What to Wear to Your Corporate Photo Shoot

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It’s picture day at the office. You’re updating your website, or maybe you’ve undergone a great deal of restructuring and your boss wants some photos of his “new” team. You want to look your best, but what, exactly, does that mean in today’s professional world? After all, corporate execs often look more like the college interns than they do their predecessors. And casual Friday elicits all sorts of wardrobe dysfunction. So, what to do about your corporate photo shoot? Keep these pointers in mind and you’ll be just fine:

1) Professional is still best.

Unless your boss has specifically said we want a more casual, relaxed look or has moved the location from the office to somewhere else. Go with the “office look” for your corporate photo shoot. Suit, sport coat, tie, polished shoes. Ladies, a suit jacket over a shift dress or blouse and skirt or trousers will do just fine. And of course they need to fit. The fit is truly the most important thing that will make you look together. If you’ve lost or gained weight wear clothes that make you look and feel great.

2) For most people leave fashion at the mall unless you can truly pull it off.

Go for a more classic look. Choose suits and dresses in black, grays, browns, and blues. Try to stay with solid colors please no crazy patterns. Shirts can be white or colored, but you should make sure that you are crisp and clean looking. Also ensure that your tie or scarf isn’t too busy or “loud”. You want your face to be the center of focus, not your neckwear. It’s a corporate photo shoot, after all, you’re representing the company through confidence and professionalism.

3) Keep jewelry and accessories to a minimum.

And remember, go classic. Simple hoop or stud earrings, a nice fine chain with a small pendant, your wedding set and ladies, you’re all set. Gentlemen, keep the cuff links simple and classic, the tie pin or bar the same, and your watch and wedding band the only other adornment you need. If there is a signet ring or other “daily wear” piece that is “you”, go ahead and wear it, but don’t do anything special for your corporate photo shoot, as you can look unnatural and uncomfortable, especially if you aren’t accustomed to wearing anything on your hands.

4) Have a good hair day.

Nothing dates a photo like an out-of-fashion or minute-of-fashion hair style. Make sure your hair is picture ready. Ladies, go for a bun or a twist or a simple style. (Ladies, make sure your jacket or dress does not closely match your hair color, to allow for a definite “break” between your tresses and your dress.) Fellows, visit the barber a week or so in advance of your corporate photo shoot, to ensure that you look your best. Speaking of clipping, if you have a ‘stache or beard, be sure to trim it up, as well. And if your photo shoot is later in the day, for heaven’s sake take along your shaver to avoid the Don Johnson five o’clock shadow look.

5) The devil is in the details.

Take a few minutes before you get set to do a last minute touch up of your hair, clothes and make up. Straighten your tie, touch up your lip stick, dab on a little more rouge and eye shadow, as the camera may wash you out otherwise. If you’ve had to rush to the shoot take a few minutes to calm down and relax, so the tension doesn’t show on your face in the photo. These little details only take a few minutes, and the photographer will usually be more than patient in allowing you the time. But oh what a difference to your finished photos those few minutes can make.

Your corporate photo shoot need not be a nightmarish experience, nor does your finished photo need look like something from the House of Horrors or a wanted poster from the police station. By following these tips, you can look your best and brightest and most professional. That’s the goal, after all, isn’t it?

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