What to Wear for a Business Portrait or Headshot

By October 26, 2020 No Comments
Head shot of USFSDBC James
Head shot of woman

Below are a few basic instructions/suggestions to ensure the very best images. Your looks can be optimized by paying attention to some simple but very important details. Your appearance “brands” you when you make that first impression.

The clothing should be simple but sharp, and never take away from you as a professional. Textures can work well, but avoid busy patterns; (tweeds, plaids, stripes, flowers, plaids, and polk-a-dots) as they draw attention to the clothing rather than your face. Long sleeves are best so avoid sleeveless or short-sleeved shirts, turtlenecks, and deep, plunging necklines.


Dark, solid jackets with a colored shirt and a colorful tie seem to make the best shots. Alternatively, a coat and dress shirt with no tie is also a great look (We can do both if you prefer).

Facial shine is extremely detrimental to a great portraiture. If you wear facial hair, make sure it is fresh-shaven and well-groomed. A fresh haircut will improve the sharpness of your appearance. Avoid tan lines or sunburns when possible.


Medium to dark, solid colors are the way to go as they slenderize your look. Alternatively, rich jewel-toned wardrobe (red, blue, green, purple) will also pop. Please avoid pastels or colors that wash out unless you pair it with a dark jacket, sweater, or scarf. 

EXCEPTION: A white or cream suit can look really great. Make-up should not be overdone. Wear your hair and makeup the way you would when you are trying to look spiffy. Don’t over-do it, but feel pretty. Apply normal day time makeup or slightly heavier than normal and add some color to the cheeks and lips. Have powder and your favorite lipstick with you in case you need a touchup. 

Jewelry is best simple unless your style is flashy and it is a signature for you. In that case, go for it. Your hands may or may not show in the photo but be prepared with clean nails. Polished or unpolished is fine. Make sure your haircut is the way you like it and that your hair color is at its best including the roots. Please bring cosmetic powder with you to reapply as needed during the photographic session. 

When correctly applied, concealer can go a long way in hiding imperfections. Avoid tan lines or sunburns when possible. Smile? YES…………… Absolutely Smile 😉 

Few people look great when they’re not smiling. Do you agree? How about you? Take 30 seconds the morning of your shoot: Grab a mirror, Flash a smile, then do a non-smile. Remind yourself how to accomplish both. We’ll photograph you smiling with teeth showing in most cases unless you prefer not. 

And, we’ll photograph you with a more serious look as well. Be flexible and look for our coaching during the session. We’ll help you achieve the best look. You may be required to participate in a group portrait, (sometimes decided the day of the session). It is always best to dress completely from head to toe, (no flip flops) just in case. Please bring hair spray combs and brushes to the photo session for final touches. 

A couple of drops of Visine will do wonders too. We look forward to the session. It will be our pleasure.