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Recommendations for a Good Business Portrait

If you are a confident, professional businessperson and you are serious about connecting with potential clients and employers, you need to invest in a professional portrait of yourself. You also need be looking at your best when you take it.

A business portrait (also called an executive portrait or professional portrait) is generally a headshot, which is a portrait which shows your head and usually a portion of the shoulders. It is similar to a typical portrait except you are buying the image to use for business purposes.

Business Portrait, Corporate Headshot

An Effective Business Portrait

To look your best for the business portrait, keep in mind the following guidelines:

Types of Clothing

This image will be used to represent your business image, so dress accordingly. You will need to wear professional business attire that is classic and timeless so you can use your photos for years to come, and will not become quickly outdated. Men should normally wear a suit jacket, sweater, or at the very least a nice dress shirt. Women should wear either a blouse or a tailored jacket. It is best to wear long sleeve shirts for your business portrait, as long sleeves are much more flattering on arms than short. You also want to be relatively comfortable in what you are wearing for your picture, or else your portrait will look stiff and unnatural. Also, be aware of clothing that wrinkles easily, as this will give a sloppy and unprofessional impression.

Choice of Colours

Solid colours photograph best, and most people look good in midtones (green, blue, brown, etc.). Avoid white and colours that approximate your flesh tones (for example, this may be beige, tan, or very pale peach, pink, and gray). This will allow your photographer to capture a decent amount of contrast in the image that will highlight your facial features. Avoid wearing clothing with patterns or accessories that distract from your face. Very bright reds, yellows, and oranges can also be very distracting.


Jewelry can be a great accessory to your outfit, but should not distract from your face. Less is usually more. Necklaces look best when they are shorter and mimic the neckline of your shirt.


Wear what you would for a nice evening out. It should be well done, but not overdone. Try to avoid overly glossy or shimmery makeup, as it will catch the light and be distracting. If you normally don’t wear makeup, your pictures will look better if you at least wear foundation. This will help even out your skin tone. Bring extra powder as you’ll want to reapply during the shoot to avoid shine. This is particularly true of passport photos, which will usually be refused by the Passport Office if there is any glare whatsoever in the image.

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