When it comes to getting your photo professionally taken, it’s important to give your look some thought beforehand.  Here are some of my personal tips and insights to help you prepare before a photo session and look your best in your photos. 

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.”

Miuccia Prada

People make snap judgments about you from your image from as little as 40 milliseconds. Think about it, in just a fraction of a second, they may have already decided whether they like you, respect you or want to work with you. Let’s make sure that your clothes are presenting you in a way you want to be seen in your professional portraits. 

Clean bright photo of young blonde woman in white shirt

Tip #1: Keep it simple

During our photography session, we’ll focus on you, not your outfit. But this doesn’t mean you should neglect your clothes entirely. Ideally, your clothes should enhance your beauty and not distract attention from your face.

Tip #2: Think about your audience

Who will be seeing your photos? Your style should somehow target your audience. For example, if you’re getting corporate or business portraits, you should consider wearing something a bit more formal to match the situation and your ideal audience.

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”

—Rachel Zoe
Natural lifestyle portrait of young woman in orange dress in front of blossoming tree

Tip #3: Find your style

Styles like boho, drama, retro, vintage and so forth can be a bit tricky unless you’d really like to express your sense of fashion and personality. Instead, I recommend wearing outfits that are smart casual or classy because it remains timeless. .

Tip #4: Be aware of the format

In our headshot or portrait photo sessions, only the top part of your outfit will be visible. You can put on a simple shirt, dress or even a t-shirt as long as it fits your image and goals. It’s always better to leave your neck exposed, as it makes you look more natural and welcoming in the pictures. However, if you show too much skin, it may not come off very professional, so try to refrain from off-shoulder tops, for example.

Professional photo of young woman with ginger hair and blue eyes on white background

Tip #5: Choose the colors of your outfit wisely

Choosing the colors of your outfit is not that simple as it depends on many factors. General rules for business portraits are the following:

  1. I recommend avoiding black and white colors because they look too boring in the pictures.
  2. Pastel colors make you look younger and fresher.
  3. Dark colors make you look more serious and professional. 
  4. Bright, saturated colors might distract attention from your face, be very careful with them.

However, rules are made to be broken, right? So it is possible to use bright colors in your outfit as long as it reflects your style and personality. As usual, it is better to discuss such decisions before the photo session and find a way how to use your ideas and make them pop in the photos.

Powerful portrait of young woman with curly hair and blue eyes in DOX museum in Prague

Tip #6: Tame prints and patterns

The thing is that people always pay attention to big geometric figures in the pictures, that is why big elements will distract viewers’ attention from your face. It is better to go for small geometric, abstract or flowery patterns, they don’t distract the attention and make your look more interesting.

If you want to go crazy, you can combine different patterns in your look and show your inner fashionista. However, keep in mind that your outfit is likely to steal attention from your face in this case.

Professional business headshot of a young woman with dark hair and red lips on white background

Tip #7: Think about your makeup

Once you’ve got your outfit chosen, it’s time to focus on your makeup. The main thing here is to keep it natural. Make sure that your skin tone is even, define your eyebrows and use a lip balm or lipstick to bring more life to your face. If you want to take it to the next level, just add some gentle blush. It will make you look fresher in the pictures.

By the way, if you want to get your makeup done by a professional makeup artist, please let me know about it in advance and I will organize everything for you!

Tip #8: About that hair

There’s no need to change up your hairstyle just for a photo session. For a more organized and reliable look, simply put it into a bun or ponytail. Surprisingly, people trust you more when they can see your jawline clearly. Or you can let your hair down and be loose, then you will look more relaxed and welcoming.

What’s next?

When you chose your perfect outfit for a photo session, you have two options: you can take photos on your own or ask me to help you out. If you decide to do it yourself, feel free to check a DIY guide that I made for you. If you want to have a photo session with me, then check out my services and portfolio!

I know that preparing for a professional photoshoot can seem a bit intimidating, but I’m here to help bring out the best look in your portraits. If you ever have any questions, feel free to send me some images or to call me if you need any additional advice or clarity. 

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