It used to be that unless you were an actress, high up exec or on the board of some fancy organization, you really didn’t need any type of professional photo. That is definitely not the case these days! It’s quite common for people in all industries to have professional photos – for social media (think company website, press releases, etc.), resumes, speaking engagements, and just general networking. And while you don’t have to do the whole business suit thing, you do want to go above a tank and jeans if you work in almost any field. If you are considering business head shots, read on for some tips!
1. Consider your field
Your fluffy tulle skirt and leopard cardigan are certainly cute, but maybe not an appropriate representation of your VP job at an oil and gas company (unless said company is totally awesome). However, that outfit is completely appropriate if you are, say, a family photographer, blogger, writer, or in another “creative” field.
2. Consider your own style
Hate wearing a suit? Skip it. Work in a conservative field but feel too stuffy in a plain button down? Find something that is appropriate but still makes you feel “you”. If you want photos as a way to show a true representation of yourself, well, look like yourself! A bright red blazer is equally stylish and professional and very well suited for your professional field.
3. Keep it simple
Unless you’re running some crazy fashion house or urban hipster company, think less is more.
- Don’t wear anything too trendy. Keep styles and prints classic.
- Do wear colors that best suit you. I’d skip white and opt for something darker than your skin tone.
- Don’t try to cover-up by wearing anything too boxy or loose-fitting. It will work against you!
- Do keep your makeup natural, just wear a little more than usual. If you tend to skip foundation on a daily basis, try wearing it along with a bit of powder to control shine. Add a bit more warmth in your cheeks and a good lipstick that’s not too shiny/shimmery/flashy. The goal is you, just enhanced.
- Don’t go crazy with patterns. In fact, for a classic look, I’d opt for solid colors (see what I chose below for mine) or a very simple and small printed pattern.
- Do find a neckline that flatters. Turtlenecks are probably a no, nice boat neck or crew cut, a yes. And absolutely no cleavage. NONE.
- Do keep jewelry simple and understated. No huge statement necklaces or feather-y earrings. Stick with studs and elegant necklaces, bracelets, or watches. Exception: once again, if you are in a creative field, you’ve got some room to play, just remember that classic, simple items will not look dated in a couple of years!
For a fail proof look? I’d go with a solid blouse that fits you well, with or without a nicely cut blazer. Can’t lose.
Here are a few examples of some professional photos I had done for this purpose. Keep in mind, I spend my days writing here, in fashion-related ventures, and lots of other non-glamorous ways, so these are very appropriate for my career! I knew I wanted head shots mainly, so fit wasn’t really as important to me as color. Which is funny because if you take a look around my website, you’ll notice I often opt for black and white photos! (Photos done by my lovely sister-in-law, Aubrie. Thanks, Aubrie!)
Have you taken professional photos? What’s your take on this new career trend?