PROFESSIONAL PORTRAIT GUIDE


 

INTRODUCTION

Before we dive into the recommendations below, we want you to understand that we are by no means fashion/makeup experts. Sometimes the right clothing is the clothing you feel most comfortable wearing. There are limitations to that previous sentence since sweatpants and slippers may not help you land your next job. Some professionals may want to wear formal attire whereas others may prefer to wear business casual. We will try to address that in this guide.

These are merely suggestions to ensure that you avoid wearing something that doesn’t agree with the background or have some other unintended side effect. In the end, we just want to help you look great so you can better market yourself.

 

CLOTHING

Men

  • Pick clothing that fits you well. Not too tight, not too loose.
  • Clothing that is timeless is a good bet. Don’t wear anything trendy unless you want to hire us again in a year for updated headshots.
  • Classic dark colors are always a safe bet (black, navy blue or gray) and make sure everything matches (shirt, tie, suit, etc.).
  • Stay away from distracting patters or colors.
  • Ties look best when their color is between the suit and shirt (light shirt, medium tie and dark suit). Also, stay away from shiny/silky/reflective ties.
  • If you are planning on wearing only a single layer or button-down shirt, avoid pure white or black because if you match the background, you’ll just be a floating head in the picture.
  • Your undershirt shouldn’t show, so either wear a V-neck or no undershirt at all.
  • Hit the dry cleaners a few days in advance or break out that ironing board. Wrinkled clothing is just bad all around. You’ll get extra credit if you use a lint roller.

 

Women

  • Pick clothing that fits you well. Not too tight, not too loose.
  • Clothing that is timeless is a good bet. Don’t wear anything trendy unless you want to hire us again in a year for updated headshots.
  • Classic dark colors are always a safe bet (black, navy blue or gray) and make sure everything matches (shirt, tie, suit, etc.).
  • Stay away from distracting patters or colors unless you plan to wear a plain sweater or blazer over that article of clothing.
  • Tight grid patterns or herringbone patterns don’t get along with cameras so avoid those if possible.
  • Avoid pure white or black because if you match the background, you’ll just be a floating head in your picture.
  • V-necks accentuate the neckline and generally look best on women. Just don’t choose something with too low of a neckline: no cleavage.
  • Yes, we have to say this. No turtlenecks. Just…no!
  • Try to stay away from short sleeves or tank tops: executive headshots tend to look better without bare arms, but if you'd like to try showing arms in a sleeveless blouse or shift dress, we could make it work. Just bring a blazer or sweater to put over it as an additional option.
  • For jewelry, go for something small, classic, and not very reflective or flashy. Earrings shouldn’t dangle more than an inch from your earlobe. Simpler is always better, so if we notice your jewelry before we notice your face, we may ask you to remove any excess jewelry.

 

MAKEUP

  • Avoid applying heavy makeup as the camera will highlight clumps of mascara or dark lipstick.
  • Using makeup that is a shade or two darker than your skin tones is a good idea for eyeliner, eye shadow and lipstick.
  • Avoid using too much foundation.
  • Shiny lipstick or eye shadow is distracting on camera, especially if external flash is utilized.
  • A monstrous pimple appeared right before your scheduled photoshoot!?!?! Don’t worry, we can retouch those in post-production along with skin blemishes and wrinkles. But we also won’t let that get out of control so you look like a mannequin.
  • In the end, don’t get out of control with makeup. These are professional images that portray who you are. Yeah, you can fudge some things to make you look at your best, but try not to look like a different person. Everything in moderation.

 


Now that you know how to prepare for your professional portrait, contact us to schedule a session!!!