What to wear for a Corporate/Business Headshot or Portrait
A question I get asked a lot especially with corporate work is can you advise us on what to wear for our photo shoot. Well the simple answer to this is wear what you want, but there are a few things you can ask yourself beforehand which should inform your choices. The corporate look doesn’t always have to be about the power suit and the serious demeanour. In fact in todays climate those traditional stereotypes are fading away and we are seeing a lot of diversity within the corporate sector. We are seeing that people are not so much defined by a standard but that are defining their own standard. Potential clients are looking for people that they can identify and connect with on a personal level, so make this your priority when deciding how you want to present yourself.
What are these photos for and why am I doing this ?
This is probably the most critical question as you really need to have a good understanding of how the images will best used. Are they for a company profile or for linkedin or are they for a media release or possibly a new job application ? Your prospective audience should inform you on what is expected and appropriate. For example if you are working for a conservative law firm then obviously a good suit will be better than a colourful dress. If there is a possibility that your head shots might be required for different reasons then it is worth thinking about maybe creating two different looks. These are the things that you should keep in mind and allow yourself the freedom of expression. I always advise clients to bring a change of clothes that provide an easy way of creating a couple of different looks.
What are my personal preferences ?
When deciding on what to wear for a shoot don’t over think it. You should be relying on your own stylistic choices as a reflection of who you are and not trying to copy a particular look because you think it looks great. We talk about being comfortable in your own skin well the same thing applies to being comfortable in your own clothes. It becomes glaringly obvious when I see people that have just rushed off to buy or borrow a particular look and especially one that is not sized correctly. Be confident in your choices and bring along options id you aren’t one hundred percent sure. This is where a good photographer can help you make the right choices on the day or at least provide some direction.
How do I express myself on Camera ?
Again this is where an experienced photographer can be crucial. Taking someone’s portrait or headshot is a collaborative process between the subject and the photographer. As a photographer I understand how unsettling it can be to be placed in front of camera with the thought that there are certain expectations. It takes time for a person to gather the inspiration to be able to show themselves as they really are. This is why I insist on people having the time to be able to settle into the process and to be able to relax. I generally find that if a person is given enough time they will generally produce a favourable result. Some take more than others but thats ok as we are all different. Remember though don’t just think of this as an opportunity to make a nice picture of yourself but more as a long term investment in YOU.
- Make sure your clothes are clean, well pressed and free of lint
- Do not wear ill fitting clothes , baggy , oversized , undersized does not make for a flattering image.
- Dont be afraid to be colourful
- If you are going for something new try it on before the day of the photoshoot
- Dont go overboard with hair and makeup
If you need some styling inspiration , check out the links below.