Headshots for Men - How to Prepare for a Successful Photoshoot

Having a professional headshot is very important in today’s world of social media. We have become a very visual society. Whether you are online building your business network, developing important business relationships or looking for a job; your headshot says a lot about you. We might like to think that we can be objective and see through the headshot and only rely on a person’s skills and experience. However, there is always that underlying message that we received upon the headshot’s first glance. If you’re contemplating updating your photos, here are some quick tips on how to prepare for your business headshots.

Corporate and headshot photography by Sonja Clark of Moonbug Photography

Corporate and headshot photography by Sonja Clark of Moonbug Photography

Be Yourself

The absolutely most important thing to remember when choosing what to wear for you photoshoot, no matter what type, is to wear something that you feel good in. Being in front of the camera is awkward enough for most people; you don't want your clothing to make you more self conscious.

Stay Consistent with Your Branding

Take a few minutes to think about the tone you want to project in your business headshots.  Depending on the culture of your company, you may want to come across as hip, friendly or creative.  Or if you work in professional services, you may prefer to project an air of formality, knowledge and trustworthiness. The location of the photo shoot (in a studio or on location) will also have a bearing on your best camera-ready outfit.

Keep it Simple

Wear clothing that is not seasonal.  You want to look relevant all year round.  Also, try not to be too trendy, unless you wan to update your photo every year or two.


When choosing clothing for your professional headshot: think classic. Pick your favorite suit that fits you well and is preferably a classic dark color like navy blue or gray. Choose a suit that doesn't bunch up when you button it or if you sit down, and a shirt and tie that match each other and the suit.

Try to stay away from anything with bold, distracting patterns or colors. Clothing with really tight grids or a small herringbone pattern can have a moiré pattern effect on camera, so stay away from tight grid-like patterns. Thin stripes that are a little further apart are okay. Ties look best when their tone lands between the suit and the shirt-- so a light shirt, a dark suit, and a tie in a shade somewhere between them. Some ties are too shiny-- try to stay away from really reflective, shiny, silk ties.

If you don't wear a tie, choose a non-white shirt if possible: white shirts without a jacket and tie to break them up can lose detail in the color and folds. And if you wear a button-down shirt, it's best to wear a jacket or sweater of some kind to layer the look. If not, choose a darker color shirt or something with pockets or details to avoid it looking like a head floating on a blank, boxy shirt, and unbutton a button or two. And make sure we can't see your undershirt beneath the button-down shirt: wear a v-neck or no undershirt at all.


Don’t cut or dye your hair right before the shoot, especially men since stylists tend to cut hair a little shorter so it looks like it's at its proper length about 2 weeks later. Some shades of freshly colored hair can look too vibrant and unnatural on camera, especially a hair color with any red tones-- drawing more attention to your hair than your face. A new haircut also looks its best after at least a week, and colored hair looks more natural after 1-2 weeks’ worth of shampooing.

If you have a beard, trim it evenly so it’s nicely groomed. If you’re going clean-shaven, get a good shave before your headshot. Darker colored beards tend to be accentuated in photos- trim it well so it's not too thick. Knowing that plucking can leave red marks, and bleaching can irritate skin, be sure to do these things a couple of days before your session.

Your Smile

Your smile is the most important business tool and we will be encouraging you to laugh and smile naturally during your session. Research by Reading University has also proved that people look longer at a smiling face than one that isn’t. Don't worry, I will get you to smile and look natural in front of the camera.

With this in mind you may like to book an appointment with your dental hygienist to give your teeth that all important polish and brush up to make your pearly’s look even more fantastic.


If you normally wear glasses and have a strong prescription, or glasses with no anti reflection coating, we do advise that you visit your opticians and either borrow a pair of blank frames or or get them to remove your lenses for the shoot. As we can have problems with reflection and refraction. I'll shoot some shots with and some without glasses if you prefer. You might like to bring along a couple of pairs of frames.

I hope you found these tips on what to wear for business headshots helpful.  If you have any questions, please contact me before your shoot. We’re always keen to get your feedback so please let us know what your thoughts and by typing in your comments below.

Know What You Want

Modeling for a headshot photograph is like acting for a still camera.  Take some time in advance to consider what kind of feeling you are trying capture in your image. Prepare by thinking ahead of some of the characters you want to be cast as and then practicing their "looks" in front of the mirror. Don't worry if you are not certain about this, a good headshot photographer should help you figure this out, but if you can come in with your own ideas that will help!

Don't Rush

For a lot of people having their photograph taken is already a stressful event, so set yourself up to minimize your stress.  Be sure to GPS the photoshoot location in advance and allow yourself plenty of time to get there. Map your route in advance and consider what the traffic conditions will be on the day of your shoot. Give yourself at least two hours to spend at the studio. It's important that we go at a comfortable pace and not feel rushed during our shoot.


Be in communication with your photographer before your session. You should definitely feel that your photographer cares about you and you're not just another client. Be sure to ask them any questions you have and a good photographer should take the time to answer your questions and put you at ease. On the day of the photoshoot make sure the you are in text message communication with your photographer, that way they can help you if you're having any trouble finding the location or for anything else that comes up. This is your photoshoot, it should be a special event where you feel supported by your photographer throughout the process and great communication is definitely a big part of that.