When someone books a headshot or personal branding session with me, I would say the #1 question I get asked is “What should I wear?” . It’s for this reason that I’ve partnered with expert stylist Krisann Kiley. Every session I offer includes a complimentary 30 minute consultation with Krisann where you can figure out what specifically will work best outfit-wise for you and your brand’s needs. But if you’re just trying to get the wheels turning, here are some guiding principles I like for thinking about styling for branding portraits:
- Wear your brand. There is no universal “right” answer to what you should wear for your branding or headshot session because the right answer is unique to you and your brand. Just as you’ve mapped out your brand colors and company logo, take some time to think about how you can best visually represent your brand through clothing — maybe you’re super casual and jeans are the right answer, or your brand has a little more gravitas and dressing a little more formally feels like it fits better — both (or anywhere in between) can be the right answer for you. As you think about colors for your outfits, keep in mind your brand colors too — if one of your main brand colors is hot pink, you might want to stay away from earth tone outfits and vice versa.
- Wear clothes you feel comfortable in. My branding portrait sessions involve a lot of movement and walking around to explore the space. Wear clothes you feel good in and can move in — that you aren’t afraid to sit down in or run around in. Make sure your outfits are weather-appropriate — there are gorgeous options for warm layers in the cold weather, and lovely summer-y options when it’s hot out. Everyone looks and feels better if they’re dressed for the weather.
- Wear clothes that make you feel good. If you feel self-conscious in your outfit (it’s too tight or too loose in all the wrong places, or your shoes rub), that will come through in your photos. Wear clothes that make you feel good about who you are and how you look. If you feel good in yourself, that will also come through in your photos and you will shine.
- Empty your pockets. Yes, guys, this means you too — even giant pockets on mens’ clothing can show the bulk of keys or a phone or that mask you’ve stuck in there.
- Leave the graphic tees and super-brights at home. Ok, now that I’ve said that, if your graphic tee is all about your brand, that is fine — but in general, graphic tees don’t tend to age well in photos, so something a little more neutral is a great choice. Super bright / neon clothing is also good to avoid because it can cause unsightly color casts on the skin.