Business professionals understand that first impressions are often lasting impressions, and having a good business portrait can be important. Getting a good portrait also requires more than just sitting in front of the camera--it's a partnership between you and the photographer.
You can work with your photographer to get a great business headshot by following these guidelines.
For men, don't get your hair cut the day before your session. Your hair will look more natural if you get it cut several days in advance.
On the other hand, women may want to have their hair styled the same day.
Get a good night's sleep the day before your session, drink plenty of water, and avoid salty foods and alcohol. This helps reduce dark circles under your eyes.
Mid- to late-morning are ideal times to schedule your session—you'll feel more energized and typically have fewer things on your mind.
If your session is late in the day or in the evening, take time to freshen up your appearance. Men should shave again to diminish the five-o'clock shadow. Makeup for women should be simple and not overdone. Choose an approach that minimizes shine on your skin.
Wear clothing that fits well—not too tight and not too loose. Bring clothes that are fresh and wrinkle-free.
Darker colors (blue, gray) and mid-tones look good on most people. Avoid strong patterns, bold stripes, clothing with checks or herringbones, logos, and plain white clothing. If possible, coordinate your clothing choices with the photographer before the session in order to select colors that will complement the environment or background. For studio portraits, I tend to choose brown, gray, or white backgrounds since these work well with nearly any color clothing.
Long-sleeved clothing that creates a v-neckline (like a jacket with shirt underneath) looks flattering. Turtlenecks should be avoided (unless you want to pull off the Audrey Hepburn look).
Keep your accessories simple. Neckties, scarves, and jewelry should not draw attention away from the face.
Unless you plan to update your headshot annually, stay away from trendy looks or anything that will appear dated in a few years.
...and three killer tips for posing
Want to look your very best? Then you'll need to know a few things about posing for your portrait.
You can get access to a free video that shows you the 3-step process I use to coach my clients in the studio.
Click over to join the Michael Gowin Photography A-List and the video is yours--free.
Are you in central Illinois?
If you're in central Illinois (Springfield, Bloomington/Normal, Peoria, Decatur, Champaign/Urbana) and in the market for an updated business headshot, executive portrait, or marketing images, we can make arrangements at your location.
You can learn all about the process on the Business Portraits page.