A good business headshot helps you communicate in a nanosecond who you are and what you do.

If you’re contemplating updating your photos, here are 5 quick tips on what to wear for business headshots.

Take a few minutes to think about the tone you want to project in your business headshots.  Depending on the culture of your company, you may want to come across as hip, friendly or creative.  Or if you work in professional services, you may prefer to project an air of formality, knowledge and trustworthiness. The location of the photo shoot (in a studio or on location) will also have a bearing on your best camera-ready outfit.

Remember the focus for the business headshot is your face.    Everything – the background, lighting and clothing – should be kept simple to frame your  face. Follow the  KISS principle (keep it simple, sister) and you’ll be fine.

1.  Colour

Plain colours are your best choice.  Patterns or prints distract and date your photo.  Choose mid- tone colours in blue, green, wine and purple because they are universally flattering.  Avoid wearing tops in flesh tones (cream, beige, pastels, peach or yellow) as they will blend your face into your clothes. Unless you’re feeling super confident, pass on bright red or orange. Stark black and white are not good choices either because they play havoc with the camera’s exposure or the studio backdrop.  Substitute black with richer neutrals like chocolate, navy, maroon and forest green. Black is sombre, safe and guarded, not likely the vibe you want to project. A fail-safe tip is to pick a top that accentuates your eyes. That’s why jewel tones work so well.

2.  Neckline

A modest v-neck is universally flattering because it lengthens the neck and displays the décolleté. Opt for blouses with sleeves.  Fine to medium gauge knits work really well too because they introduce textural interest.   If you choose to wear a jacket, pair it with a collarless top.  This is modern and keeps the neckline simple and sleek. Crisply ironed shirts by themselves frame the face really well.

3.  Jewellery

In keeping with the KISS principle, choose simple earrings and necklaces.  They keep the focus on the face. Big statement jewellery will date your photos.

4. Pose

When you’re in front of the camera, angles are your friend because they create shadows,  that if used correctly can make you look even slimmer.   Don’t sit face on to the camera.  Turn one shoulder closer to the camera so your body is at an angle.  Here’s my favourite trick to avoid a double chin.  Jut your head forward (a bit like a tortoise) and tip your chin down.  This feels ridiculous, but works because it makes the jawline tighter.

5.  Smile

At the end of the day, the key to a wonderful business headshot is your smile.  It might take you a few moments to relax in front of the camera.  Once you’re comfortable, stare straight down the barrel of the lens and think of someone you love.  That feeling shows up as beautiful smile in your mouth and your eyes.

I hope you found these tips on what to wear for business headshots helpful.  We’re always keen to get your feedback so please let us know what your thoughts and by typing in your comments below.

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