewelry should be kept simple for a business photo shoot. Bring simple earrings and necklaces to the shoot if you usually wear jewelry. If you don´t, this does not apply to you.
Avoid flashy jewelry that distracts from your face – small and understated is better. If you usually wear facial piercings or multiple earrings, decide whether this will be suitable for the persona you aim to create in your business photo shoot.
Best Hair And Make-up Styles To Wear For Your Business Photo Shoot
As with jewelry, please keep it simple when it comes to hair and make-up. Ideally, you should have tested your hairstyles and make-up before your business photo shoot to avoid any surprises. Don´t get a new hair cut just before the shoot. Instead, have it cut the week before and give your hair time to grow-in a bit.
See my ultimate checklist of how to prepare for a business photo shoot here.
Avoid trying new hair products or make-up right before the photo shoot.
When it comes to make-up, apply simple daytime make-up that is clear and neutral. Here are some tips and things to avoid:
- To create a flawless complexion, wear a good layer of transparent powder. This will minimize the shine that may otherwise appear in the photo. Photographers always have some powder at hand at the studio too.
- Use a matte lipstick in a flattering color that suits your skin type. Don’tDon’t use too much lipstick, and use a lip liner to create a perfect lip.
- Avoid any products with shimmer, sparkle, or shine.
- With eyeshadow, too, go for matte, not glitzy and frosty colors. ·
Think of what different haircuts you would like to try before the business photo shoot (e.g., hair up and down).
Do not try/use any new product on your hair, face, or body the day before or a few days before your shoot. In case you have a bad reaction to the product.
Come to your business photo shoot with your hair done in your preferred hairstyle and make-up done, unless you will have your hair and makeup done on-site.
Here is a FREE online color quiz if you are unsure what the best colors and make-up products are for your skin type. You can also choose and order high-quality makeup that is perfect for your individual color type here.
How To Pose For Your Business Photo Shoot
Your body’s posture will have a massive influence on how confident you’ll come across in your business photo. Keep an upright posture with a straight back pulled back shoulders, and keep your chin up – this will elongate your neck and makes you look even slimmer. Many business photos show people with crossed arms – I am personally not a fan of this posture for two reasons: 1) it is closed body language, and 2) it will crease your jacket and might make you look less “put together”.
For most people, looking straight into the camera is not as flattering as sitting or standing at a slight angle (one shoulder closer to the camera). Your photographer will help you with the right and most flattering pose.
When it comes to smiling, I have always found it helpful to loosen my facial muscles a bit before the business photo shoot (shake your face a little bit) and then think of something funny, which makes you laugh naturally. This will look best on camera. A forced smile will look forced on camera too. A relaxed smile with an open body posture will look great on camera.
Other postures that make for great business photos are postures, which you would naturally perform during your work, for example, discussing or presenting. This should include action and initiative and often comes across very well.
You Are All Set – Go For It And Have Fun
There you go, you are all set and ready for your shoot: If you clearly define and communicate and expectations for your business photo shoot, decide on what to wear for your business photo shoot according to the persona and style you want to portray and pay a little bit of attention to your hair and make-up, you will have a great shoot and LOVE the results.
As a bonus, I have put together a simple checklist for how to prepare for your business photo shoot, and you can find it here.
Have fun at your shoot and enjoy it! I would love to hear about your experiences with business portrays, and as always, if you have any questions or need a hand with anything, please let me know in the comments, and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,
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