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Choosing The Right Attire For Corporate Headshots 

Corporate headshots, also called business or professional headshots, hold immense significance in today’s professional landscape. Whether you’re bound by the confines of a typical 9-to-5 job in a corporate behemoth or engage in freelance work on your terms, a compelling headshot can be the game-changer in securing new opportunities. It serves as a window into your personality, offering the initial glimpse that shapes people’s perception of who you are and what you bring to the table. Crafting an exceptional first impression and looking your best in a corporate headshot is paramount. Countless studies have shown that individuals deemed “attractive” are more likely to be hired, earn better salaries, and receive promotions over their peers of equivalent caliber. So, even if you already possess an impressive headshot, it may be worth exploring the possibility of updating it to stay in sync with the ever-evolving professional world.

Let’s dive into why having great corporate headshots is crucial. By enlisting a skilled headshot photographer’s expertise, you ensure exceptional lighting and allow your unique personality to shine through the lens. However, to truly seal the deal, it’s essential to consider what you wear for your headshot session. Choosing the appropriate attire enhances your professional image and leaves a memorable impact. Making a lasting impression by carefully considering your clothing choices is crucial. So, pay attention to the details and select an outfit that reflects your style while aligning with your industry standards. Remember, a well-thought-out ensemble can elevate your headshot from good to great, captivating potential clients or employers.

Guidelines for Dressing in Corporate Headshots

Mirror Your Boss

When I was growing up, my dad always stressed the importance of “dressing for the job you want, not the one you have.” Researching the industry and the specific company you aspire to work for or collaborate with is crucial, and then choosing your attire accordingly. If the workplace is all about suits and ties, it’s time to suit up for your headshots. As a programmer venturing into Silicon Valley, a collared shirt paired with a Patagonia sweater might be the ideal outfit. On the other hand, if you’re a freelance artist, a slightly messy look can be the right move. Select outfits that align with your target audience or desired company’s culture.

Favor A Suit Profile

Suits have stood the test of time for good reason. They accentuate a gentleman’s physique by broadening the shoulders and narrowing the waist, resulting in a more visually appealing silhouette. A well-tailored suit exudes professionalism with its immaculate appearance and ability to create a slimmer profile. These attributes increase one’s attractiveness and, consequently, enhance career prospects.

Avoid Overly Casual Clothing

I can almost hear the collective disbelief from freelance creatives as they come across this header. Don’t get me wrong; if your brand revolves around t-shirts, jeans, or even a quirky hat, that’s marvelous! However, it’s crucial to ensure that your branding aligns with your industry and meets the expectations of your target audience. For instance, lawyers can’t quite pull off a t-shirt for their professional headshots, but a talented photographer certainly can. Ultimately, you want your corporate headshots to match the standards set by your industry. Please, let’s avoid wearing sweatpants and loungewear in any situation.

Wear Newer Clothing

For professional headshots, wearing the trendiest clothes is unnecessary, but it’s essential to look presentable. Aim for a contemporary style that doesn’t have to be straight off the runway. Additionally, avoid worn-out or faded attire and clothing with frays, loose threads, or stubborn stains. To make a great first impression, prioritize clean, well-ironed, and relatively newer garments.

Wear A Higher Neckline

Regarding corporate headshots, it’s essential to maintain professionalism and a polished appearance to impress potential employers. Avoiding low necklines (for both men and women) is crucial, as it can create an unprofessional impression and potentially hinder your chances of being hired or respected. The focus should be on your face, as it is the main point of attention. Let’s make sure we present ourselves in the best possible light!

Avoid Wearing Loose Clothing

Remember that study I mentioned about the impact of attractiveness? It turns out that wearing loose or baggy clothing can make you appear larger, and our society tends to associate slimmer figures with being more attractive. Whether this perception is right or wrong, it’s our reality. One added benefit of well-fitted clothing is that it makes posing for photos much more manageable. Moreover, perfectly fitting clothing reflects your confidence and attention to personal style, enhancing how others perceive your professionalism. It sends a message that you pay attention to details, a quality every employer values.

Try Longer Sleeves

Frequently, clients who choose not to wear sleeves in their headshots express dissatisfaction with their arms when we review the images. Wearing sleeves serves two purposes: it helps conceal skin imperfections and directs the viewer’s focus to your face, which is crucial for a professional headshot. Surprisingly, even well-toned arms appear more appealing when covered with longer sleeves.

Avoid Thin Shoulder Pieces

We highly recommend opting for clothing that covers your shoulders regarding corporate headshots. Not only does this visually slim your figure and reduce the apparent width of your shoulders, but it also provides a more polished and professional look. Spaghetti straps, on the other hand, should be avoided altogether since they are not suitable for headshots. Additionally, thinner straps make it impossible to conceal bra straps, which may undermine the overall aesthetic. By selecting garments with shoulder coverage, you can ensure a refined and cohesive appearance in your corporate headshots.

