Corporate photos can be a little tricky. Unlike with your personal photos many times companies only pay for headshot updates every 3-5 years. And even if you update your portrait many companies do not update their websites as often either. So although many of the same rules apply for dressing for your portrait, here are some additional tips that will make those photos last a little longer.
TRENDS AND STYLE
For most corporate photo shoots you will want to stay away from outfit and jewelry selections that are too trendy. Because fashion styles change every year what you are wearing today that is ‘oh so chic’ will look outdated and old tomorrow. So for most corporate headshots I recommend your classic button down with a jacket for all and simple jewelry for women. If you are looking for a more casual look to your headshot or portrait then jeans with a button down or a jacket/sweater combination of a classic style will stand the test of time. With that said if you are in a more artsy type business you can bring some of your trendy items with you and interchange them with classic items so you can revert back to a more classic style until you have time to get your portraits photographed for the current year.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLORS
So while keeping with your style here are a couple of things that will make the over all image look better. The old hard and fast rule on choosing colors is to stay away from bright or dominant colors. It is said when you choose a bright color it takes attention away from the subject and puts it onto the clothes. I would agree. If you are looking at a directory on a website and you see mostly neutral colors and one person is wearing red they jump off the page at you. This is probably not what your company or association, that you happen to be on the board of, is looking for in displaying your picture. So again, classic is always the best choice for an image that will be versatile enough for the board of directors wall, employee directory website, LinkedIn, and other professional medium.
Another reason to avoid strong colors can be color casting problems. I don’t know that I have personally read this anywhere but in one case with a client she wore a beautiful reddish/tangerine blouse that was very warm in tone and very bright. It looked amazing on her. So I was shocked to see when I got it into the computer for editing that it had produced a color cast on her face that was very unflattering. It almost gave her skin an orange quality rather than the beautiful tan that we saw visually. Camera sensors are funny things and they can read a situation very differently than our eyes. Our eyes are very forgiving and our brains will try to make sense of things that hard data won’t fix for us. So just be aware with strong colors in some cases it will create a color cast. Reds and Greens in particular can be unflattering to the skin if they are very bright.
And lastly, marketing material and branding color clashes. If you stray into the non-neutral category of color you run the risk of not being able to use your images in marketing materials due to a color clash. Your marketing department has spent an enormous amount of time and money on choosing the right colors for their brand. So if you wear a hot pink shirt it will be tough to put your image on a business card whose branded colors might be maroon, brown and green. The more neutral your choice the more places your image can be used.
JACKETS AND TIES-MEN AND WOMEN
I am a huge fan of jackets! Jackets and collared shirts hide all kinds of ills. They slim both men and women down both due to their shape, v-neck and change of color that gives a slimming effect. Men don’t necessarily need to wear ties but I do recommend a jacket with a collared shirt. But for both men and women a buttoned up collared shirt can hide all kinds of flaws. Most photographers do retouching but there are some things that are more difficult to retouch than others so the less you see in the initial image the better.
The biggest hard and fast rule is to avoid plaids, houndstooth (I know… I love them too) and thin stripes if possible. The sensors in the camera just don’t like them. They can create moiré patterns and can ruin a picture. Here’s a little excerpt on moiré patterns.
Avoiding Moiré Patterns
Have you ever seen a distracting pattern on a person’s shirt when watching television? This effect, known as a moiré pattern, is caused by geometric elements of the shirt conflicting with the image sensor. In dSLRs, moiré patterns occur because the image sensors are arranged in a specific matrix pattern that can conflict with patterns on the subject. The patterns aren’t visible through the viewfinder, because you’re not looking at what the image sensor is picking up.
I hope my dentist will forgive me for posting this picture. It was one of those quick, can I drop buy and get a quick headshot and we didn’t have time to talk but it been GREAT for showing clients what can happen. Thanks Leo! LOL!
It’s generally best to not to wear geometric patterns in clothing when being photographed.
So hopefully that wasn’t too confusing and we are always willing to look at outfits you have picked out to help you in choosing the best combinations to make the most of your family portraits or other photo sessions.