Dress for success! Grooming and attire suggestions for a business headshot.
Are you about to have a professional portrait created of yourself? Make sure you are dressed to impress! Follow these simple instructions to ensure your finished business headshot looks it’s best.
My name is Aric Hoek, I’m a Houston Headshot Photographer with over 30 years of experience as a professional photographer. You can see a few more examples of my work here.
In the world of websites, your headshot is how you create a first impression with a potential client. Indeed, a business headshot could be a customer’s deciding factor to do business. Your headshot is representative of your best “you” and will speak volumes about your professionalism and your business. A pleasing headshot will reinforce your credibility. A poor headshot can and will deter business.
Clothing is an extremely important factor in your finished portrait, but it is not the focus. The focus is your face. With proper clothing, your face will command attention and the clothing will become secondary. Wearing the wrong clothing takes attention away from where you want it – on you and your face.
Notice the background we use on the samples displayed on this page. Notice how we have used our lights to illuminate the background just slightly darker than the subject’s face. Notice how we have also photographed these portraits with the background out of focus. Every effort is made to insure the focus of your final portrait is your face. Wearing the wrong clothing can ruin this desired effect.
The most basic rule when dressing for a conservative professional headshot; the darker the suit or clothing, the more professional you’ll appear.
Keep things simple. Bring a comb or brush as we will not be providing one. We do not have the means to keep these items sanitary for your protection. We will provide a hand mirror and a brush for your suit to remove lint and the like.
For a traditional, conservative business portrait which conveys success, we suggest deep colors such as navy blues and grays. Remember, the darker the color, the more professional your finished portrait will look, not to mention the fact darker colors are more slimming.
Patterns Are Bad
Overly busy patters are bad, be it a jacket, shirt/blouse. Bright or busy jackets, shirts or blouses will distract the viewers eye from the face in a finished portrait. Shirt and blouses will sometimes need to be retouched due to a wrinkle in the fabric, and patterns on that fabric will make this next to impossible.
For the women, should you want to wear a necklace, think about bringing multiple options and your photographer can give you his or her opinion as to what will work best for your portrait.
For men, please feel free to bring multiple tie selections. Your photographer will be able to tell you which one will work best with your skin tone and ensemble.
Remember the following when dressing for a slimming effect:
- Darker colors are slimming; light colors are not.
- Solid colors are slimming; bold patters will expose shape.
- A single color from head to toe (i.e. a suit) is slimming.
- Vertical lines are slimming; horizontal lines are not.
- The v-neck shape is slimming. This is achieved by the cut of a sport coat, jacket, blouse, shirt or sweater.
- Single-breasted jackets are more slimming than double-breasted.
Make sure your clothing is well tailored. It will be plainly obvious if both your shirt and/or jacket do not fit in your finished portrait. Men, make sure you can comfortably button the top button of your dress shirt.
Your hands may appear in your finished portrait. Please make sure your nails are freshly manicured.
White Is OK
For the men, most photographers will tell you not to wear a white collared shirt. We believe this is incorrect as long as you are also wearing a dark professional jacket.
No Short Sleeves
For men and women, it is best not to wear something sleeveless or short sleeves. This may cause you to look heavier, and bright arms will lead the viewer’s eyes to the bottom edges of your image and away from your face.
For women wanting a full length portrait, try to avoid wide belts. If wearing a belt, make sure it is a darker color, again to slim the waist line and to keep the viewer’s attention to your face.
Men, if your appointment is in the morning, shave earlier in the day to let any razor burn dissipate and to allow any nicks to heal. If your appointment is late in the day, and you have a heavy beard, please consider shaving again mid-day.
For men, please do not cut your hair the day before your shoot. It will look like you just got a haircut.
If you wear glasses most of the time, then we recommend you wear them for your portrait. For best results, consider bringing an extra frame with no lenses.
Get Some Rest
Make sure you are well rested before your portrait session. Try to get a good nights sleep the night before. Dark circles and puffy blood shot eyes can be retouched in photoshop, but nothing is going to beat a fresh you.
And finally…. practice smiling the night before. Smile from within!
Author: Aric Hoek
Houston Business Headshot Photographer
Twice awarded Houston Photographer of The Year.
Solaris Studios, Inc.
10407 Thornhurn Court
Houston, Tx. 77065