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Shelley

- Blog post by Shelley

February 15, 2015

Time for a Headshot – What not to Wear!

We know, we have heard it a hundred times in a dozen different ways…you hate having your picture taken.

This one is different.

Trust me when I tell you that your online profile is a very important piece of your overall professional presentation and there is a lot to be said for a great headshot.

A lot of business is done online, often before you’ve even met in person. 21st Century due diligence includes Google, LinkedIn, Social Media, and a thorough read-through of your website. We become familiar (and in some cases connect or relate) with our subjects – both visually and mentally – before our very first meeting and so making the investment for a great headshot will pay dividends.

Once you’ve selected the perfect photographer for your team, it’s time to commit to the project. A good headshot will look natural (even if doesn’t quite feel that way – trust your photographer, that‘s why you hired him/her) and will make you look relaxed, approachable, and professional. Professional. That’s key! Your favourite family photo or vacation shot might look great, but it isn’t professional and was probably snapped on your smartphone then poorly cropped to fit Instagram or Facebook size restrictions.

You may hate having your picture taken but, you can enjoy this experience if you put your mind to it. So here are few things for you to keep in mind…

Ladies, first:

  • DO choose an outfit that is both flattering and classic – you don’t want your great new headshot to be out of style or redundant too soon.
  • DON’T choose bold or distracting patterns or colours unless they are a small part of the ensemble and are tempered with a solid blazer or sweater.
  • DO avoid small, tight, checkered patterns as they will look busy on camera. Small, fine, subtle stripes are okay.
  • DON’T choose solid white, unless under a blazer or sweater. Darker tones are more slimming.
  • DO avoid turtlenecks and instead, choose a generally flattering (but reasonably conservative) v-neck shape.
  • DO avoid short sleeves and tank tops (bare arms) unless under a blazer or sweater.
  • DO choose classic, flattering jewelry. This can be an opportunity to express your style but be careful not to choose something that will date the photo or distract from you.
  • DO get your hair and makeup done. You do a great job with your day-to-day look but a professional will know the tips and tricks to use to really accentuate your features PLUS it’s a great excuse for a little pampering.
  • DON’T attempt a new cut or colour right before your headshot – stick with a look you love or give yourself time to perfect it.

Now, for the gentlemen:

  • DO choose a well-fitting suit that is both flattering and classic.
  • DO choose a shirt and tie that complement each other, and the suit.
  • DON’T wear a white shirt if you choose not to wear a tie. In that case, choose a solid colour that will complement but not distract from your suit.
  • DON’T choose bold or distracting patterns or colours unless they are a small part of the ensemble and are tempered with a solid blazer or sweater.
  • DO avoid small, tight, checkered patterns as they will look busy on camera. Small, fine, subtle stripes are okay.
  • DO avoid short sleeves.
  • DO consider wearing a suit jacket or sweater.
  • DO consider getting your hair and makeup done. Yes, really. A professional can apply a few small touches that will accentuate your features.
  • DON’T attempt a new cut or colour right before your headshot – stick with a look you love or give yourself time to perfect it.
  • DO take care to trim your facial hair (EVEN THOSE PESKY NOSE HAIRS) to ensure it is even and nicely groomed. In most cases, scruff and stubble is not recommended (though we get that it might be part of your look – just make sure it looks nice and clean).

Photoshoots are not generally at the top of everyone’s MUST-DO list but, if you relax and have a little fun with it, I know you will be pleased at the results.

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