When you are looking to invest in your career, you might look at some of the typical avenues: professional development, additional academic education, or an expanded professional network. These are, undoubtedly, crucial to moving forward in your career and making an impression on your current or future employers. But don’t forget one of the most important investments: a high-quality professional business portrait.
Especially with the proliferation of LinkedIn for social networking with other professionals in your field, a great photograph is absolutely necessary. If a new employer searches for you, or another professional with a lot of influence reaches out to you, your photograph is the first impression they will have of you. You want that portrait to show that you are a capable professional… and one of the biggest influences is your outfit.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR FOR YOUR PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS PORTRAIT?
GENERAL PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS PORTRAIT TIPS
No matter who you are, you definitely will want to choose a flattering color for your portrait. Mid-tones work well for many people, and you will want to stay away from colors that match your skin tone too closely or wash you out. You will also want to stick with solid colors, as patterns tend to be distracting to the eye, and you run the risk of looking outdated in the future. Stick with classic, solid colors to play it safe. This probably is not the place to show off your bright orange or red outfit.
Additionally, ensure that your clothes are clean and ironed. One reason for this is that you will feel more professional and comfortable, which will shine through in the photographs. Furthermore, although you can pay extra to have your clothing Photoshopped, it is best to start with the most put-together look possible — plus, it will keep the costs down.
As far as your style goes, consider your industry. If you are an engineer or work in a creative field like graphic design, you can get away with clothing that is more on the business casual side. However, if your industry tends to be conservative, like finance, or if your job is higher-level, you will want to dress it up a bit. When in doubt, dress up a little more. You can also bring a variety of accessories or jackets to the shoot, so you have choices and can see what works for you best.
PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS PORTRAITS FOR MEN
Whether you prefer to be clean-shaven or favor facial hair, make sure that your style is clean and neat. You will also want to be consistent with the way you look: if you are known for a full beard or have a distinguishing mustache, you probably do not want to shave it off just for a photo session.
You cannot go wrong with a suit and clean, pressed shirt. Other options are a sweater or nice dress shirt. But, again, no matter what you wear, make sure it is clean and free of wrinkles! You do not want to look like a slob in your professional business portrait.
PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS PORTRAITS FOR WOMEN
Women have more options for their outfit. Unfortunately, that can be a problem, too. Wear a blouse or long-sleeved jacket that is flattering and has an appropriate neckline. Cleavage has no place in a professional portrait, and short sleeves are neither flattering nor professional.
You will want to wear makeup, and ideally, have it professionally done. This will, again, keep the retouching costs down and give you a more satisfactory result. At the bare minimum, use powder foundation to reduce shine and even out your skin tone. You will probably want to wear more than your everyday look, but do not overdo it. You want to look elegant, not like a clubber.
PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS PORTRAITS FOR GROUPS
If you’re getting a photograph of a group of people, such as an entire team or office, there are a few additional things to keep in mind about your outfits. If you have a business uniform that you regularly wear, it can help pull the team together. However, if you don’t have a daily uniform, you probably will not want to all wear the same thing: it’s boring, and you aren’t robots! Instead, coordinate your outfits so that they look nice together and do not clash — and equally important, make sure that you are all on the same page. You don’t want to have most people wearing a suit and one person show up in a tee shirt or khakis. Consistency is key.
To ensure that your business portraits are as high-quality and professional as possible, please contact us.