10 Tips to Great Professional Business Photos

February 24, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Professional Headshots

I often get asked about professional photos.  Most often, the person is teetering whether or not he/she needs one.  Professional photos aren't just about you getting a picture. Its definitely not about you being narcissistic.  It most definitely is about branding you, making you look the best possible and showing what you are all about. Its either to brand you for a job and sell you and your skills or branding your own business with what you have formed, but sharing with the community and those interested in your business, what you are all about.  If the Brand is consistent, it just continues the story of the great things you are doing and have already done.

1. Hire a Professional

Sure, we all know you can ask your Bestie to come over and shoot your picture during the week. Or even the week-end you were out and about and you looked amazing so you grabbed a selfie.  However, There are so many things to consider when using an image for your professional photo. And most often those are things you weren't aware of or even thought about. 

One thing that is often missed or just not aware of is the "Background".  I've seen people use selfies that were taken in the bar as their professional image.  Imagine how that speaks to your clients or even your current company with what might be in the background. While a bar background might make sense for someone who works for the bar or the beer company, it doesn't really make sense for much more.   So now imagine the bathroom selfie as your business profile.......Yep, its happened.

If the question is whether you should have one or not, the answer is YES!.  Using a professional image to portray  you for your business or even in your current business role will definitely provide an impact.  Whether looking for a job or even looking to advance, it makes a clear statement. It definitely makes the statement that you are thinking ahead and are clearly concerned with looking professional.

People are also very visual, so seeing the picture with the resume or with the business background will many times be what attracts others to the business or to hiring you.

2. Plan your wardrobe

Think about what you want to portray. If its your own business, think about your own brand and stay consistent with your companies brand.  If its casual, make it casual.  Also think about your personality: Do you want it fun, happy, serious or just seriously EPIC.

 

3. What to wear:

  • Comfortable clothes- If you feel uncomfortable, you will look uncomfortable
  • 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)
  • Turtlenecks- Just....NO!
  • Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new
  • Certain colors or accent colors can help bring out your eye color
  • Avoid busy patterns and large lines/stripes

        - for Men

  • Business look can be suit and shirt (white or color). For that power shot, bring a tie
  • A casual business look is often a jacket and open dress shirt, shirt and tie (no jacket), or dress shirt on it's own
  • For a no-jacket casual look, bring colored shirts - coordinate with a color that best goes with your skin tones.
  • Always bring a few jackets or shirts so that you can try a couple.  The lighting may change the look a bit.

       - for Women

  • Avoid crazy prints and busy patterns
  • Be stylish and fashionable, remember that less is more.
  • For a no-jacket casual look, various colored shirts/blouses work well
  • Different necklines will change the apparent shape of your face. Bring a variety of styled shirts/blouses to see what works best
  • Accessories are great and good to bring, just remember that the Image is about YOU and not your latest fashion sense

4. Color tips

Plain colors are your best choice.   Choose mid- tones because they are universally flattering.  Avoid wearing tops in your flesh tones as they will blend your face into your clothes. Unless you’re feeling super confident, pass on bright red, orange or Yellow. Stark black and white are not good choices either because they play havoc with the camera’s exposure or the studio backdrop.  There are times when that is needed, but in general, try and avoid.  Substitute black with richer neutrals like chocolate, navy, maroon and forest green. Black is somber safe and guarded, not likely the vibe you want to project. The fail-safe tip is to pick a top that accentuates your eyes. That’s why jewel tones work so well.

5. Remember:

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

6. Accessorize but minimize

  • Keep jewelry extremely simple - less is more...but pick what accents you while also speaks to your personality
  • Avoid jewelry that would distract from your face or that looks dated

7. What to Bring to a headshot session

  • Your previous headshots (if possible)
  • Samples of what you might be looking for (often we do this ahead of the shoot)
  • Various Wardrobe changes
  • Lip balm
  • Hair brush/comb
  • Makeup and hair products you prefer (especially if you have allergies)
  • Mirror
  • Finally, bring yourself ready to have a EPIC experience

8. 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-this can great interfere with lighting
  • Avoid frosts or overly-bright colors-this will distract from the purpose of your photos
  • Avoid doing a professional Headshot session right after a haircut.

9. Please Arrive With

  • Hair styled and makeup already applied (if not using makeup artist) 

10. YOU are the most important element.

Your energy. Your killer "blue steel" look, Your Awesomesauce, These are the most important things.

Before you head to the shoot, sit quietly and remember your intentions in your work and life. Connect to your purpose and the same approach you take to your business and work,then take some deep breaths. Lets do this...

Then, as the photos are being shot, remember to be present in YOU as YOU present your product or your resume. Look into and through the camera lens. Act as if you’re looking into the eyes of your very best friend or a client you really want, or the job interview you know you will nail. Don’t be afraid to let loose and smile and laugh.


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