How To Dress for a Great Business Portrait!
This is not about having your picture taken. It’s about advancing your career. The wardrobe you select is a very important part of the process. Your outfit for a professional portrait is meant to accessorize YOU... not the other way around. A great business portrait is one that makes a strong first impression, frames you as a professional and makes you feel good about your personal brand. Your confident, professional image will draw more attention. Your colleagues will see you with respect. You'll make more connections faster and close more sales sooner.
Executive Portrait Specialists is in the business of making you look your very best! Soon, you'll be anxious to post and share your new EPS professional portrait to prospects, clients and colleagues online and off. This is a very powerful personal branding and marketing tool. It is also – in my opinion – a marketing essential, because we never get a second chance to make a first impression. In this Digital Age, one's Professional Portrait IS that first impression.
Okay... let’s get to it!
In your business portrait, YOU are the star of the picture not your clothing. Your clothing is the backdrop for your story. Although your “attire” is secondary, it does play a crucial role in supporting the “image” you wish to convey. It must enhance your image without distracting from it.
Costume and Context... Perception is Reality
If your role is that of the company CEO or top management, people may expect to see you in a pressed suit and button down shirt. Even if your office has a laid back dress code, the public perception – and expectation – may be that button down image. So, we might produce two portraits for your situation: a formal version for media release and another more casual portrait for your internal company communications.
Carefully select the costume for your business portrait according to the context in which it will be used. For example, if you’re the CEO of a global manufacting company, the initial image that comes to mind may be the button down three piece suit. However, if the biggest division of your company makes motorcycle accessories, you may get twenty times the response dressed in a padded racing suit, leaning on a motorcycle with a helmet under one arm! We must create the professional image that’s right for you.
The Right Color and Shade Will make You Shine!
After you’ve established the “correct” image, the next consideration is selecting the color and shade of fabrics that will enhance your unique features. We want the star of the picture to shine! Relax, it’s much easier than you may think. Here are some basic guidlines:
- If you have a light complexion stay with medium and lighter shades of clothing. Contrary to “conventional wisdom” you do not necessarily want to create a strong contrast between you and your attire. Such contrast can actually detract from your face and eyes. We want your perfect prospect or important new business connection to focus on you, not your clothing. Even if your business is selling or designing clothing, in this photograph we are showcasing you!
- If you have a medium to dark complexion and dark hair, you’ll look best wearing a medium to dark outfit. For men a medium to darker shirt is a good balance. A blue or gray shirt (blouse for women) will work well. If possible select a tie (men) or piece of jewelry (women) that will bring out the color of your eyes.
- Solids are Safe. Avoid prints and patterns in your necktie, shirt or blouse as these can cause a moire’ effect (buzzing lines) on screen. Once again, the subject of this photograph, the “star of the picture” is you not your clothing. In most cases your portrait is going to be cropped fairly tight for advertising and promotional usage.
- - Jared Silver