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Okay, so you booked your headshot, business portrait, or branding photography session, now what? The most common question I get next is if I have any tips about what to wear and how to get ready. Keep reading for loads of useful information!
THE BASICS: HOW SHOULD I DO MY HAIR?
First, let’s talk basics. Here are a few recommendations that go a long way to help you start putting yourself together for your business headshot or branding photography session.
1. HAIR – I have some great hair and makeup artists I would love to recommend to you; however, if you opt to do your own hair or go to your salon just before our session that is great too! Just ensure your hair is well kept. Importantly, make sure it is washed, brushed, styled, and overall tidy. Bring hair products, brush or comb to our session as well! Important note if your session is outdoors: it’s Vancouver. It will likely rain, carry an umbrella and use it on your way to the location.
2. FACIAL HAIR, BROWS, NOSE HAIRS – Clean shaven or, if you wear facial hair, give it a good tidy up. You want to be trim and clean. If you want to get your brows cleaned up, be sure to do it more than 2 days before your headshot date, no need for redness! NOSE HAIRS – Yes, I said it, nose hairs. Ensure those are nice and tidied up and happily tucked inside your nose (it will help me a lot! Honestly, I have cleaned up nose hairs in post production for ALL PEOPLE).
THE BASICS: SHOULD I WEAR MAKEUP? YOUR FACE
3a. SKIN – WATER AND HYDRATION – Start this one now. Drink plenty of water. In fact, 6 to 8 glasses a day. You already do this? Great, keep it up! Ultimately, start the daily hydrating at least a week before the day of the photoshoot. Trust me, your skin will thank you for it. To top it off this will help keep your lips moisturized. You can bring lip balm to the shoot if you like.
3b. SKIN – Should be clean. Want to get a professional facial? We recommend you get a facial no less than 5 days before your headshot session with us. Alternatively, you may want to do an at-home deep exfoliating cleanse 5 days prior to your shoot.
4. MAKEUP – As I mention above for hair, I recommend getting your makeup professionally done for your portraits as photography makeup is slightly different from your regular routine. I have a few great people I would love to recommend you if you choose this route. Should you elect to do your own makeup let it be a bit heavier than natural. So, aim for a bit more coverage than you usually would. For those who love lipstick, having fun with a vibrant lip colour allows for some fun!
WHAT DO I WEAR FOR MY HEADSHOT OR BRANDING SESSION? OVERALL
5. CLOTHING – Your clothes should be well pressed, fit well, and not oversized or too tight. Also, you should be able to move with relative ease in them. Good TIP for everyone, and especially those working on the day of your session: I highly suggest you bring your headshot wardrobe to the studio or to work on hangers and change into them just before we meet for your headshots or portraits.
6. PATTERNS + TEXTURES – These are fine, please, just no branded graphic tees and tops. Try to avoid patterns that have very tight, repeating patterns and/or thinly spaced visible contrasting pinstripes.
7. COLOURS – Neutrals with a POP of colour. There will be an explanation below.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHY AND BUSINESS HEADSHOTS AND PORTRAITS
7a. FLATTERING + LENGTHENING – Ok, who doesn’t want these tips? The magic word is LENGTH. It is what flatters our silhouette the most, whatever size you are. To help achieve that consider going monochromatic with your colour choice. This is particularly a good one if you are having both 3/4 and full head-to-toe photos done. Having said that, it’s not a bad thing to include a pop of colour. The key word here, and I will talk more about this later, is “pop”. V-necks or more open necks with an elongating accessory, such as a long necklace really helps to lengthen as well. The most important suggestion is always refer back to tip #5 – ensure your clothes are pressed and fit well.
8. FOOTWEAR – If your headshots are actually going to be full head-to-toe shots, remember your shoes should be like your clothes, tidy and clean.
WHAT TO WEAR FOR BUSINESS PORTRAITS: SPECIFICS
9. CORPORATE HEADSHOTS – The top tip is a blazer or suit jacket over a shirt. If you elect to go without a blazer or jacket, GREAT! However, do avoid sleeveless tops. Long, 3/4, short or capped sleeves are always nice looks. Depending on your industry, a tie is great. If you don’t want to wear a tie, a suit vest over a (button up) shirt is an extremely flattering look with or without a tie. Jewelry is always a nice addition. Either all understated or understated with a single statement piece.
10. BUSINESS CASUAL HEADSHOTS – Okay, this one is a bit wide open. Clothing wise, it pretty much depends on what you want to wear. However, stick to tips 1-8 and you should be in good shape. Colour wise, we suggest neutrals with a POP of colour. More on this later.
POCKETS – Ok, this tip is for everyone: Trousers or dresses and skirts that have pockets are a HUGE PLUS! Ask me if you want me to explain further! Simply put, it is an overlooked detail that really helps with portraits!
11. GROUP OR TEAM HEADSHOTS – Most likely, you will all be shown together either on a single page for web or print. For this reason, I highly recommend that the team wear colours that are more complementary. Your safest bet would be, depending on your branding, again, neutrals with a POP of colour. However, for teams we recommend only a few people wear the colour, this would vary depending on the group size.
COLOUR, GLORIOUS COLOUR!
All right, what exactly do we mean by Neutrals with a POP of colour?
Well, two things really:
Neutrals are basic and easy colours to coordinate. You also probably own a few or several neutral coloured pieces in your wardrobe already: off-whites, beiges, soft natural shades in rose, tan, or light olive, for example.
A pop of colour is any colour that you coordinate with your neutrals. A little bit of colour goes a long way and adds that much needed pop to your headshot. It doesn’t have to be a bright bold colour. Just something more than say black, white, or beige.
Have a look below to see what one of my past clients did for their team headshot session! Check out how they combined some of the different palettes together to create cohesion. Below the images you will see some good basic colour palettes that serve as great visual aids for you and your team.
Vancouver Headshots – What to Wear and Other Tips
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Please let me know if you need hair and make up services. I have some great recommendations.
Here’s a great article from Forbes Magazine talking about the importance of your Linked-In Profile.