Seven headshot tips for business photos

When it’s time for corporate headshots or business photography, following these seven tips will increase your chances of having a successful photo session!

What to wear

When choosing what to wear, remember that there is no need to overdress. Select and wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and make you look and feel good. Poor-fitting clothing will be obvious in the photos (especially around the neck).   Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new.

Think about colors that compliment.  For example, blue, green, or turquoise shirts/blouses or accents can help emphasize blue, green or hazel eyes.

Things to avoid are busy patterns and large lines or stripes.  Turtlenecks are almost always a bad idea since they crowd the face.

For him

For men, the standard business look is a suit jacket, dress shirt, and tie.  If going for a more casual business look, consider an open dress shirt under a jacket, a shirt and tie with no jacket, or a dress shirt on its own.  Bring colored shirts that are darker than your skin tone and avoid white dress shirts by itself unless wearing underneath a jacket.   If you can, bring a few different jackets, shirt colors, and ties so you have choices.  If Polo shirts are the corporate uniform, make sure the shirt is in good condition and fits well.

For her

Women should bring a variety of different shirts/blouses (darker than your skin tone) to see what works best, as different necklines will change the apparent shape of the face.  Avoid clothing with big prints and busy patterns.  Sleeveless tops or dresses can draw attention to your shoulders/arms so consider bringing items with a variety of different sleeves.  For the no-jacket casual look, various colored blouses will do.  Feel free to be stylish and fashionable, but remember the picture is about the face and not the clothes or jewelry.

The Bling

Unless you are Flavor Flav, avoid anything that people would term as “bling”.  Keep your jewelry extremely simple – smaller is better.  Avoid jewelry that looks dated or would pull attention away from your face.  Facial piercings or multiple ear piercings are undesired unless they brand your business image.

The makeup

We want your face to appear flawless in photos.  Employing a makeup artist for video or photography is not just to make you more beautiful but to also even your skin tone for the camera.  That’s why men need makeup.  There are times, however, when the budget will not allow for a makeup artist to be on set so consider the following hair and makeup tips when not using a makeup artist.

Your make-up should be pre-applied and look clean and natural.   Your hair should also be styled before the shoot.  Women should bring their normal translucent powder and apply it a little heavier than normal.  This will reduce shine, even skin tones, reduce the appearance of pores, and make your blush blend smoothly.  Photoshop helps, but it’s a good production rule to get the best picture before post.

Before applying matte lipstick, women should line their lips, then reline again after applying, but be careful not to overdo it.  One trick is to dip a cotton swab in powder and run along the lip line to prevent the color from bleeding.   Avoid makeup that makes the skin or hair shimmer, sparkle, or shine. Also, avoid frosts or overly-bright colors and avoid trying out 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.

Delay the doo

Avoid getting a new haircut right before the shoot.  It’s better to let your hair grow-in a bit or get used to styling a new cut.

Most importantly

This is not just imperative leading up to your photoshoot but a good rule for your general health, as well.  Take care of yourself.  Before your shoot, if you do nothing else, drink lots of water, get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before, and abstain from drug/alcohol use.  This will give your skin a healthy look and avoid dark circles under the eyes.  The bare minimum items to have on hand are lip balm and a hairbrush or comb.  Women should additionally bring their makeup and hair products.

Following these seven rules will increase the chance that you will like your photo.  The gallery below shows some of our corporate photography.

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