As someone who knows how to handle themselves in corporate situations, you can probably look at a presentation for your important clients and not even flinch. But then perhaps you decide to take some initiative in marketing yourself and look to hiring a professional to create some business portraits of yourself.
Then it comes to mind, the most unforgiving of audiences, even more so than the big client or your boss in that presentation; a camera and a gang of bright lights. Suddenly you find yourself wanting to be in that conference room instead.
But what exactly do you do? What clothes do you wear? What makeup, if any, and how should your hair look?
Professional but not too formal
What I would suggest for a business portrait is that happy medium between straight-and-narrow and laid-back; professional and confident, but relaxed enough that you look approachable. Take a “less-is-more” approach to your clothing. Dark, well-fitting, solid-colored business suits, blazers, and dresses work well. As far as tops go, these should provide a subtle to mild contrast to your suit or blazer. If you opt to skip out on the suits and blazers, make sure that any shirts, blouses, sweaters or dresses are in a solid, medium to dark color. Patterns should also be very subtle; loud patterns distract from the face. Other things to stay away from include any white, bright, or reflective clothing, as the bright flashes or studio lights can cause unwanted shine or reflection. Colors that closely follow skin tones should be avoided as well to distinguish the skin tone of your face from your clothing.
Less is more for accessories
As far as head and makeup, and jewelry goes, follow the “less-is-more” rule we’ve established. For the ladies, keep your hair well-brushed and maintained before the shoot. However your style it is up to you, but as a suggestion, a little brushing and hair spray goes a long way to eliminate stray hairs poking from the top of the head. As for makeup, think about going out for a semi-formal occasion and apply for that. Remember, less is more. For the gentlemen, make sure your hair is neatly groomed the day of the shoot. If you have facial hair, this applies to that too.
Dress like you are going to an interview
Now these are general suggestions, but as a final tip, a good thing to think about when dressing for your shoot is this; think back to that big presentation you would give, with an important client or your boss watching. What would you wear for that, as a professional and as a representative of your company? Dress for that occasion, and you’ll do great at your portrait shoot.