Professional Photographer | Lumosia
Corporate Headshots

What to Wear for Headshots : The Ultimate Guide for Successful Professionals (2023)


What to Wear for Headshots

Our business clients often ask the question: “What exactly should I wear for my professional headshot session?”  For some, it can be quite overwhelming having their photo taken in the first place, never mind the added stress of worrying about what to wear for headshots themselves. Well, have no fear; this article will give you ALL the answers.

Your company may have loose or strict guidelines on what to wear or possibly a preference on which way to face in your headshot. However, you are normally left totally to your own devices. Whether your headshot is for LinkedIn, your company’s website or your Zoom avatar, we’re fully qualified to give you the best advice possible to get the most from your new professional headshot.

Here's What We'll Cover...

Preparing for Your Shoot

In addition to deciding what to wear for headshots, there are a few simple and straightforward steps that you can take beforehand to ensure you’re looking your best on the day:

  • Get a good night’s sleep the night before. Not only will you look your best, but it will also help you bring the right energy to your shoot. There’s nothing worse than feeling tired and having a camera flash go off in your face!
  • Skip the glass of wine and any salty foods the evening before. Drink plenty of water instead! Believe me; you will look and feel better.
  • Have your outfit ironed and prepared the night before. Try on a few options and make sure you choose an outfit you feel completely comfortable in (without being too big for you – clothing fit is important; see below!)
  • Know where your shoot is located. Plan your route there the night before. You don’t want to be late, flustered and sweaty! 

Clothing Fit

It’s important to ensure your clothing fits and is tailored to your body shape well. Wearing anything oversized, baggy, or too tight can make the clothing look ill-fitting. Your best bet is to go for something you’ve already worn a few times and something you know fits well. Whatever you do, don’t pick something you’ve never worn before! 

Be conscious about your neckline, as you don’t want anything too low-cut. Corporate headshots tend to be cropped quite tight when uploaded to your company website or LinkedIn, so you don’t want any unfortunate cropping of your image!

If you’re wearing a shirt, make sure it’s well ironed, is stainless and has a stiff collar. Floppy collars can look very slapdash and unprofessional – the exact look we aren’t aiming for!

Clothing Colour

When getting professional headshots done, most tend to opt for neutral colours such as blue, black, navy and dark grey. These colours look great on everyone and keep the photo’s tone sleek and professional. On the other hand, if you love to wear bright and bold colours, then you should consider them when wondering what to wear for headshots! 

Ultimately, we want people to feel happy and confident in who they are when standing in front of the camera. Consider wearing your brand colours – this helps unify your headshots within your website and keeps you on brand!

Mid-Toned Colours

If you go for a coloured top or jacket, the best option is to stick to mid-tones. Greens, browns, burnt-reds, etc. These colours aren’t too over-powering and won’t distract from the image’s main focus (you)! Finding a colour that works well with your skin tone, eye, and hair colour is also a great idea. Look at the pictures above to see some great examples of wearing colour in corporate headshots.


Many photographers are against wearing black in professional headshots, as black clothing risks looking flat and blending into the background. However, we disagree. Using the right lighting and background set-ups, we can assure you that it works well and can create a very powerful look. The high levels of contrast against the black mean that all attention is drawn back to you – our main aim!


White is also a controversial clothing colour choice. Some say it can make you look larger, and others say it reflects too much light. However, when it comes to a corporate headshot, there is nothing better than a crisp white shirt – granted, it is stain free and ironed! White suits all skin tones and hair colours and is also renowned for being very formal. You can always pair it with a darker-coloured blazer – this will help accentuate your shape and add more contrast to your image.

AVOID: Flesh-coloured clothing and patterns. Both are a big no! Flesh colours can risk you looking washed out, and patterns will only distract and look unprofessional.

Looking for headshots for yourself or a team?

We photograph companies of all sizes. Whether you are an independent consultant, part of a small team, or a member of a large company; we have a solution that works for you and your budget.


When deciding what to wear for headshots, layers should always be considered. Layering allows for variety, and if you’re already stuck on what to wear, what better way to experiment. You’re getting two looks in one!

The best forms of layering are either with formal jackets, jumpers or even a coat if you’re having your shoot outdoors. Try to keep it simple, however. Anything too shiny will reflect a lot of light from the camera’s flash and end up an editing nightmare! On the other hand, anything too textured will just be a distraction from you and the aim of your professional headshot. Look at the images above to see some perfect examples of layering in professional headshots.


Though some of us love chunky necklaces and huge hoop earrings in our daily lives, the jewellery should be kept to a minimum when considering what to wear for headshots. Heavy accessorising will only deflect the focus on your face and you. Try to stick to more delicate earrings and necklaces, preferably sticking with either gold or silver. Watches are fine to wear, but most of the time, they won’t be seen in the photo – so don’t worry too much!


When styling your hair for professional headshots, your best bet is to keep it as natural as possible. We recommend wearing your hair down and neatly styled with minimal mess (if that’s achievable for you). Ponytails, buns and other up-do’s can be tricky to capture and risk making you look bald in the end image.

If you’re extra prepared, you can always bring a hairband or claw clip to change your hairstyle mid-shoot. Doing so will only end in more variety with your final shots! Also, consider packing a hairbrush in your work bag that day to be prepared for any scenario. No worries if you forget; however, fly-away hairs can always be removed during editing.


Makeup can be a lovely addition to your corporate headshots if applied correctly, but it is definitely not essential. If you don’t normally wear makeup, please don’t feel pressured into wearing any for your headshots. As we’ve mentioned before, these headshots are supposed to reflect YOU as a person. If you don’t wear makeup, just remember blemishes and dark under the eyes can easily be removed in the editing phase. However, if you do wear makeup, try and keep it simple. Avoid smokey eyes and bright red lipstick – essentially, things that could easily smudge and distract the viewer of your headshot.

In a Nutshell

In summary, when considering what to wear for headshots, aim to look professional, tidy and like yourself! Avoid flashy or flesh colours, patterns, heavy jewellery and ultra-shiny or textured clothing. Also, ensure you get enough sleep the night beforehand, know where you’re going and leave enough time to get there! Most importantly (although it is a bit of a cliche), just try to have fun. If you’re having fun, you’ll undoubtedly look your best self! If you’d like to book a headshot session with us, you can do so by emailing at or ringing Helen on 07810004451.

Ready to Book?

We photograph companies of all sizes. Whether you are an independent consultant, part of a small team, or a member of a large company; we have a solution that works for you and your budget.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, you can always call us on 0117 330 0234. We have studios in London, Birmingham and Bristol, as well as onsite across the UK.

Simply fill out our contact form and we will get back to you ASAP.  

Happy to chat. Call us on 0117 330 0234 to discuss your requirements

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With London and Bristol studios as well as on location across the UK,  we offer headshot photography at a great price for all! 

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