Wardrobe, Makeup, and Style FAQ


I get a lot of questions about wardrobe advice and styling for corporate head shots. For some projects, the creative brief will dictate wardrobe and styling, but for professional head shots, what you should wear is largely dependent on the industry you work in and what the end use will be. The following is the second installment in a series of Frequently Asked Questions that will help you understand all of the various parts to a professional photo shoot. For more information about corporate photography, check out jonathangayman.com/corporate

What should I wear to my photo shoot?

The type and style of your clothing will depend entirely on the type of image you would like to project for your business, as well as your personality. If you work in an industry where business formal is the norm, then a suit would be appropriate. If you work in a more casual environment, then perhaps a nice pair of jeans and a t-shirt is more appropriate, or something in between. I can help you decide based on my experience working with both Fortune 100 companies and start-ups.

Not sure what your needs will be? Bring several outfits and we can shoot several styles. Do you have a “look” that you consider to be your trademark, like a certain pair of glasses or colorful suspenders? Not a problem! Just let me know and I’ll make sure that your signature look comes through in the images.

What sort of clothing and jewelry should I avoid?

The best head shot depicts you as a confident and successful professional. You should be the focus of the photograph, not what you’re wearing. Some kinds of fabric with loud patterns, complex pinstripes, or metallic highlights tend to “vibrate“ on camera. Likewise, large jewelry and accessories can be a distraction in the photographs and should be avoided.

Choose an outfit that is elegant, simple and of course well pressed and neat. Your outfit should also be one that you feel confident wearing. If you’re not sure? Feel free to bring along several outfits and I can help you choose. The same goes for accessories like ties, scarves, shoes, jewelry, and cuff links. Some look good on camera, others don’t. The more options you bring with you, the better

What does a stylist do?

A stylist is an image professional who works with the photographer to help make you look your best. On the day of your shoot, the stylist will help get you ready for your close-up by applying makeup, styling your hair and helping to make sure that your outfit is perfect. The stylist can augment your existing look, or help you to create a new and exciting one, just for your head shot. For complex shoots, sometimes a wardrobe stylist is necessary in addition to a hair and makeup stylist.

Do I really need a stylist?

While it is not absolutely necessary to utilize a stylist for your professional head shot, it is highly recommended that you include room for one in your budget. It is my goal to get the best possible image “in camera” so that I can help my clients avoid costly retouching and post production. The additional cost of a stylist is often offset by the time and money spent fixing poor wardrobe choices, fly-away hair, and blemishes that could be easily avoided. My experience has also been that when a client has hair and makeup done by a professional stylist, they feel more confident in front of the camera, and that confidence shows in the images.

How should I prepare for being styled for my photo shoot?

The best thing you can do to prepare for your photo shoot is to show up without any makeup and with clean hair without any product. This will provide the stylist with a blank slate to work with. In the event that you have meetings before or after the shoot that require you to wear makeup or to style your own hair, the best plan is to apply the minimum amount of makeup and hair product. The stylist will then build on your existing look. After the shoot, the stylist will help you remove any unwanted makeup and hair styling.

Do guys need a stylist too?

Hair and makeup styling before a photo shoot is not just for women. Many male executives and professionals can benefit from a stylist’s services. A small amount of makeup can make a big difference in the finished photographs. And don’t worry, the stylist will be happy to help you remove any unwanted makeup after the session before you head back to work.

More Questions?

Not finding the answers you’re looking for? Check out some of the other articles in the FAQ section. You should also feel free to call (314) 514-5238 or send an email to info@jonathangayman.com for a free consultation. You may also contact Jonathan by filling out the form below: