Dressing for Success: What to Wear for Your Professional Portraits

Shooting great portraits takes more than smiling in front of a snapper. The camera angles, settings, poses, and backdrop have to be just right. You also want to look put-together, polished, and professional for your portraits.

What you wear translates to how you feel and look in your portraits. With a few simple styling tips, you can feel confident and let your personality shine, whether you’re after actor headshots, business portraits or anything in between.

Go Business Classic or Casual for Professional Portraits

It pays to stick to business attire if you want professional headshots or portraits for your business or career profile. Business casual or classic will do the trick. Stick to classic, neutral colors like navy, black, gray or khaki that compliment your features without being too bright or busy.

Dark-colored suits and blazers photograph incredibly well. If wearing a skirt or dress, knee-length or just above is ideal. Solid colors, subtle patterns, and minimal detailing help keep the focus on you instead of loud colors that can be distracting in photos. 

If you feel most comfortable in those shades, dark reds, blues, and greens can work. Stay away from bright neons or whites that can overexpose. Mid-toned colors like gray allow your face to stand out naturally against the backdrop. 

Ensure Accessories Complement, Not Overwhelm

Choose accessories in metals like gold, rose gold, or silver that coordinate well with cool or warm skin undertones. Pearls and jewel tones like emerald and sapphire blue make lovely accent pieces without being distracting, too.

Minimal, classic accessories work best. Avoid loudly clanking bangle bracelets. The same goes for big, bold statement necklaces or earrings that draw excessive attention. The focal point should be your face, not on the accessories.

Consider Skipping All-Black for Headshots

While black blazers photograph beautifully, avoid wearing all black for headshots and close-up portraits. Dark shirts or blouses under black jackets or suit coats tend to look hollow and blanked out. Instead, break up an all-black outfit with something neutral or a colored shell underneath.

Crisp white shirts pop nicely against darker suit jackets. Alternately, pair a black blazer with lighter tan, beige or blue trousers on men or a skirt on women. Not only does it make your face stand out more, it creates a more flattering, approachable look.

The Right Fit Can Make All the Difference

Well-fitted clothing lies smoothly without pulling, is never too tight or constricting, and hangs correctly. Pants with a proper leg length and well-fitted shirts, jackets, blouses and dresses photograph best. Make sure sleeves, hems, and collars hit all the right spots for a polished effect.

Getting clothing properly tailored beforehand ensures you look neat, tidy and confident on camera. Ill-fitting pieces can appear sloppy. Wrinkled, baggy clothing lacks the put-together impression most desire for professional portraits.

Top It Off With Appropriate Hairstyle and Good Makeup

An evenly trimmed or neatly styled hairdo finishes off your professional portrait look. Go for controlled waves, a smooth blow-out, or a neatly combed shorter cut. Fly-aways and messy strands come across as cluttered.

Putting on some makeup is a no-brainer. A professional makeup artist can help you determine ideal colors and techniques for portrait photography if makeup isn’t your forte. Just avoid heavy applications that look overdone up close. A touch of mascara, lip color and blended blush generally flatters.

Are you ready to put your best foot forward with flawless portrait photography? Whether you’re looking for professional headshots, model lifestyle shots, or stunning commercial images, we’re here to bring your vision to life. Contact us today to talk about your custom package.