Does Your Business Photo Look Like You?
Have you ever seen a head shot of a polished looking business person on a corporate website and then met them and found they looked nothing like their photo? You aren’t the first!
Unfortunately, many people believe that their head shot on their business card or corporate website has to conform to a specific image regardless of what they truly look like. A corporate makeover is not necessary for your corporate head shot and dressing and appearing unlike yourself could actually hurt you in the long run.
If you have a lot of face time in front of clients, you probably already adhere to a corporate dress code that’s sufficient for clients and / or your employer. Dress for your head shot like you would dress for an important client meeting. This is going to be your professional appearance and what your clients can expect. This means that anyone who meets with you who previously saw your business photo is not going to have trouble recognizing you.
It’s ok to alter your appearance slightly such as wear your hair differently that day or dress a little more professionally but it’s a good idea to simply look like a polished version of yourself. If you wear facial piercing on the weekends, it might be a good idea to take them out for your professional photo but you don’t have to dye your hair a different color or stop wearing glasses or alter your appearance drastically.
When having your photo taken, a good photographer will try to put you at ease so that you do look like yourself at your best. A warm photo with a confident smile is probably what your photographer will work towards. It may take time to come up with the right snapshot but if you try to relax and let the photographer do their job, you will likely get great results.
This is why it’s important to hire a professional photographer with experience in headshots for corporate use. The results will be much better than simply using a homemade photo or inexpensive department store portrait.
Photographers shouldn’t try to alter your appearance drastically. Beyond being polished and professional looking, your head shot should personify your character in order to help you impress potential clients or employers.
Wardrobe Tips for Corporate Head shots
When you have business head shots taken, these are photos that you may have to look at for a very long time. They might be on your business card, posted on your or your company’s website and might be used on literature and brochures that will be in use for several years. This is why you want the best photograph possible and is also why you should take care in selecting your wardrobe for that day.
For men, it’s often a no-brainer. A business suit is a good choice for a corporate head shot. If you want a more casual look, you can forgo the blazer and wear a white shirt with a tie. For blazers, grey or navies in solid colors are often a good choice for timeless portraits. You don’t want clothing or hairstyles to look too trendy as it can date the picture and many companies will expect the picture to last a long time for the investment they are about to make. If you are paying for professional photographer services yourself, you’ll also want the photos to last a long time.
If you are wearing a tie, try not to overdo it with the patterns. You can choose a simple pattern and a bright color if you like but avoid anything too over the top. If you prefer not to wear a shirt and tie, your photo can still look nice and professional in a nice collared golf shirt or turtleneck sweater.
Wardrobe choices can feel more complicated for women but choosing a classic business suit or simple blouse and skirt or pants is a great idea. Again, don’t wear anything too trendy and choose something that’s for fall or winter instead of summery.
Avoid complex patterns like stripes or checks and opt for solid colors wherever possible. This will not only give the head shot a more classic look but will be more tolerable to look at in several years when styles and trends have changed. Horizontal lines can be difficult to look at. Varying patterns on different articles of clothing can make for a disaster of a head shot. Vertical lines in clothes should be minimal but the presence of them can have a slimming effect.
Wear something you like, that makes you feel good! Feeling like you look good with nice clothes, a polished look and a warm smile will result not only in your enjoying the outcome of your headshot but also effectiveness in meeting your goals for it as well. It’s supposed to make you look confident and professional so take the time to choose something professional and classic to help you achieve desired results.
If you cannot decide for sure what to wear or even if you think you have made the right choice but want to be safe rather than sorry, bring two different changes of clothing to the photo shoot and ask the photographer for advice.