What to Wear for Your Business Headshot Session
Whether you are coming into the Grand Prairie studio or having your headshots done at your location around the Dallas/Fort Worth area, your headshot is going to be the face of your business so one of the most important questions to answer is “What do I wear?” The simple answer is “the clothing that best fits your and your company’s image.”
Start with the clothing you wear every day to work on your most “put together” day. If you had a big prospective client coming to meet you for the first time, what would you wear?
The second step is to simplify that wardrobe. You are creating an image about you, not your clothing. Limit flashy jewelry unless it is a part of your business model. Keep hair simple and flattering. The best clothes bring attention to the person as much as the clothing.
Color and Patterns
When choosing colors, stick with solid colors and complimentary combinations. The eye is drawn to color and contrast, so if, for instance, you mix a bright red tie with an otherwise monochrome suit, the red tie is what will stand out in the photo the most. Make sure suits are not of a fad style unless you want to have to redo your headshot as soon as the style fades. For more casual clothes, stay away from any logos unless they are part of your business brand.
Women should stay away from spaghetti straps and sleeveless blouses as they have a tendency to make your arms look large. Supporting garments are extremely important to help create shape and posture.
All clothing should be well fit, not loose. You want it to look fresh and clean, never threadbare or worn. It should be crisp without it looking like you just took it off the store shelf.
Neckline and Layering
Men should steer clear of any deep v-neck shirts. If you are going casual, crew neck shirts look much better in images. An open collar man’s shirt looks great, but may be further enhanced with a crew neck shirt underneath. A sport or suit jacket can add an extra dimension without being distracting – or may be the perfect business suit image you are needing. Again, stick with complimentary colors between clothing items. For men, a jacket with bulky arms can add to the masculine feel of an image. Leather jackets and suit coats with padded shoulders are excellent for this. Don’t go too overboard, though. Make sure it fits your body type so that it doesn’t look like you are trying to hard or in clothing that is too big for you.
Women have lots of options, but in general should stay away from plunging necklines. Most of the time, you will want to keep cleavage at a minimum – conservative and professional. A lace edge can add a touch of femininity and a color under a dark jacket can add interest. A thin sweater or light jacket is great to layer over the solid colors. Be very careful of shoulder pads in jackets and blouses as they can add the appearance of extra weight in a head and shoulders image. A tank top or sleeveless blouse can have the same effect for different reasons – the upper arms stand out in the image and tend to make you look very wide. Its best to steer clear of both. Rarely will you go wrong with a women’s business suit.
Heavy patterns and bold colors may look good on you in person and may describe your personality, but they usually do not make for a good portrait. Wardrobe needs to be well thought out, but still simple so it does not draw attention away from you.
Above all, bring your wardrobe in on hangers. There are places to hang things up in the studio. Your clothing needs to look fresh, not recently folded or stuffed in a bag.
Jewelry and Watches
Large jewelry and watches can make a strong statement in your image, but they can also quickly date a photograph. Staying conservative is the best advice here. Keep watches away from being the main focus of the image. Women should wear small hoops or studded earrings. Necklaces should be on thin chains and not have large pendants.
Hair and Makeup
Hair should be neat and trimmed, of course, but the day of or day after a haircut is not always the best timing. In an ideal world, time your hair appointment to be two to five days before your headshot session. For women, if you are coloring your hair, you may want closer to the five day number to give the color time to “settle.”
Makeup for women should be conservative as well. You want makeup similar to what you would wear to work, not for a night on the town, or you run the risk of your portrait looking like an 80s glamour shot. If you would like, I can schedule a professional makeup artist to do your makeup and hair for a small additional fee.
Working together, we can create a killer headshot that will get you noticed.