Large stylised business group shot by London-based corporate headshot photographer Moritz at FrameShot Photography

What to wear for a professional headshot photo shoot?

Many companies hire a professional headshot photographer only once a year or just once every several years. Therefore, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to get the perfect headshot that you can use for quite some time, be it on your company profile page or LinkedIn. Prepare yourself for the session to get the best result. In this article, we will specifically discuss suitable clothing and outfit considerations to make your corporate headshot photography session as successful as possible.

Dress according to your industry

An overdressed corporate headshot might work against you just as an undressed version of you. Invest a few thoughts to find that perfect balance for you and your job. You are probably already very aware of which outfits are the most suitable for your industry. Take a moment and define this for yourself in your own words. Now, select the best version of whatever you have just said to yourself. If it’s a dark suit, wear the best dark suit that you have. If it’s jeans and a jumper, wear the best jeans and jumper you have.

Find the right style and then push it as far as you can in terms of quality. Even if it’s common to wear a T-Shirt in your profession, you should take the time and choose the perfect T-Shirt that’s right for your professional headshot.

Portrait of well-dressed business woman in London

Wear the right size

Wearing an outfit which is too small or too large will diminish the look of your corporate portrait. Make sure your clothes fit perfectly and comfortably. You will feel stronger and more confident and simply look better if your outfit has the perfect size for you. If you’re unsure, ask in-store or bring a friend to help you.

Wear matching colours

It’s important that you wear matching colours in your professional headshot. Wearing an interesting yet understated choice of colours can communicate a sense of sophistication, maturity, style and cultural awareness. There are various helpful colour palette tools online to help you get started.

Avoid bright colours

Your business headshot should be all about you and not the clothes you wear. As our eyes naturally focus on the brightest part of an image, we suggest that you choose colours which are darker than your skin tone – except white shirts which are a must in certain professions.

This way your face will be the brightest part of your business portrait – the focus will be on you and you don’t have to compete for attention against your own clothes. The exception to this rule would be professions such as entertainment in which bright colours can help you capture the viewers’ attention, especially in already busy visual environments such as billboards.

Avoid patterns

Similarly, avoid busy patterns as they will distract the viewers’ attention. There is also a digital technical problem called Moir√© which can occur with repeating patterns. Unicolour fabrics are probably the most adequate and successful choice. Be aware of the quality of the fabric as well – an expensive suit has a distinct surface which reflects light in a certain way. If you can, find something simple, yet high quality.

Avoid anything shiny

When we photograph professional business headshots, we use massive lights, so-called softboxes. These lights gently wrap our subjects in light, which reduces shadows and makes skin look healthy and fresh. Overly shiny or reflective surfaces will appear even lighter in the photo than they are outside of the studio. As your face should be the brightest part of you, avoid clothing (such as silk) that might look overly reflective in your headshot.

Business portrait of engineer wearing a neat office shirt and non-reflective jumper

Give it a small personal touch

So far we have advertised “less is more” in this article. However, if your industry allows, think about a small detail that can set up apart from the rest. It can be a modest pocket square or simply an interesting way your clothes are cut or sewed. Finding a little detail, that will communicate personality and interest, without visually screaming for attention will give your headshot the final touch of perfection.