A professional business portrait, sometimes referred to as an executive shot, is an important tool for your business and career, because the image is often the first impression someone has of you, so make sure to invest on a professional photographer to put your best face forward! These portraits are essential for websites, social networking sites, press releases and company brochures.

1. Clothes and Jewelry

Men should wear a well-tailored suit or shirt. Women should wear a tailored suit or fitted blouse.  Long sleeves are better than short sleeves in a professional photo shoot Avoid trendy clothes.  Classic attire is best so that your photo does not look dated and wear things that are multi-seasonal.  Solid mid-tones look good on most people.  To minimize your body size chose dark colors.  Keep patterns and textures to a minimum as they can become distracting.  Your face should be the focus!  No matter what you chose to wear make sure that you are comfortable!  Minimizing the jewelry is best unless you are going for an artsy look. For women who want to wear a necklace, a short necklace that mimics the neckline tends to look best.

2. Makeup and Hair

If you don’t normally wear makeup use a minimum of foundation to even out your skin tone.  For women who normally wear makeup, apply it for a nice evening out so that it is a little darker than day wear, but not overly done.   If you are considering cutting your hair try to do it about four days before your photo shoot so that your hair has time to settle.  Avoid drastic changes in style before your photo shoot.

3. Backdrop

Depending on the mood and tone you want to set for your photo depends on the type of background you want to select. Solid colors or neutral colored textured backgrounds are a classic choice. If you would like to project a more natural tone you might want to select a park or a natural setting as the backdrop for your head shot.  Still another choice is to have a more story-telling approach and take a photo in your office or location that represents your business.   White and black backdrops are also popular choices, but take into account where you will be using the image, as a white backdrop on a white webpage will make the head appear to float on the page.

4. Posing

Your photographer should always guide you to get your best look, so be ready to pose!  Typically the photographer will ask you to turn your body a quarter turn away from the camera, then gently turn your shoulders and head back towards the lens.  This is because this pose avoids the straight-on mug-shot look. Also, leaning forward slightly from the waist will elongate your neck and convey a welcoming look. Look at the camera the way you would want to greet your best client or customer!

Photo Magic of Texas Samples of Ideal Business Portraits

Photo Magic of Texas Samples of Ideal Business Portraits

5. Rest and Relax

Make sure to get plenty of rest before your photo shoot and relax.  Come for the shoot refreshed and unhurried.  Take time to make this a great photo.  A professional photographer will usually take plenty of photos for you to choose from so take your time to relax and be prepared to do varying angles so that they can capture you at your best!

6. Image Release and Number of Poses

Make sure to purchase your image release from your photographer.  All photographers retain the rights to the image copyright, but will usually grant you permission to use your image for a fee.  Often they will have two types of releases.  The two types of releases include limited and unlimited releases.  Limited releases are usually restrictive and will have a guideline of what those restrictions might be while unlimited releases will give you permission to do anything you please with the image. Find out which image release type works best for your needs!  Ideally, you should always choose the unlimited release as it allows you full use of the image. You generally want to purchase 2 to 3 poses.  It will give you an edge to have slightly different images for distinct uses.  For example you might have an image on your website and then a slightly different one on your social network site.

7. Retouching

A general retouch of your chosen image is often included along with your chosen image, but make sure to let your photographer know if there is anything specific you would like altered.   You want the photo to look like you had a great night sleep, great makeup and a wonderful hair day!  They can spruce up those details by reducing dark circles, fine lines and removing stray hairs.  They can even shave off a few pounds, like they do in the magazines!  So ask your photographer about it!  But remember that you want to look like the best YOU!  Don’t overdo the retouching options.

8. Have fun!

You should have fun at your photo shoot!  Even if you don’t think you are photogenic, try to have fun, those feelings will project and your photographer will capture them!  So, stay positive and OWN IT!