What to Wear for Professional Business Photos

You've decided that you're ready to get some professional photos done to represent yourself and your business.

That's great! The next question is always "What's next? What should I wear? How do I prepare?" We hear you! If you want to look your best, then it is important to prepare for your session. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:

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Firstly, how formally should you dress? Obviously, this varies with your profession. To start, what do you normally wear for your job on a day-to-day basis, particularly when meeting with clients? I’d start there and then maybe go a half step more formal.

Secondly, think about how you want your photos to feel when someone looks at them and what is best for your profession. Is it your goal to come across as trustworthy, established, and very high end? A suit might be the best option in that case. Would you like someone to see you as approachable, friendly and knowledgeable? A nice button-down shirt with rolled up sleeves for men or a pretty blouse and necklace for women might be right choice in that case.  If you are going to wear company polos or button downs for group photos, ensure that everyone on the team has a shirt in the correct size and color prior to the shoot date and specify what to wear on the bottom half as well.

Next, think about colors. If you know you would like to use your photographs on your website or business cards, what colors are in the branding? Be sure that the colors you choose complement the brand colors. For professional head shots, I recommend that you wear solid colors with little to no patterns. One more note about colors - bright red and bright hot pink can be difficult for digital cameras to translate in certain lighting conditions, so avoid solid pieces in those colors if possible. It is no problem if the colors are muted, textured, or a secondary color in the piece.

If you are thinking of changing your look during the session, I would suggest using layers and accessories to easily get that effect. It is easy to dress up or dress down an outfit with a blazer or suit jacket, a neck scarf, adding or removing a tie, jewelry changes, rolling sleeves up or down, etc.

Also, while loose, boxy clothing may seem like the best way to hide a waistline that you might be self-conscious about, large, boxy shirts or jackets tend to make people look bigger in photos than they really are.  For both men and women, I recommend something slightly fitted over something very loose.

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Regarding grooming, take a quick look in the mirror and check to see whether your hair or beard (or ears or nose?) needs a trim. If you color your hair, check to see whether the roots need to be touched up. If possible, set your hair appointment for one week before the shoot.

Lastly, ladies - a few things:

I do recommend professional hair and makeup and can refer you to some excellent folks if you need some guidance

Avoid strong lip colors - while they can be a lot of fun to wear, they can be very distracting in the photo (the most important thing in the photo should be your eyes!) and is is sometimes difficult to find a strong lip color that complements your skin tone, the color of your teeth, and the color of your gums - something a bit more soft and neutral is usually a safer bet.

If you get your hair colored, we strongly recommend getting your roots touched up a few days prior to your session.

Lastly, if you are self-conscious about your arms, consider wearing long or three-quarter length sleeves instead of sleeveless or short-sleeved tops or dresses.

Please feel free to let me know about any of your concerns ahead of time so that I can help you look and feel your best in your photos. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out!

Kristin Kozelsky