Hector Cavazos Photography


Getting ready tips for  Portrait photography Business headshots



The color you choose for a professional photograph session or a corporate headshot photo shoot will set the tone for the portrait. Clothing worn in a portrait photo session requires careful consideration to ensure that the end result will be pleasing to the eye. Finding clothing that you feel comfortable wearing and that photographs well can be a challenge. It is even further complicated if several people are in the photograph, as colors should be coordinated.


White is a color that looks good on many people, regardless of complexion. It is clean and simple, leaving the photograph uncomplicated. White also contrasts well with many different background colors, leaving your portrait photographer with many artistic options for the photograph. Off-white or ivory may photograph slightly better than pure white. Some people believe that white adds the appearance of extra weight, so this could be a consideration.

Black or Dark Colors

Black is another classic choice for photographs. It has a dramatic effect on the end result. It is often said that black is a slimming color which may add to its appeal. Because black is such a bold color, it is another good choice if you want to contrast with the background. Solid black and other dark colors, such as blue, will allow the faces in the photographs to take center stage.

Bright Colors

Try to avoid bright colors if possible. These colors can be distracting, particularly if they also include a pattern. These colors can also be difficult to match if more than one person appears in the photograph. Red is a particularly difficult color to match in clothing.


If more than one person will be photographed, coordinate clothing carefully. There are many shades of the same color, so check for matching shades. If you are unsure if the outfits will coordinate, lay them together on a bed and see if anything stands out.


It is best to avoid patterns in the clothing for photographs. Patterns tend to make the photograph busy and distracting. The faces of the people being photographed may be lost. If several people appear in the photograph, varying patterns will cause further distractions when the picture is viewed. Simple is best when it comes to attire for photographs.

Other Considerations

Collared shirts are often recommended by photographers as they tend to frame the face. Long sleeves and long pants are generally more appealing. Arms may appear wider than normal in a photograph, so long sleeves will cover them. Large areas of visible skin may also distract the eye from the faces in the photograph. Choose clothing that is comfortable and fitting for your style. If you feel comfortable in your clothes, it will show in the photograph.


General Rule Tips

Look your best during your portrait photography session or a business headshot photo session. Here are a few getting ready tip and recommendations

The Basics

  • Tell us your expectations and intentions. Let us know what kind of look you want
  • Tell us how and where the photo will be used (so we can be sure it's appropriate)
  • Drink lots of water and be well rested (so your eyes will not have dark cirlces)
  • Your skin might not look it's best after drug/alcohol use. Try to abstain from these before your shoot
  • Arrive on time. 
  • Please call if you are running late or arrive early

What to Wear - Everyone

  • Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you look great 
  • Make sure your jacket and shirt fit you well. A poor fitting jacket or shirt will be obvious in the photos (especially around the neck) 
  • Don't choose outfits featuring strong patterns or logos. Solid colors are safest. 
  • Don't overdress
  • Avoid wrinkles. Hang your outfit in your car and dress when you arrive
  • Turtlenecks are almost always a bad idea (since they crowd the face)
  • Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new 
  • Avoid busy patterns and large lines/stripes
  • Blue/green/turquoise shirts/blouses or accents can help emphasize blue/green/hazel eyes

What to Wear - Men

  • The standard business look is a suit jacket, dress shirt and tie 
  • A casual business look is often a jacket and open dress shirt, shirt and tie (no jacket), or dress shirt on it's own 
  • Polo shirts are a good look for some businesses. Be sure the shirt is in good condition and fits well 
  • For a no-jacket casual look, bring colored shirts - ideally darker than your skin tone 
  • A white dress shirt by itself is a bad idea - unless you plan to wear it underneath something (jacket or sweater) 
  • Bring a few different jackets, shirt colors and ties so we have choices for the photo
  • To reduce signs od sweating, guys should wear an undershirt. Make sure that it isn't visible at your open neckline. Consider a v-neck or deep neck undershirt
  • Do not wear make-up. We want the photos to look real plus any blemishes will be removed during the post editing process
  • Shave a few hours before the portrait session. Facial hair can be visible, even within a few hours of shaving
  • Avoid stray hairs from noses, ears, and brow lines. Tweezers are your friend

What to Wear - Women

  • Avoid big prints and busy patterns 
  • Different necklines will change the apparent shape of your face. Bring a variety different shirts/blouses to see what works best
  • For a no-jacket casual look, bring various colored blouses - ideally darker than your skin tone 
  • Be stylish and fashionable, but remember the picture is about your face and not your clothes or jewelry 
  • Sleeveless tops/dresses can draw attention to your shoulders/arms. Consider bringing items with a variety of different sleeves
  • Make sure that undergarments and straps are not visible
  • Fabrics fade fast, so consider a fresh, new outfit for your session
  • Do not wear a lot of make-up. We want the photos to look real plus any blemishes will be removed during the post editing process


  • Keep jewelry extremely simple - small is better 
  • Avoid jewelry that would distract from your face or that looks dated 
  • The picture is about your face, not your jewelry 
  • Consider if facial piercings or multiple ear piercings are appropriate for where your photo will be displayed

What to Bring

  • Your previous headshots (so we can improve)
  • Sample headshots to help communicate the look you want 
  • Favorite Music (iPod/MP3 player, phone, thumb-drive)
  • Various changes of clothing (see above)
  • A good attitude
  • Lip balm
  • Hair brush/comb
  • Makeup and hair products you prefer (especially if you have allergies)

Hair and Makeup Tips

  • Make-up should be clean and natural 
  • Wear a heavy layer of translucent powder - your face will appear flawless in photos. Shine disappears, pores seem smaller, skin looks even, and blush is smoother 
  • Line lips before applying matte lipstick, then reline. Don't overdo it. Dip a cotton bud in powder and run along lip line to prevent color from bleeding
  • Avoid shimmers or products with lots of sparkle or shine 
  • Avoid frosts or overly-bright colors 
  • Don't get a new hair cut just before the shoot (you may want to let it grow-in a bit or get used to styling a new cut) 
  • Do not try/use any new product on your hair, face or body the day before or few days before your shoot. In case you have a bad reaction to the product

Please Arrive With

  • Hair styled and makeup already applied (if not using makeup artist)