A professional headshot is your calling card and is often the first impression that clients have of you.
But many people are bewildered at how to dress for such an important picture.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to women’s business attire for professional headshots, as a beginning to putting your best face forward.
Your Comprehensive Guide to Women’s Business Attire for Professional Headshots
Getting a corporate headshot taken doesn’t have to be stressful! With this guide, you will not only know what to wear, but you’ll be able to express yourself within the headshot and impress your coworkers.
Work with the Background
Professional headshots are all about you looking your best and having a professional presence. Your face and winning smile should be the focal point of the headshot.
This is why it’s so important to work with the background, and not against it. Most production companies have either black or white backgrounds for professional headshots, sometimes both. Find out from whoever is organizing the photo shoot what background they may be using.
If your company is going with a white background we recommend going with grays, navy blues, and mid-tone colors for the jacket or blouse. We wouldn’t recommend bright jackets on a light background. We would also recommend if you are planning on wearing black to bring other options. Black can be very harsh, and may not compliment you as well as a lighter color.
if your company is going with a black background don’t be afraid to play up contrast by going with a jewel tone color. Red and pink particularly look good on a black background. Additionally, red has been shown to make you feel more confident, which will shine through the photo.
As a general rule, stay away from white. White draws the eye to your blazer, and not to your face.
Choose Flattering and Industry Appropriate Necklines
Normally when you compose an outfit you look at the whole ensemble and give equal weight to the top and the bottom. However, headshots only show from the shoulders up, which makes details such as the neckline even more important.
There are a couple of necklines and shirt options that work well for most headshots. If your company is not conservative a V-neck shirt elongates the neck and can make you appear taller and leaner. A solid tank top can accentuate your arms. However, if your company is more conservative a straight across tank top with a blazer or light jacket is both flattering and professional.
Another option if you don’t want to wear a jacket or blazer is to wear a fitted collared shirt. The fit is extremely important for this option. The collared shirt shouldn’t add extra volume, and it should be buttoned all the way except for the top button.
Other necklines that work well for a headshot would be a crew neck, a boat neck, or a peter pan collar. Necklines that should be avoided for a headshot are the square neck, asymmetrical necklines, scoop, or sweetheart.
Keep Jewelry Elegant and Understated
Jewelry can either make or break an outfit. In the context of a headshot, your jewelry choices are especially important because of the different lighting. Studio lights that professional photographers use can be harsh and jewelry can reflect that light in an unflattering way.
Additionally, jewelry can date headshots very quickly. As beautiful as that statement necklace you just bought may be, it’s not appropriate for a headshot. Simple earrings and necklaces are the best options.
When choosing a set of earrings or necklace stick to classic options. Pearls, diamonds, or your birthstone are the best options. Earrings shouldn’t be long, simple hoops that hug your earlobe in gold or silver can also work. Necklaces should hit at the collarbone and should have a simple and small stone or pendant. If your shirt has a design in the neckline avoiding a necklace altogether is the best way to go.
Scarves used to be a standby for headshots, especially in the 80’s or 90’s. However, they now tend to date your headshot. Additionally, scarves add bulk to your neckline. Our advice is to skip the scarf and stick with understated jewelry for your headshot.
Lead with Your Natural Beauty
While we have been focusing on the women’s business attire for a professional headshot, we would be remiss to not discuss grooming and makeup. Even if your outfit is on point and your jewelry is working, a good headshot should have professional and natural makeup and well-kempt hair.
Let’s start with hair and grooming. We all know that the way your hair looks when you leave the house isn’t always how it looks when you finally get to work. On the day of the headshots pick a hairstyle that is flattering, and can be redone quickly and easily. For example, wearing your hair down in tousled waves is a good option. It flatters the face and can hold up to different weather conditions.
However, with your hair, it is also important for your hairstyle to reflect you. If you have straight hair, wear it straight but blown out for more volume. If you have curly or natural hair, wear it as the best version of itself.
Makeup is like hair, it should reflect the best possible version of yourself. A dark brown eyeliner is a natural and soft way to bring out your eyes that’s not as harsh as a black. Stay away from bright red lipstick, and wear a shade that is more similar to your natural lip color.
Wrapping It All Up
Now that you have the tools, it’s time to get ready for your professional headshot.
For more information on setting up professional photoshoots contact us for a free quote.