We absolutely love when our clients are ready to invest in professional headshots and team photos for their business! It’s beyond helpful for us, as marketers, to have high-quality imagery for your website, social media, digital advertising, and print materials that aren’t purchased stock photos. It helps us tell the story of who you and your business are to the world.
Our clients often ask us to consult on the professional photography process and guide them through the vendor selection process and the list of deliverables they’ll be asking the photographer (or photographers) selected to provide after their photo shoot. That guidance will vary widely from client-to-client, but some of our best tips for getting yourself or your team ready are evergreen, so we’re sharing them here with you today!
What to Wear
For teams, coordinating your look is a must-do. For service provider companies and businesses with uniforms and/or tighter brand standards, we recommend all team members pictured together wearing the uniform that they’ll be working in to ensure a consistent experience from first website inquiry to the day-of-service appointment. If your company provides branded Polo-style shirts for both sales and service members for working in the field, wearing them in the professional photos featured on your website is a best bet.
If business or business casual attire is how your team dresses on a regular basis, coordinating on styles and color palettes may work best for you. While individual personality is welcomed in the workplace, having two clashing colors next to each other in the annual team photo may not put your best foot forward. And you should definitely encourage all participants to relatively agree on the style of wardrobe to be presented: two individuals in suits while four wear jeans and another two sport gym shorts will evoke feelings of elementary school picture day gone wrong.
We suggest a consistent and neutral pant/dress/skirt color (black and khaki work well, as well as dark denim for the laid-back office vibes) and solid color tops. Patterns should be used sparingly or best left off altogether or used within a jacket or accessory piece only. Also, if you’re wearing a jacket/cardigan and shirt combo, the mixing of patterns is best left to non-team photo days. When done right, it looks great, but today’s not the day to experiment. Opt for a patterned shirt + solid jacket or solid shirt + patterned jacket/cardigan. Colors that are darker than your skintone are best, unless you’re particularly aiming for light and bright summer imagery.
Your best fitting garments – not too tight, not too loose – that are wrinkle-free should be your wardrobe choices for the day. If your team is regularly dressed in jackets and ties, wear jackets and ties. If not, decide where you’ll be using these photos most regularly and if that’s the impression you want to give others.
Hair & Make-Up
Ladies, be sure to wear mascara and lipstick so that you don’t disappear into the background or canvas! Even if this isn’t a norm for you, this is your time to shine, so skip the nude shades you wear each day and pick a slightly brighter lip color for your professional photos. Don’t feel the need to go un-naturally glam if that isn’t your look. Eyeliner is optional, but please do say “no” to anything with glitter in it. Translucent powder is encouraged to help minimize the appearance of pores. Also, a little concealer will go a long way under the eyes!
For everyone, hair pulled back neatly or freshly curled/straightened will help tame the flyaways that can appear in your best selfies. If you have the time and budget affords, a fresh haircut or blowout at your neighborhood salon a few hours before your photo session will leave you not only looking like a million bucks but feeling confident, too.
Men, be sure to take a close look in the mirror at your hair and necklines – as well as beards or mustaches – and make sure they’re adequately groomed. High-definition photography is not your friend if it’s been a few days since you’ve made a pass with the razor! Speaking of high-definition photography: no-one will fault you for dabbing a little concealer on the dark spots under your eyes, either!
Inside or Outside?
What’s your vibe? I personally prefer outdoor photography instead of a staged white or textured background. But to each, their own, and if your people are more comfortable taking traditional headshots in front of a drape, be sure to make unobstructed space available in your office for your photographer (if you’ll be shooting at your place and not their studio). Many photographers will bring their own lighting equipment, more of which tends to be required inside when the conditions and lighting are less forgiving. One thing to keep in mind is having a mix of outdoor photos with an active background and a few options that are taken against a solid/flat background. If your marketing collateral will lead you to want to use your likeness separated from the background so that it can be used in layered graphics, it’ll easier for your graphic designer to get a clean outline of your headshot with a solid, high-contrast background behind you.
Pack Your Patience!
Many photographers will take hundreds of shots, even for the smallest jobs. Thorough photogs will ask you pose in a variety of positions and tilt your head a few times to reduce shadows and photograph you in the most flattering light possible. If you have a large team, this can take some time! Use the extra time to capture the fun behind the scenes on someone’s iPhone to share on your social media channels to remind your audience just how dang likeable you are. 🙂
We are by no means professional photographers, so we’d love to refer you to a few of our friends… just send a note and we’ll send a few of our best referrals your way!
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