Avoid wearing Undershirts.

Wearing a loose or floppy undershirt, particularly for men, beneath your collared shirt can project an unprofessional and sloppy image. Furthermore, if your corporate headshots are taken with flash photography, the undershirt may become visible, resulting in a tacky appearance. It’s better to forgo the undershirt and button up one more button on your shirt. Personally speaking, wearing an undershirt might give off a nerdy vibe. If that’s the look you’re going for, by all means, embrace it! Just remember to iron it beforehand for a polished appearance.

Have Multiple Outfits 

Having options is significant! It alleviates the stress of choosing the ideal outfit and allows your photographer to assist in selecting the proper attire based on the look you desire and the job you are pursuing. My recommendation is to opt for several headshots catering to different professional requirements. You can achieve the desired variety in your portfolio by having multiple outfit options.

Wear Your Glasses

If you already wear glasses, embrace them for your corporate headshots! They are a reflection of your identity, so don’t shy away from showcasing them! However, remember that glasses can cause glare when interacting with off-camera flashes used by photographers. Consider removing the lenses during your session to eliminate this potential issue

Choosing the Right Colors and Patterns for Professional Headshots

Solid Colors Are Better For Corporate Headshots

Solid colors create a more empowered and self-assured appearance in headshots. Moreover, color theory, rooted in behavioral psychology, subtly shapes others’ perceptions of you. Please explore my blog post for further insights into selecting the most suitable colors to enhance your images.

Contrast With Your Background

Stunning images possess an inherent sense of depth. The subject and background for corporate headshots are delicately separated, instantly captivating the viewer’s attention. Consider the backdrop you will work with when selecting clothing for your corporate headshots. Opt for lighter-colored attire when shooting against darker scenes and vice versa for lighter backgrounds. It is also recommended to avoid backgrounds that closely resemble your hair color. Doing so can make distinguishing yourself from the backdrop difficult, resulting in an unflattering image that appears as if your head is floating without hair.

Avoid Too Many Whites When Having Your Corporate Headshots

While white can certainly be a favorable choice for corporate headshots, it has become quite pervasive. Moreover, relying solely on white as your primary outfit color may give off a clinical or sterile vibe. Add a jacket to a white shirt for your headshot to achieve a balanced and professional look.

If Possible, Do Not Use Logos, Patterns, Or Images

When taking corporate headshots, avoiding clothing with logos or images is best. These elements can be distracting and create a negative impression if someone doesn’t like the brand. While it may seem trivial, it holds. If you opt for patterns, make sure they are subtle and not overly intricate, as they can divert attention from your headshot. Keep in mind that horizontal lines or patterns can make you appear more expansive. Moreover, patterns can challenge your photographer to remove stray hairs and wrinkles during editing. They can also lead to moiré issues, making it extremely difficult to eliminate using post-processing techniques.

Tips To Nail Your Corporate Headshots

Have A Haircut 5 days Before Your Session.

Nothing beats a fresh trim when it comes to your corporate headshots. After all, a clean and professional look is what you’re aiming for! I suggest scheduling your headshot session five days after your haircut to achieve the best results. This will allow your hair to grow back slightly, adding volume and a more natural appearance. It also gives you some flexibility in case you get a not-so-great haircut. I’ve had clients rush into my studio just an hour after getting trimmed, only to find stubborn hair on their foreheads. It’s a nightmare to remove in post-processing! So, give yourself some time and rock that perfect headshot.

Your Clothes Need To Be Ironed The Night Before

While your photographer can remove some wrinkles with editing, it’s essential to erase them. Moreover, the final look of edited clothing depends on the photographer’s Photoshop skill and the fabric quality. Equally important, addressing clothing wrinkles before your session can significantly improve your experience. You can provide genuine and relaxed expressions when not preoccupied with clothing imperfections, resulting in more impactful corporate headshots.

Hanger Your Outfit For Your Corporate Headshots 

To ensure optimal results, we kindly request that you refrain from wearing your headshot outfits to your session. This helps us avoid unwanted wrinkles and reduces the likelihood of unplanned coffee mishaps on your way to the studio, especially if you plan to swing by Starbucks.

Key Takeaways When Having Your Corporate Headshots 

Like all photography rules, these serve as guidelines and recommendations. Collaborate with your professional headshots photographer to determine the most suitable attire for your corporate headshots. They possess the expertise to advise you on what resonates with your intended audience or employer. Should you have any lingering inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

Looking for top-notch professional headshot photographers? Look no further! You can always count on us at Zen Studios to capture your best angle. Don’t miss out. Schedule an appointment today, and let us bring out your true radiance!

Mich Angela Pinili

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