Headshots for Women - How to Prepare for a Successful Shoot

Corporate and headshot photography by Sonja Clark of Moonbug Photography

Corporate and headshot photography by Sonja Clark of Moonbug Photography

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.

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.

Be Prepared

Bring an extra outfit and accessories just in case...

Here are 3 more tips from Leaders in Heels:


Plain colors are your best choice.  Patterns or prints distract and date your photo.  Choose mid- tone colours in blue, green, wine and purple because they are universally flattering.  Avoid wearing tops in flesh tones (cream, beige, pastels, peach or yellow) as they will blend your face into your clothes. Unless you’re feeling super confident, pass on bright red or orange. Stark black and white are not good choices either because they play havoc with the camera’s exposure or the studio backdrop.  Substitute black with richer neutrals like chocolate, navy, maroon and forest green. Black is sombre, safe and guarded, not likely the vibe you want to project. A fail-safe tip is to pick a top that accentuates your eyes. That’s why jewel tones work so well.

Kaliko Ruched Crossover Top $23 from www.johnlewis.co.uk; Alexon Cowl Neck Top $78 www.houseoffraser.co.uk; Veronika Maine Cotton Panel Top $99 www.veronikamaine.com.au; Etro Silk Wrap Top $525 www.harrods.com; David Lawerence Side Neck Twist Top $99 www.davidlawerence.com.au


A modest v-neck is universally flattering because it lengthens the neck and displays the décolleté. Opt for blouses with sleeves.  Fine to medium gauge knits work really well too because they introduce textural interest.   If you choose to wear a jacket, pair it with a collarless top.  This is modern and keeps the neckline simple and sleek. Crisply ironed shirts by themselves frame the face really well.

Vero Moda Navy Blazer $37 from www.welikefashion.com; Stella McCartney Wool Blazer $1110 from www.mytheresa.com; Untold Peplum $38 from www.houseoffraser.co.uk; Waterfall Open Crop Blazer $23 from www.chiarafashion.co.uk


In keeping with the KISS principle, choose simple earrings and necklaces.  They keep the focus on the face. Big statement jewellery will date your photos.

Finesse Pearl Earrings $42 www. johnlewis.com; DKNY Rose Gold Hoops $110 www. harveynichols.com; Regitze Overgaard Earrings $1130 www.georgjensen.com; Lane Bryant Hoops $9 www.lanebryant.com; Juicy Couture Diamond Studs $43 www.juicycouture.com; White and Gold Pearl Hoops $7 www.newlook.com


Makeup should be simple but well done so your natural assets stand out on their own. This means that make up should help the viewer focus on the eyes and the mouth, which are the essence of the headshot. Our main concern is shine so we do advise bringing along some translucent powder.

If you are unsure about your makeup, I can recommend a few make-up artists.  Please discuss this with me in advance so that we can coordinate schedules.


Hair is such a personal thing so it’s best that you feel like you in your pictures. Feel free to bring whatever styling products you need in order to create your look. If you are planning on making an appointment with your hairdresser please arrange this for the day prior or even the morning of the shoot. It is a good idea to get these booked and in the diary now.

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.