Dubbed “the new handshake,” professional headshots are now the first introduction to you, your business and your personal brand—shouldn’t that intro be the best it can be? With 93% of HR professionals and recruiters tapping into LinkedIn to find quality candidates—plus 2 in 3 on Facebook and more than half utilizing Twitter—that headshot has countless applications in your professional life. Should your profile pic be the family vacation, the fun night out or—worse—the logo or abstract shot? Or should it be a powerful, compelling and confidence-building headshot that makes prospective clients, employers and partners want to click “Connect?”
WHAT TO WEAR
It’s important that your look matches the image you’re trying to convey. What you wear on a daily basis is a great place to start. Solid colors are always a good choice, as are tops with strong collars and necklines. Aim for clothes that complement your skin and eye tones or colors that you are most often complimented in and, overall, steer clear of very bold colors.
Darker tones make us appear smaller and lighter tones will make us appear larger.
choosing what to wear is often pretty simple. For a corporate headshot, a business suit is almost always a good choice. If you want a more casual look, you can forgo the blazer and wear a shirt with a tie. For blazers, black, dark gray or navy are good choices for timeless portraits. If you are wearing a tie, choose something classic and bring a few options for your photographer to choose from. Simple patterns or a bright color if you like but avoid anything too over the top.
selecting the right clothing can feel more complicated but the rules are really the same. A classic business suit or simple blouse and skirt or pants are great options. Don’t wear anything too trendy or a pattern that’s busy. Long sleeves are best, as we want to draw attention to your face and not your arms.
The most important wardrobe tip I have to offer is to wear something that you like. Something that makes you feel good. The confidence that comes from knowing that you look good along with a warm smile will result in an image that you love and will help you achieve your marketing goals. Headshots are supposed to convey that you are a confident and polished professional so take the time to choose clothes that convey that message.
Figuring out what to wear is only the first step in preparing for your headshot session. You’ll also want to pay special attention to your hair and nails.
I can’t stress the importance of well-groomed hair in your headshot enough. Bad hair can ruin your whole session! Plan on getting your hair cut 1-2 weeks before your session. You’ll probably use your headshot for at least a year. You don’t want to wish that you’d gotten a trim every time you see it! Don’t style your hair in an unusual way. You want to look like you normally look.
Please don’t forget the importance of your hands in your portraits. Whether you choose to do your nails yourself or have them manicured, keep them clean and if you wear nail polish use coordinating colors.
If you wear glasses most of the time, you will probably want to wear them in your headshot photo. To help eliminate glare or reflections, bring empty frames or remove the lenses from your glasses. If you have non-glare lenses-we don’t have to worry about reflections. If you’d like photographs with and without your glasses, just let your photographer know.
Do not overdo the sun for a headshot photo. While a tan can look great, too much of a good thing can ruin your photos. Sunburn can be an expensive problem. It causes facial shine, red noses and cheeks, strap marks, hat lines and peeling, which the photographer may be able to retouch, but it will cost extra.