Whether you are having publicity photos taken for your business, or you are looking at getting headshots done for your LinkedIn profile, how you look in the photo is essential and something you must get right.
How many times have you started a new job, and have had to have your photo taken on your first day? Only to then find that photo stays with you throughout your entire career at that place. And you painfully regret wearing your glasses instead of contact lenses, or tie-ing up your hair instead of styling it.
As a blogger and journalist, I always need to send over headshots to brands and media when they ask to feature me. For a while, I struggled finding decent ones. Which lead me to get some professional ones done. I opted for a bold red dress to connotate ‘power’ and ‘independence’ (after all, I’m a woman in media trying to build a reputation as a strong writer).
Here’s a few tips for you if you’re getting a little worried about it!
What to Wear for Men
- Start off with clothes that fit you comfortably and that complement your skin tone. This is not the time to wear that shirt collar that is so tight that it cuts your circulation.
- Keep clothes as simple as possible and choose classically styled pieces so that your photos will not date so easily.
- If you are wearing a jacket, it should be one that can comfortably be closed in front – while the photo may still be taken with the jacket open, it must be one that fits well.
- If you are wearing a suit jacket, wear the pants to match and a plain dress shirt. The overall look should show you as a professional.
- Steer clear of clothing items that cover your whole neck – like in the case of a polo neck or turtleneck.
- It is better to stick to plainer shirts and tops – lines and busy patterns do not translate as well when it comes to photos.
- If you forego the jacket, it is usually better to ditch the tie as well. For this look, stick to coloured shirts, white won’t work here.
- For accessories, stick to a good-quality men’s watch. It is always wise to bring in some alternatives so that the photographer can try different jackets and different looks.
What to Wear for Women
- It is a good idea to go for a fashionable, but elegant look. Choose clear colors that suit your skin tone and avoid fabrics that have large prints on them or have a really busy pattern.
- Look at the neckline as a way of lengthening your neck – you want to look your best. That said, leave the plunging top that shows off all your cleavage for another time.
- Choose plain jewellery that will complement your face, not compete with it for attention. If someone says, “That necklace looks great on her” you have missed the mark.
- It is a good idea to bring a few different pieces in terms of jewellery and clothing so that you can change as necessary. Again, it is key here to wear jewellery that will not look dated in general.
- For makeup, its worth remembering to keep it simple. Keep the eyes neutral and use translucent powder all over your face to make it appear flawless. Apply blush where your cheeks would naturally redden.
- Stick to a matt lipstick rather than a glossy one and apply just before the photos are being taken. Line the lips beforehand so that the colour does not bleed.
- The rule here is that less is more – you want to look naturally beautiful, not like you are about to go out clubbing.
- With your hair, style as you normally would but do bring a hair-brush and perhaps some hairspray with to tame any frizzy bits back. Most people feel more feminine when their hair is down, so maybe consider this.
The key for looking great in photos for both men and women is to keep the look as simple as possible. You want people to focus on you, and not what you are wearing.
My Linkedin profile photo is a little too ‘over-the-top’. I feel like my hair and makeup is a little overkill, but as my job is a Beauty and Lifestyle Blogger and Journalist, it kind of works…
However, I’ve kept to my more ‘professional’ profile photo for my journalist profile for the news site I write for, Lovin Manchester:
I hope these tips help you, and remember: these photos create a lasting impression! Make sure they reflect you and what you want people to know you for.