How to Prepare for Women’s Professional Headshots

April 5, 2024

For a professional woman, headshots are more important than ever.

Our world continues to be extremely visual, online or in-person. Now that webinars and Zoom conferences are the norm, there are even more opportunities to get your face out there.

Whether you’re speaking at an event, starting a business, or receiving a promotion, there’s a good chance that people will see your photo online before ever meeting you in person.

That’s why it’s worth prioritizing looking your best for a corporate headshot. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, this is our bread and butter. 

Our experienced personal stylists have helped hundreds of women looking to take control of their image over the years. Read on as we share our top tips for knocking your photo session out of the park.

Why You Need To Take a Women’s Professional Headshot

Before we dive in, let’s dig deeper into why you need to take a headshot in the first place.

The number one reason is that you are your personal brand. How you present yourself visually, impacts how the world perceives you and how others interact with you. 

We all like to think that looks don’t matter, but first impressions do, especially in the professional space. Some studies even suggest that you have just seven seconds to make a first impression that will last a lifetime. 

Headshots might have once seemed like a niche thing most people didn’t need. But now that so much of our lives are online, headshots are much more common. 

From your LinkedIn profile pic to a photo on your website, you need to put a face to the name. 

Ready to make a great first impression online? Keep scrolling for our style advice on how to style yourself for women’s professional headshots.

How to Prep for a Business Woman Headshot

If you’re just starting to think about what to wear for your businesswoman headshot, you’re in the prep phase. So, let’s start there. 

The number one thing you want to do before you book your appointment is figure out your personal brand. 

Get ready to read that phrase a lot in this article because it’s the most important part of this process.

Your headshot directly reflects who you are and what you want others to associate you and your business with. 

If you’re not sure how to do this on your own, we recommend looking into our Executive Image Consulting Package

  1. We’ll start by giving you a detailed questionnaire, editing your closet, and creating a curated shopping list.

    We don’t stop at clothes. We also can help you pick out a signature scent, accessories, and more.
  1. Once you receive all the items we’ve ordered with you, you go into a virtual fit session with us. We’ll help you see what works and what doesn’t. 
  1. Then, we set you up with our NLW phone app. It has a record of everything we’ve purchased for you and a month’s worth of outfits personalized for your lifestyle.
  1. Next, we’ll connect you with hair and makeup specialists to put the finishing touches on your new look.
  1. Last but not least, we’ll actually prepare you for your headshot photoshoot. We’ll set you up with a photographer, style you, and give you art direction so you can feel your best.

What Is the Best Color To Wear for Women’s Headshots?

What Is the Best Color To Wear for Women’s Headshots?

The best color to wear for women’s headshots is a neutral color if you want this photo to be evergreen. However, if you plan on updating your photo often, you can go for an accent color.

  • Core colors
    For the classic, timeless route, we recommend core colors. Core colors are neutrals like black, white, navy, and gray. These colors go with everything and stand the test of time. 
  • Tonal colors
    If you’re worried about white tones washing you out or looking too stern in black or gray, navy blue is your best bet. It reads as modern and sophisticated without feeling stuffy. And, it looks good on everyone – no matter what the trendy “color analyzers” online say.
  • Seasonal colors and prints
    For those who plan on updating their photos regularly, you have the opportunity to play around with colors and prints. Choosing the right color depends on…you guessed it! Your personal brand.

For example, if your brand is all about being warm and friendly, yet expert, choose a color that reflects that. Think a bright yellow or coral, or an energetic cobalt blue. If you go with dark, moody tones instead, you might confuse people.

What To Wear in Professional Headshots: Outfit Advice for Women

We’ve covered the prep phase, and gotten into finding what colors make sense for your photoshoot. Now, it’s time to get into creating outfits. Here are our three favorite ensembles for what to wear in professional headshots.

1. The Corporate Approach

Product by The Row,

Product by The Row, shop here.

For those working in formal settings or who want to go with a classic headshot look, try our corporate approach. 

Here, you keep with timeless neutrals and chic designs with subtle yet modern touches. 

Pairing the black wool blazer from The Row with a white button-down fits into the traditional corporate dress code. However, details like the wide-leg pants, belted waist, and lack of lapels update this look and show your style savvy. 

2. Playful and Light

Product by Self Portrait

Product by Self Portrait, shop here.

Do you work in a less formal setting or want to show off a more playful or feminine side? Try something like this one-and-done dress by Self-Portrait. 

The white monochromatic look feels airy and light. This plays into the more feminine details like the pleated A-line skirt and the retro cap sleeves.

This outfit stands out from the crowd without feeling over-the-top or unprofessional.

3. A Colorful Statement

Product by Simkhai

Product by Simkhai, shop here.

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about our lovers of colors. If adding a pop of color fits your personal brand, but you still want to keep things polished and put together, this dress from Simkhai is a fantastic option.

The lush emerald green color adds visual richness to your outfit without feeling dated or distracting. The dark tone works great for formal events and offices too. 

For a professional woman’s headshot, the collar elevates your look, while the knotted waist and wide sleeves add extra personality for full-body photos.

Are you ready to plan your corporate headshot?

Make sure you have the right team behind you. Apply for Next Level Wardrobe’s Virtual Executive Image Consulting Services for Women. It’s time to dress like the confident leader that you are.

About the Author - Cassandra Sethi
About the Author - Cassandra Sethi

Personal Stylist & Image Consultant

Cassandra Sethi is a Personal Stylist and Founder of Next Level Wardrobe, a luxury Personal Styling and Shopping Service that helps successful professionals of all ages and sizes. After working in the fashion industry for over 25 years, she used her expert knowledge to create a proprietary styling system called ‘The Next Level Wardrobe Style System' which guarantees clients more outfits with less items in their closet. NLW has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Tamron Hall Show, NY Mag, