Disclaimer: This was a guest blog that was originally featured on Heidi Lou Design’s blog. Please head over to her page and check her out.
So, you’ve decided to have some professional photos done for your business. It’s such an exciting time in the development of your business profile. There are so many things to consider in the process – Who will I get to take the photos? Where will we shoot the photos? What do I want the photos to say about me and my brand? Then, what can be even more stressful is – What am I going to wear in these photos?
In the process of developing your business plan, you may have thought about your brand words. These are useful in ensuring that your outfit choices reflect these words. I’ll talk more about this later but keep them in mind as you read further.
In some cases, these brand photos will be the first impression you make on a potential client. Be very clear about the message you’re sending. Part of that message will be spoken via the clothes you wear for these photos. Here are some tips.
You want to make sure that you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing – both in fit and style. Don’t wear anything that is too loose or tight. It’s hard enough being in front of the camera for many of us, so being comfortable and looking comfortable is key. If you’re wearing anything with buttons, go with a looser fit. Buttons that are “under pressure” will not give you the polished look you’re after.
When considering the style of your outfit, go with something you would normally wear. Remember, these photos need to represent the authentic person behind the brand. So, if you’re not usually an on-trend fashionista, then don’t try and be one. If you’re a t-shirt and pants girl, then go with that.
COLOUR AND PRINTS
I recommend you wear solid colours. An outfit featuring a bold print can distract attention away from you. The focus needs to be on you and not the print. Some prints, however, can communicate brand words effectively e.g. florals = feminine, polka dots = playful, stripes = bold.
Wear your brand colours wherever possible. One of the keys to a successful brand image is consistently tying together elements within the brand. Your brand words, brand colours and brand message. So, if you’ve decided on these colours, try and use them somewhere in your outfit. Wearing colours that clash with your brand colours will result in a disjointed appearance to your brand image.
We’ve established the brand words, right? Now let’s find something in your wardrobe that will reflect those words. A casual and approachable image can be conveyed using a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and tailored blazer. Avoid t-shirts with large logos or graphics. These will again, be distracting. You could inject some fun into this outfit by using one of your brand colours.
A feminine floral dress can communicate sensitivity, softness and gentleness. A tailored suit – with pants or skirt, will reflect a professional vibe. Again, the colour of the suit is important here – neutral tones like black, beige, navy or white, are conservative but a bold pink suit will let your clients know that you’re professional but bold and fun.
Wear heels. I know they’re not comfortable for everyone, but they look great in photos. Come on girls, we all know that the right pair of heels can make you feel great too. You want to radiate that feeling in your photos. So, unless you’ll be walking for miles during this photo shoot, wear the heels! Heels will elongate your legs and make you look taller. A nude pair of heels worn with a skirt or dress will give the illusion of your legs being longer – and we all want longer legs right?
Here’s the bad news. If you’ve been stressing about one outfit to wear – I’m going to throw this out there and recommend you have 2-4 outfits for the photo shoot. Sorry! But for you to get the most out of your time with your photographer and end up with multiple and varied images to use on your social media platforms and website, different outfits will give you more choice. Your photographer may ask you whether you want some more casual photos as well as professional images. Choose your clothes based on the looks you want. Trust me on this one – you will thank me later!
Consider all the elements of your outfits ahead of time and be prepared. This includes your accessories. Accessories can really pull an outfit together and add extra polish to the look. However, the “less is more” principal is important here. Attention should be drawn to one area only. If you’re wearing big earrings, then avoid anything around your neck. A large dress ring can add interest to a photo of your hands as you’re working on your computer. Wearing a headband or hairclips will be enough around your face so don’t add big earrings here. Once you’ve got the outfit together, look in the mirror and remain conscious of whether your eyes are moving around to too many elements. If this is the case, remove an accessory.
- Your clothes must be clean, with no rips or signs of wear and well pressed.
- Don’t show too much skin. Leave this for your night out with the girls. Lean
towards a more conservative and professional image.
- Classic styles will give greater longevity to your images. Anything too trendy will
date your photos.
- Hair and makeup should to remain true to your image and the style of your
photos e.g. casual shots can call for your hair to be in a pony with natural looking makeup.
- Stay authentic to you and your brand.
Remember, these photos are often the first impression a client will have of you. You want a professional image and to look like you’ve put effort into what you’re wearing and that you’ve considered your appearance as being important. You don’t want a potential client to think that your unpolished appearance means you will be providing a less than acceptable service.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Diane Von Furstenburg, “You have to be close to who you are, what you want, how you want it because all through your career, the more authentic you are the longer you will last.”