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What to wear for my headshots and branding photography

Updated: Apr 28, 2019

What should I wear?

That depends on many factors. Your headshot is your first impression to many who might want to do business with you. What do you want to tell them? If you want to appear strong and professional, a flowy skirt and sweater set might not work. Or, if you want potential clients to see you as a fun, approachable counselor, don't choose a business suit.

African America businessman in a gray suit
A business suit is a good choice for a strong, professional look.

What is your signature style?

What is your go-to outfit for a first meeting with clients? You’ll want to wear something like that for your headshots. You don’t want to look like a completely different person from who your client will meet. Otherwise, it might seem like a bait-and-switch. One of my favorite entrepreneurs ALWAYS wears cowboy boots. And she is perfectly comfortable in them, in-person or in her images. Definitely show the best version of YOU.

Blonde, Caucasian woman wearing a blue and purple top, with arms folded
For headshots, wear what you would normally wear for a first client meeting.

What do you wear when you’re actually doing your work? You should wear those clothes for your branding photography session. Scrubs, branded polo or tee shirts, or athletic wear can represent you in business. Personal trainers and massage therapists don't wear business suits to work with clients. Just as it wouldn’t look right for a personal banker to do business in a tennis outfit.

African American female author sitting at a desk, writing in a notebook, with a laptop computer open next to her
A branded Tee can represent you well.

What is your business?

Bankers, lawyers, and real estate agents often wear a suit or an outfit with a jacket. Therapists, counselors, and mediators put their clients at ease by wearing business-casual outfits. Medical professionals often wear a white coat for portraits. Or, they pose in a professional outfit with medical equipment also in the image. Chiropractors, naturopaths, massage therapists, and nutritionists dress less formally for their headshots. Entrepreneurs run the gamut of what they like to wear in general. My best advice is to choose outfits that you would wear for a first meeting/coffee with a client.

Caucasian female spa owner posing with machines
Wear what you would normally wear to see your clients.

What shapes work best for your body type?

Do you have any “problem areas” (anything that bothers you, even if nobody else notices it)? You should dress in a way that helps to camouflage it in pictures. Try an empire waist to hide a tummy or wide legged pants to balance out wide shoulders. Take a look online for tips to flatter your body (or at least not emphasize the thing that bothers you the most!).