Business portraits tips

General Tips

  • Tell us your expectations and intentions. Let us know what kind of look you want.
  • Tell us how and where the photo will be used (so we can be sure it’s appropriate).
  • Drink lots of water and be well rested (so your eyes will not have dark circles).
  • Your skin might not look its best after drug/alcohol use. Try to abstain from these before your shoot.

What to Wear – Everyone

  • Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you look great.
  • Make sure your jacket and shirt fit you well. A poor fitting jacket or shirt will be obvious in the photos (especially around the neck).
  • Don’t overdress.
  • Turtlenecks are almost always a bad idea (since they crowd the face).
  • Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new.
  • Avoid busy patterns and large lines/stripes.
  • Blue/green/turquoise shirts/blouses or accents can help emphasize blue/green/hazel eyes.

What to Wear – Men

  • The standard business look is a suit jacket, dress shirt and tie.
  • A casual business look is often a jacket and open dress shirt, shirt and tie (no jacket), or dress shirt on its own.
  • Polo shirts are a good look for some businesses. Be sure the shirt is in good condition and fits well.
  • For a no-jacket casual look, bring colored shirts – ideally darker than your skin tone.
  • A white dress shirt by itself is a bad idea – unless you plan to wear it underneath something (jacket or sweater).
  • Bring a few different jackets, shirt colors and ties so we have choices for the photo.

What to Wear – Women

  • Avoid big prints and busy patterns.
  • Different necklines will change the apparent shape of your face. Bring a variety different shirts/blouses to see what works best.
  • For a no-jacket casual look, bring various colored blouses – ideally darker than your skin tone.
  • Be stylish and fashionable, but remember the picture is about your face and not your clothes or jewelry.
  • Sleeveless tops/dresses can draw attention to your shoulders/arms. Consider bringing items with a variety of different sleeves.

Remember: Select and wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. Select something that makes you look and feel good.


  • Keep jewelry extremely simple – small is better.
  • Avoid jewelry that would distract from your face or that looks dated.
  • The picture is about your face, not your jewelry.
  • Consider if facial piercings or multiple ear piercings are appropriate for where your photo will be displayed.

What to have

  • Your previous headshots (so we can improve).
  • Sample headshots to help communicate the look you want.
  • Favorite Music (iPod/MP3 player, phone, thumb-drive)
  • Various changes of clothing (see above).
  • A good attitude.
  • Lip balm.
  • Hair brush/comb.
  • Makeup and hair products you prefer (especially if you have allergies).

Hair and Makeup Tips

  • Make-up should be clean and natural.
  • Wear a heavy layer of translucent powder – your face will appear flawless in photos. Shine disappears, pores seem smaller, skin looks even, and blush is smoother.
  • Line lips before applying matte lipstick, then reline. Don’t overdo it. Dip a cotton bud in powder and run along lip line to prevent color from bleeding.
  • Avoid shimmers or products with lots of sparkle or shine.
  • Avoid frosts or overly-bright colors.
  • Don’t get a new hair cut just before the shoot (you may want to let it grow-in a bit or get used to styling a new cut).
  • Do not try/use any new product on your hair, face or body the day before or few days before your shoot. In case you have a bad reaction to the product.

Last but not least

  • Make sure have your hair styled and makeup already applied (if not using makeup artist)





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