FAQs: Photo Session Preparation-Commercial Sessions

How should personnel prepare for photographs?

Corporate head shots or executive portraits are very important for your business. These images may be on your business card, posted on your company's website and might be used in literature and brochures that will be in use for several years. These photographs are how prospective clients will identify you and decide, often without a meeting, that they want to work with you. 

The main thing to remember when choosing clothing for a corporate headshot is to keep it classic and to make sure the clothes support the image you want to portray. While clothing is an important factor, it is definitely not the focus- your face is. With proper clothing, your face commands attention and the clothing becomes secondary.  Below are some tips for creating the best portrait:

  • Dress in the fashion which you feel best represents both you and your company. For a formal business portrait, dress as you would if you were making a presentation to your most important clients or associates. For a more casual portrait, you still want to wear something that looks upscale and smart. Perhaps a blazer, a sweater over a button-down shirt or a blouse. Select something that falls well on your shoulders and flatters your neckline.  V-necks photograph better than turtlenecks.
  • Darker shades are more flattering and slimming, but remember black is not always the best color as it can photograph flat and lack detail and dimension. Try navy, dark-gray, chocolate, forest green, deep teal, eggplant or a rich caramel.
  • Avoid complex patterns like stripes, plaids, dots, checks or prints as they are confusing and do not photograph well.  Opt for dark, solid colors wherever possible. Small, subtle patterns are fine as long as they are not too distracting.
  • Do not wear short sleeves for a head-and-shoulders portrait.
  • Avoid loud ties and flashy jewelry as they divert attention from your face. Stick with simple and elegant. 
  • Apply your makeup as you might for a formal evening out.  If you “never wear makeup” you might want to at least use some for your photo session.
  • Manicures should be fresh and nails clean and trimmed.
  • Make sure your beard is shaved to mitigate five-o’clock shadow.

The most important wardrobe tip for professional corporate headshots is to wear something you like and that makes you feel good! Feeling like you look good with nice clothes, a polished look and a warm smile will result not only in your enjoying the outcome of your headshot but also effectiveness in meeting your goals for it as well.  

How should the office be prepared for photographs?

Prepare for your office session in advance by providing the largest room you have available. I will speak with you prior to the session to get further details about the shooting location, the number of personnel and other important information. Organize your session by coordinating with employees about the details about the session as well as their 15-minute window for their session.  

Do I need releases for use of photographs with personnel?

It is a good idea to get releases from individuals in a photograph you intend to publish in print, on the web, etc.  If you need assistance in creating a release form, please let us know.