A while ago I posted some tips for women on how to dress for business headshots. I got lots of “thank-you’s” from the ladies, but I haven't forgotten about my fellas! Especially since I hear just as many concerns from you guys about upping your head-to-toe game while still maintaining a level of comfort. So here it is, your SpiderMeka go-to guide in finding your best form for the professional world.
And don't be shy... go ahead and click my Pinterest pages tailored to help inspire your choices!
Have a Goal
It's hard sometimes, but it helps a lot if you think about how you want to be photographed before your shoot. If your photo is going on your website, or printed out for the wall of executives, these notes can help the photographer create a look that is appropriate and in-tune with both you and the usage of your photo.
Check with your photographer first, but it's a great idea to bring a few options. Bringing full alternative sets is fine if time allows, but you can achieve a variety of looks with simple planning, such as choosing a dress shirt with interesting cuffs that pairs well with a tie, jacket, sweater, and scarf.
Drink Water — Get Sleep
Baggy and bloodshot eyes, dark circles, red puffiness from last night's drinking... yeah... all these things will show up in your photograph. Sufficient sleep and proper hydration will elevate your images to a happy place, and it will help with the mood of your photo session, too.
Trim the beard, shave the neck, dye the roots, clean the nails. No, there is no shame in having those eyebrows waxed. These images are often the first impression you'll make on an employer or client, so keep it clean and looking like you care.
WHAT TO WEAR
Start with going through your own closet. Chances are you'll find an item or two that look great and is still in style, but you've never worn.
Borrow something from a friend who is the same size as you.
Thrift stores and second-hand shops have great finds for minimal costs, especially if you go on a half price discount day.
Or... sure, go and buy yourself something nice. You deserve it. Your photos are important and worth investing in.
You can feel when your shirt is too tight or the jacket is too loose. The camera will see it, too. Wear clothes that fit you well and do not restrict your movements. That goes for your belt, too.
Dress the Part
Likewise, overdressing is something to avoid: If you don't normally wear a proper suit for your profession, then it stands to reason that dressing in a three-piece for your headshots may not be the best idea. You'll be uncomfortable and your styling won't match your service — both are bad messages.
Neutral colors look great on guys, regardless of tone or shape.
Solid colored shirts are great, too, especially when paired with neutral layers or accessories. Your sense of style can really be showcased if you choose something to match your eyes or personality.
Stay away from loud colors and busy patterns or stripes if that is not your personal brand.
White or black can be fun if there is some added texture or personality accompanying the look. Bring something to layer with those stark options, such as a different color jacket or sweater.
Standard business look is a suit jacket, pressed dress shirt, and tie.
A more casual professional look leans more toward:
a jacket with an open shirt (not buttoned to the top)
a colored shirt and tie
or just a colored shirt (a solid color, not just black or white)
Jewelry & Accessories
Keep jewelry simple and small. Keep the items that distract from your face at home.
Accessories can be fun to work with and add personality to your image. Scarves, pocket handkerchiefs, bracelets, even stylish socks can spice up a mundane shot while still maintaining your professionalism.
Doesn't hurt to bring a comb/brush and lip balm with you, just in case you need a last minute sprucing up. Cow licks and chapped lips are enemies, not friends.
Above all else, get to your shoot on time, be courteous and call if you're running late, and dress in a way that is comfortable for you. Your pictures will tell a story of all the effort you put into your shoot, so make it all count, and get the killer headshots you deserve.