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Tips to Look Good in Business Headshots

A Business Headshot is not something we refresh as often as we should so here are my thoughts on getting the most out of your photo.

1. Think about what you are going to wear

Graphic logo t-shirts, brand names, or funny slogans are definitely out. Even if it’s a company shirt the text is often cut off in the shot and could look silly. As this photo is probably going to last a couple of years on the companies website and in their promotional materials that popular band today may not be so popular in the future.

Also, patterns and thin stripes don’t normally work well on camera or computer screens. The stripes often form a moire pattern especially if the image is small on screen. Patterns may look cool in person but are usually too busy for this type of photo where the focus should be on you and not your clothes.

Remember as well that many headshots get converted to black and white so the tones that you wear are important. A pink tie with a light blue shirt for example may look great in real life but in a black and white photo they may just blend together.

2. Shiny Skin

Professional photographers are going to use studio strobe lights to get consistant results and to make you look your best. There is a disadvantage to these lights in that they can make your skin look shiny / sweaty / greasy, especially on a hot day. A little concealer for the ladies and a quick wash with a baby wipe for the guys will go a long way to eliminating that sweaty look.

3. Your Hair

It’s never a bad idea to bring a hair brush with you to the shoot. Nothing looks worse than hair that is a total mess with fly aways all over the place. It’s not as easy a many think to correct hair in photoshop and it’s much more time consuming than fixing it before the photo is taken.

4. Make Up

A fairly natural look is always best. This is a shot of you looking like a professional so the look you would want for a special night out is a little overboard. If you normally wear a bold lipstick that is fine but don’t go heavy if that is not your normal look. Keep it simple and make sure it something that feels good to you.

5. Glasses

Glasses are worth mentioning in that there are a few tricks to keep in mind. If you wear them all the time then you should wear them in the photo. Remember it has to look like you. Make sure they are clean – I mean really clean and wear them pushed back as far as they will go so they won’t cover any part of your eyes. If you wear cheaters be sure to remove them in plenty of time before the shoot allowing the red marks from the nose pieces plenty of time to dissipate.

6. Your Best Side

Many of us have a preference having seen ourselves in photographs. Just as you should if you have a blemish or feature you would like to minimize, communicate your ideas with the photographer. He or she want you to look your best too. Many people are not happy with the way their teeth look and I’m not a fan of a big cheeky smile for a business portrait anyways so keep the smile toned down somewhat.

7. Mirror Check

The last item on my list is to always do a last minute check of yourself in the mirror. This is just a once over to make sure you are happy with the way you look. Your hair is neat and tidy, your tie is straight and the top button isn’t showing and if you are a big smiler there is nothing stuck in your teeth.

Well that’s about it for now. If you have any tips or something that has made you feel more comfortable in front of the camera please leave a comment.

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