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9 Helpful Tips for What to Wear and How to Prepare for your Corporate Headshot Session

Updated: May 16, 2019

So, now that you’ve taken the big leap to get some professional Corporate headshots , you want to make sure that you’re going to look your absolute best so that you can nail that upcoming interview or land your dream job!

What you wear and how you prepare for your headshot session is super important, as you want to make sure that you project the right image. After all, this is your future and potentially your entire life that you are talking about!!

And remember that first impressions count, your Linked-in Headshot is your foremost marketing tool. This might be the very first image, alongside your resume, that your prospective future employer is going to see. Make sure it’s a good one!

I’ve put together some tips to help you get the absolute best out of your Corporate Headshot session:

1. To be, or not to be a fashion trendsetter:

My advice is, don’t wear the latest fashion trend that will go out of style in 5 minutes.

The chances are, you won’t do another re-shoot for a Corporate headshot for at least 2 years, so you will need to think carefully about what to wear that won’t date quickly.

The general rule is, wear whatever your employer would expect to see you wearing to an interview. Are you a freelancer? If so, what would you wear to a business pitch for investors. Maybe you’re a chef? So if you wear a uniform, you should bring that in addition to clothes that you would be expected to wear at your workplace when you are not wearing a uniform.

2. Colours and Tones

So have a rummage around your work clothes to find colours that are more sober and neutral with gentle tones and without any patterns or huge logos. We want “you” and your features to stand out, not your clothes or the giant Nike tick.

Dusty pinks, yellows, baby blue, forest green and creams look lovely in Headshots.

Black and white are fine - but they can look a little contrasty in shots and have the tendency to wash some people out, especially against a white backdrop. If you’re dead set on a black and white colour scheme, that’s fine, just bring a backup shirt to change into as a safety.

3. Humans who wear suits and ties

These days, it’s all become a bit more casual in the office and some of you may not wear a suit and tie but can get away with a jacket and smart shirt with an open collar or even a polo-shirt. Again, whatever you wear to work is what you should bring.

Think about your colour combinations – blue or navy shirts are much better than white unless you have a darker skin tone. Please avoid striped suits or loud and garish ties as these can play havoc with the camera, and make sure you bring a suit jacket (even if it is a hot day) so that we can do some shots with and some without.

4. Humans who don’t wear suits and ties

If you’re opting for a slightly more casual feel in your headshots, that’s great, just please make sure your clothes are in really good condition! Nothing looks worse than a scruffy, un-ironed shirt in a headshot.

I think it’s always best to go with shirts, tops and blouses with simple necklines. Frills or overly large collars are not a good idea for your Corporate headshot as they will detract from your face. Oh, and also try to avoid cut off tops or tops with the shoulders peeking through as these might just distract from your face.

Jumpers that have a scooped or V-neckline or even a turtle neck can look good, especially with an accessory.

This might include a small brooch, necklace, pearls or even a scarf.

I like layers, which can be very stylish for Corporate headshots. Smart jackets and Cardigans with a shirt/blouse underneath or the all-time classic matching twin-set all work well if they have the right colour and combination for you.

As a general rule, avoid bulky, baggy clothes and on the opposite side of the spectrum, don’t wear anything that is too tight, too small or doesn’t really fit well.

5. Black and White photos

If you are planning to use your Headshots in black and white, think about the tones that you are wearing and how those combine with your skin colour. If in doubt, you can always do a quick selfie at home and turn it into black and white on your phone to see how it looks!

6. How many changes of outfit shall I bring?

I suggest bringing more outfits that you’ll need so that we can play around and see what works best with the camera. Sometimes things look great in real life, but end up looking a bit flat on camera.

Depending on which session you choose, we normally have about 2 changes of outfit in our time allotted. So whilst you won’t want to bring your whole wardrobe, I would suggest that you choose about 4 looks.

Different things work for different people and sometimes even I can be surprised by what works best for you!

7. Get the washing machine on and the iron out!

There is nothing more unprofessional than a stain or spot from your lunchtime Sushi on your blouse, so make quite sure that whatever you bring is squeaky clean and stain free.

Likewise, wrinkled clothing looks very unprofessional and sloppy and that’s the last impression you want to give everyone who’s looking at your resume or profile. So, make quite sure that everything you are going to wear is, super clean, ironed and wrinkle free. (Bring your clothes in a separate bag large enough not to crumple your clothes or on a covered hanger/hanger bag).

8. Accessories and Jewellery?

For Corporate Headshots, a little accented jewellery or even a scarf to set off your clothes can look lovely - as long as it reflects how you dress on a day to day basis. However, large bangles, Theresa May style bauble earrings, chains or those Peacock feather earrings your friend gave you for Christmas are better for going out on weekends than for Corporate Headshots.

If you normally wear glasses full-time, bring them! I can’t guarantee the light will let us work with them, but we can try. If you do bring them, please remember to give the lenses a really good spit and polish before we start the shoot.

But, if you are like me and only wear glasses when you are in front of a screen or for reading, make sure you take them off well before you start your photo shoot. Two red indented lines either side of your nose isn’t going to look great.

9. Hair and Make up

Your professional Corporate Headshots are where you want to make the very best impression, so it’s good to arrive with your hair nicely done and preferably with most of your make up already applied - but not too much! Keep it as natural as possible.

If you’ve got the time, consider going to the hairdressers beforehand. But if not, certainly bring a brush and even hair straighteners.

You can also consider hiring one of my professional Stylist/Make up artists. Just pop me an email to ask me more about that and check out my dedicated Make Up article on my blog.

Well, that’s about it. I hope I’ve covered everything here in this article. If you still have some doubts, pop on over to my Corporate Headshot page where you can see some examples of how people dress and look for their professional Corporate Headshots. If you are still unsure, I’ve missed something or you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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