What To Wear For Business Headshots

There is no foolproof formula that suggests what to wear for headshots. However, instead of worrying about what color looks best on you, think about the bigger picture. What qualities do you want to emphasize in the photo? 

As a reminder, your professional photo is often the first impression someone has of you. When planning for your photo shoot, think about what you value and what you would like to be known for. When someone meets you, what is the first thing you'd like them to notice? 

After you determine your personal brand values, put thought into how you're going to reflect them in a photograph through your wardrobe and background. For my own headshots, I look for timeless pieces, and I've recently enjoyed showcasing my creativity through a new haircut –  a trendy bob. I opt to be photographed outdoors, instead of at a studio, to demonstrate authenticity and highlight my outgoing personality.

What is your brand, and how will you choose to present it? Take each item of clothing you're considering wearing and ask, "Does this reflect my brand?" If not, move on. 

The location and background of your headshot can be used to your advantage. If you value strength or power, you could opt for photos on a bridge or with a city skyline in the background. Value hard work? Maybe an office setting would work well for you. Seeking freedom and adventures? Try a lake or mountain setting.

If a studio or on location shoot won't reflect your brand values in the way you envision, try an environmental portrait. Environmental portraits are taken at your home, work, or place that says something about you. They could highlight your workspace, office, or project that you've worked on. These portraits go a little further than a standard headshot because they demonstrate a natural environment and help represent your current (or desired) profession.

The last step in the branding process is to find a photographer that can emphasize your brand with their imaging. By now you should be able to visualize what you want in a headshot. Look up photographers in your area and make sure to choose one with a style that is similar to what you're trying to accomplish. 

During your meeting with the photographer, tell him or her about yourself, your work, and your brand. Doing so will help them be able to turn your vision into reality; and they can help suggest backgrounds and poses to compliment your values.