Tips for Professional Corporate Headshot Session Photo Prep

Make your portrait session a success with these tips! Whether you’re taking headshots for your business, updating your LinkedIn profile, or capturing a special moment, these portrait tips will help you look your best in front of the camera. From choosing the right outfit to perfecting your posture, we’ve got you covered.

General Tips:

  • Let us know your expectations and the intended use of the photo.
  • Ensure the photo is appropriate for the intended use.
  • Stay hydrated and well-rested.

What to Bring:

  • Previous headshots and sample headshots for reference.
  • Favorite music, changes of clothing, lip balm, hair brush/comb, and preferred makeup and hair products.
  • A positive attitude!

What to Wear – Men:

  • The standard business look is a suit jacket, dress shirt, and tie.
  • For a casual business look, wear a jacket with an open dress shirt or a shirt and tie without a jacket.
  • Polo shirts are acceptable if they fit well and are in good condition.
  • Bring different jackets, shirt colors, and ties for options.

What to Wear – Women:

  • Avoid big prints and busy patterns.
  • Different necklines can change the apparent shape of your face, so bring a variety of shirts/blouses to find the best fit.
  • For a no-jacket casual look, bring blouses in different colors darker than your skin tone.
  • Keep the focus on your face rather than clothes or jewelry.
  • Consider sleeves that flatter your arms and shoulders.
  • Choose clothes that make you feel comfortable.

What to Wear – Everyone:

  • Avoid over-dressing or wearing turtlenecks that may crowd your face.
  • Wear neatly pressed and new-looking clothes.
  • Avoid busy patterns and large lines/stripes.
  • Blue/green/turquoise clothing or accents can enhance your eye color.
  • Choose solid colors over patterns, as they tend to photograph better and are less distracting. Blue tones are generally considered flattering to most skin types, and light to mid blue dress shirts are a great choice for men to wear under a business jacket for a professional and polished look
  • Avoid clothes with logos that can detract from the focus of the photo.
  • Dress in a way that is appropriate for your industry or profession. For example, lawyers and bankers may want to wear a suit and tie, while creatives may opt for a more casual, yet professional look.
  • Avoid light colors as they can add 10-20 pounds in the photo.
  • Choose clothing that fits well and flatters your body type. Avoid clothes that are too tight or too loose.
  • 3/4 or full length sleeves are important as they draw attention away from the arms and towards the face.
  • Avoid wearing clothes that are too revealing or provocative, as they can send the wrong message in a professional setting.
  • Bring a few outfit options to the photo shoot so that you can choose the one that looks best on camera.
  • Finally, wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable, as this will show in your portrait.


  • Keep jewelry simple and small.
  • Avoid jewelry that takes the focus away from your face.
  • Consider where the photo will be displayed before wearing facial or multiple ear piercings.

Makeup Tips

  • Keep your makeup natural and understated. Avoid bold or trendy makeup looks that can be distracting in a professional setting.
  • Start with a clean, moisturized face. This will help your makeup go on smoothly and look flawless.
  • Use a primer to help your makeup stay put and last throughout the photo shoot.
  • Choose a foundation that matches your skin tone and provides even coverage. Avoid foundation with SPF, as it can cause a flashback effect in photos.
  • Use concealer to hide any blemishes or under-eye circles, and blend well for a seamless look.
  • Apply a neutral eyeshadow to enhance your eyes, and add definition with mascara and eyeliner if desired.
  • Use eyeliner sparingly, as heavy or complete eyeliner can make your eyes look smaller in photos. Instead, use a thin line along the lash line to define and enhance your eyes without overpowering them.
  • Use a blush or bronzer to add a natural-looking flush to your cheeks, and apply a highlighter to add a subtle glow to your skin.
  • Choose a lipstick or lip gloss in a neutral shade that complements your skin tone. Avoid bold or bright colors that can be distracting in a professional setting.
  • Set your makeup with a light dusting of translucent powder to prevent shine.
  • Avoid shimmery or overly-bright colors.
  • Don’t experiment with new products on your hair, face, or body before the shoot.
  • Don’t shave immediately before the shoot.
  • Wear the same amount of makeup you would wear to a job interview.
  • Finally, avoid using too much makeup, as it can look heavy and unnatural in photos. Keep it simple and elegant for a polished, professional look.

Remember, the goal of your business headshot is to showcase your professionalism and approachability, so keep your makeup understated and natural. With these makeup tips, you’ll look and feel confident in front of the camera.

Hairstyle Tips

  • Keep it simple and classic. A clean, classic hairstyle is the best choice for a professional headshot. Avoid trendy or overly complicatedstyles that can look dated or distracting.
  • Schedule a haircut a week or two before your photo shoot to allow time for it to settle in and look natural.
  • Avoid drastic changes to your hairstyle right before the photo shoot. Stick with a style you’re comfortable with and that flatters your face shape.
  • If you have long hair, consider tying it back in a neat ponytail or bun to keep it from covering your face or distracting from your features.
  • For short hair, make sure it’s neatly trimmed and styled before the photo shoot.
  • Consider the neckline of your outfit when deciding on a hairstyle. A high neckline may look best with an updo, while a lower neckline may be complemented by loose waves or a soft blowout.
  • Avoid using too much product in your hair, as it can look stiff and unnatural in photos. A light hairspray or serum can help control frizz and add shine without weighing down your hair.
  • Don’t forget about grooming. Make sure your hair is clean and styled for the photo shoot, and consider getting a fresh color or highlights if needed.
  • If you’re not sure what hairstyle or cut would look best for your headshot, consider consulting with a professional stylist or hairdresser for advice and guidance.

Remember, the goal of a professional headshot is to showcase your best features and present yourself in a polished and professional manner. With these hair styling tips, you can feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera.

Last Thoughts:

  • Arrive with hair styled and makeup already applied.
  • Get plenty of rest and moisturize your lips overnight.
  • Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water.
  • Remember to be kind to yourself and have fun!