Example of a good look

for your ​Corporate Portrait


Ther selection of proper clothing for your portrait is a critical factor in the preparation for a successful portrait.  If the clothing is noticeable in a portrait, it could easily become a distraction.  Clothing that does not attract attention to itself is the ultimate goal.  It could be the difference between a very successful portrait and just another picture.  Your portraits are meant to be enjoyed for generations to come.  You will feel very rewarded when you view your photographs if you keep in mind the following.


  • ​​​Dark clothing tends to slenderize.
  • Do not wear solid white shirts.
  • White shirts and/or blouses under a dark jacket are perfect.  A carf loosely tied around the neck also helps to frame a face beautifully when a collarless blouse or sweater if worn.  Neckties should definitely be toned down in color and with a minimum of pattern.  
  • Tube tops are really not that cute in photographs like they are in real life, it always ends up looking like a push pop in the pictures.
  • Prints and any kind of pattern (no matter how small) become a distraction.  Keep it simple.  Solid colors are best in portraits.  Avoid bright colors that draw attention away from your face.
  • Avoid short sleeve clothing and short pants.  Long sleeves and pants draw attention away from your arms and helps bring the focus to your face.
  • Frame your face.  Scoops or v-necks flatter shorter necks and full faces.  Turtlenecks or high-necked garments flatter longer necks and slender faces.
  • Glasses - If you wear glasses most of the time I recommend wearing them for your portrait.
  • Stick to classic styles and avoid trendy clothes that will date your photograph.
  • Wear jewlry that isn't too distracting from your face.  Accessorize sparingly and tastefully.
  • Apply makeup as you might for a formal evening out.  The camera slithly neutralizes the effects of makeup, so you might want to use just a little more than usual.  Anyone with even slightly oily skin(including men) might want to consider applying powder.
  • ​Men avoid 5 o'clock shadow and don't forget to shave.


  • Keep clothing consistent.
  • Dress everyone in the same style.
  • Don't mix casual and formal clothing in portraits.
  • Coordinate colors.
  • Avoid loud or busy patterns and large logos.
  • First, decide whether the basic tone of the clothing will be warm-toned (browns etc.) or cool-toned (blues/grays/blacks, etc.).  Then, make sure to follow all of the previous GENERAL GUIDELINES.
  • Keeping a group in similar colors focuses the attention of the portrait to the faces and individuals that make up the portrait.  Dissimilar colors in groups tend to be more distracting.
  • White tops with khakis or jeans can look very nice and casual, but if anyone in your family is super pale, white can make pale skin look paler.  Jeans are the timeless chice and they're great for fun, casual photographs because they are flattering and don't show wrinkles or panty lines.
  • Lighter shirts on top give the photograph a more casual and bright look.
  • Pastels are also usually appealing because they enhance natural skin tones.


It's up to you or your marketing department whether your executive portrait will be business formal or business casual.  Some of it will depend on your field, and what kind of image you need to project.  Do put some thought into it like you would any marketing investment.​

  • ​For a formal business portrait, dress as you would if you were making a presentation to your most important clients or associates.  Maybe it's your best suit.
  • If you don't have a well-fitting suit that really looks good on you, this is the perfect time to shop for one, or even have one made.  This outfit will be out there contributing to your image even while you sleep for as long as you use your new corporate portrait, so it's a great time invest in a good one.
  • Dark suits generally look more formal and more professional than light colored ones.  Solid colors or subtle pinstripes work better in most cases, and are easier to retouch.  Avoid loud patterns.
  • Avoid strong contrast between shirt and jacket.  Pastel shirts with medium dark jackets are better than white shirts and navy or black jackets.  Avoid red, as it tends to make skin look pale by comparison, and it is considered a poor choice in much of the corporate world.  Cool colors are usually better.
  • Thies should not be a loud color.  They should be conservative and not flashy
  • For a more casual portrait, you still want to wear something that looks upscale and smart.  A blazer or maybe a sweater over a button-down shirt or blouse would be appropriate.  If you're not going to wear anything over it, avoid light colored shirts and blouses.  Dark ones are less distracting and help balance the photograph and keep the attention on your face.


  • Arrive on time (not late and not too early).
  • Bring Props - Add your personallity.  For a personal touch, bring a favorite toy or stuffed animal (for children) or an instrument it you play one.  Maybe you have a favorite pair of sunglasses or a favorite hat etc.  You get the idea.