5 Must Do's for Business Headshots.


As a studio that is involved every week in Business & Modelling Headshots its important for clients who are looking to create powerful headshots of themselves or their teams to know these 5 must dos.

1. Do wear makeup 

Wear light, soft, sculpted makeup.

This sound obvious but its not. We have so many women come into the studio wearing the wrong make up. Photography and film are very different. Film uses hard continuous lighting on a film set. Consequently actors need a lot of makeup to stop looking bleached out. Also there is very ,limited retouching you can do on film and so the makeup is in effect the retouching processes which happens before filming begins.

On the other hand Business Headshots and Modelling Portfolios are photographed using very large light modifiers and so the light, if used correctly, is very soft and flattering. Also the the light on a photoshoot set is extremely controllable and so shadows and highlights are easy to manipulate.

Consequently Business clients and Models only need light makeup, certainly nothing more than you would use to go out for an evening. Also we are going to retouch these images later and so can add shadows and soften lines and skin blemishes.

2. Do decide the context for your Headshot Photography.

Where are you going to use these headshots and business portraits? What’s the surrounding context into which these headshots have to fit seamlessly?

Let's say you simply want a few headshots for your website. What’s the background colour, light or dark. Are you about to change the colour profile of the site. What’s your business image? Are you a respected, serious law firm or a new startup tech business that’s high fiving everyone?

Hopefully you see where I am coming from - you need to establish all these kinds of criteria to tell your photography studio so they can meet your brief. You need to have the right background colours and textures as well as the right facial expressions and show the charteristics of the person in relation to the business.

3. Do wear plain clothes

We have business people and, I have to say especially models who come to a Headshot Photography Photoshoot fully Labelled up with a t-shirt that has logos plastered across the front, etc.

One of the things you notice when you do a lot of Headshots and Modelling Portfolios is how often High Street Logos change. The public don’t notice they simply buy the latest logo branding because its the latest and it looks great.

Your headshots may have to last anywhere up to three years. The last thing you want is for them to go out of date in the first month. Non branded clothing is a must. Certainly in modelling; Art and Casting directors are not remotely swayed by the fact that you can afford Hugo Boss. Future business clients are subconsciously asking themselves so is this is where my fees are going?

Quality, classic and plain is best.

Suit and tie. White shirt and jeans. Classic dress. Pastel colour or neutrals. Keep it simply.

4. Do leave the bling at home.

For every much the same reasons as for wearing plain clothes, keep accessories, simply. Low key and elegant. The studio you choose is creating a headshot of you not your massive necklace. This is a personal headshot photoshoot not a product photoshoot. You and your personality are crucial to portray.

5. Do choose plain colours.

Apart from if your business is all about a particular pattern or tartan etc then there is a valid reason to include patterns in your headshot or full length portraits. Even then we would expect you to bring plain clothes with you.

Patterns are very distracting in a portrait. They can also do strange things when viewed on the internet, certain web browsers make stripes almost appear to flicker. All of which is highly distracting.

Also on colours - there is one very important colour that can be use to great effect or totally destroy a portrait and that’s the colour RED.

Red is what’s called a power colour in the trade. It has to be use sparingly and in the right way.

Senior partner of e top flight law firm, who wants to communicate he’s tough and takes no nonsense approach when negotiating for his clients could wear a red tie and maybe a read hankie in his breast pocket. A women could wear a red blouse or maybe an A-line red dress with no jewellery.

Red is what everyone notices. Watch the Matrix movie and everyone still remembers the woman in the red dress, they can’t describe her or tell you her hair colour but they remember the red-dress.

On a negative note - if you have a team portrait and there is one person wearing red. That will be the only person everyone sees.

So unless you fully understand how to use red - stay away from it - unsure speak to the studio, who should be able to advise and guide you.

December 15, 2020


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