We all know picture day can be a drag, but it doesn’t have to be! Want to ensure your corporate headshots turn heads and land you that dream gig or client? You’re in the right place! From picking outfits that signal “hire me” to embracing patterns and color, we’ve got the lowdown to ensure you look fabulous and professional. Buckle up because your next headshot will be spectacular.
Choosing the Appropriate Outfits For Your Headshots
The first question you should ask yourself when choosing outfits for your upcoming photoshoot is how you want to be seen by potential employers or clients. Looking and feeling good is essential, so choose options from your wardrobe that make you smile or add a little spring in your step. In some ways, you will want to prepare for a corporate headshot like you would for a first date. Your aim is to look professional yet approachable, just like Peter Parker in a neat button-down, not Spider-Man in full spandex.
Fit matters—a lot. Look, I get it. We all want to look skinnier. Unfortunately, many choose oversized and boxy-looking clothing to hide their perceived flaws. A flowy, blousy top can look beautiful in person but usually comes across as shapeless and unflattering in photos. Find that Goldilocks zone where your clothes fit just right without being too tight or loose.
Many people gravitate toward wearing all black when getting their picture taken, believing black is the most slimming color. Because cameras increase contrast, darks get darker, and lights get lighter. That black outfit you thought made you look thinner can actually make you look shapeless and boxy on camera. If you love black (or white!), wear it, but consider breaking it up with some color. One option may be to wear a white shirt with a black coat to break up the colors. But you should know that the headshots that really pop are full of personality and, you guessed it, COLOR. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Color is your friend. Trust me.
Patterns and Florals
Patterns are another great alternative. If you love that floral blouse, wear it. If bright patterns are part of your signature look, you’ll want that reflected in your headshot. Just steer clear of logos. Your face should be the star of the show, not some Lacoste crocodile hiding in the background. And I do love me some Lacoste. Save it for another time.
Many people ask me if they should wear accessories for their corporate headshots, and the answer is simple. Would you wear accessories to a client meeting or a job interview? If the answer is no, then skip the accessories for the photoshoot. If the answer is yes, then absolutely bring them along. And bring options with you!
Some people identify as glasses people. It’s me, I’m some people. I love my glasses. I would wear them in a corporate headshot. But if you wear blue light-blocking lenses, they will reflect the light away. Those are great for those of you who work behind a screen but aren’t great for having your photo taken. Transition lenses can also be problematic during headshots because if they shade in, they will lose their effectiveness for the headshot. You’ll want to find a pair of standard glasses or consider popping your lenses out for the shoot. Remember, connecting with your audience means good eye contact and engagement with the camera. Don’t let your glasses get in the way of that! Make sure you clean your lenses thoroughly before having your headshot taken. Your photographer will thank you for it.
Corporate Headshots and Company Branding
There are no rules that companies should follow for corporate headshot picture day. It is all about your company and your brand. What will work best for you? Maybe you want everyone to look formal because that’s your market, and you advise everyone to wear a suit for the photo session. Maybe you prefer something casual and ask your employees to wear t-shirts. All are fair game as long as it fits your brand.
Ultimately, these headshots will be part of your marketing material or website; you choose how you want that to look. Diversity is a great thing to showcase for any company culture. That usually means that everyone chooses their own unique outfits to wear. Most people don’t look forward to picture day, and your employees probably won’t be thrilled about getting suited up to have their photos taken in the middle of a workday. Consider allowing everyone to wear their favorite outfit for a more relaxed experience during the photoshoot and to showcase the incredible diversity of your team.
Find The Middle Ground
There are happy mediums between the suit and tie look and the potential chaos of everyone choosing their favorite outfit. You may decide that you want everyone to wear red to match your company’s logo and then leave it to your employee’s discretion on how much red they wear and what shade. You could also request that everyone wear warm tones or blue tones to show cohesion without having everyone look like exact copies. This middle ground could also save you from the potential of having one employee wearing fuchsia in a sea of other employees wearing gray and tan.
Whatever you decide, make sure you communicate it clearly with your employees. The last thing you want is confusion on picture day. Remember, your potential customers, future employees, investors, and partners will look at these pictures. You don’t want to look like you phoned it in just to get it done. You want your clear branded efforts to shine brightly on your LinkedIn page and corporate website.
Gender and Clothing Choices
Gone are the days when clothing choices were as binary as a 90s video game. There is no hard line for what is considered masculine or feminine, and we don’t want to exclude anyone who identifies as non-binary, gender-fluid, and trans. Maybe you don’t fall into the masculine or feminine category, and that’s totally okay!
The most important thing is to communicate with your photographer about any areas you may be concerned about. Perhaps you worry about looking too buxom on camera. Let your photographer know so they can work with you on the right outfit and consider your concerns when it’s time to edit and retouch.
Recently, I had a client who identified as a man but was visibly pregnant at our photoshoot. I would have never known how insecure he was about the pregnancy showing in his headshots had he not confided in me about it. Once I knew the issue, I was able to help minimize the look of the pregnancy in the finished product, which we were both happy with.
Should I Hire a Professional Stylist For My Headshots?
Seeing a professional stylist on the morning of your headshot session is a personal decision. Remember that the goal is always to look like the best version of you. Consider going to your usual stylist, as they will tend to know your style and what your hair usually looks like. The goal isn’t to have your hair and make-up dressed to the 9’s.
The goal is to look like a natural (perhaps slightly more polished) version of yourself. You want your headshot to be an authentic representation of your beautiful self. There’s also a chance your photographer has a stylist they regularly work with, and that’s a great option. I work with a stellar make-up and hair stylist who’s experienced in styling headshot clients with all different skin tones, hair textures, and product sensitivities.
Whether you hire a professional or style yourself, it’s helpful to bring a hairbrush, accessories, and styling products to your photoshoot for any last-minute touch-ups.
The best advice I can give about choosing your wardrobe for your corporate headshot can be summed up in one word: options. Bring five outfits if you plan to wear two outfits in your headshots. If you want to wear jewelry, please bring as many bangles, baubles, and bows as you like! You’re not just one thing; you’re a smorgasbord of awesomeness. It’s better to have the options and not need them than to need them and not have them.
If you don’t love what you’re wearing in person, you won’t love it in your photos. I can advise all day long regarding outfit choices, but it’s in your hands. What outfit choice is going to showcase your unique personality? What makes you feel confident? What conveys your branding? Wear that one, and then bring additional options, just in case.
Nobody likes picture day, and I get that. Let me help! I’m a professional photographer who wants to make you feel comfortable and confident in your headshots. Reach out to Ben Krantz Studio today to schedule a photoshoot. We’ll work together to show off your most authentic, fabulous self.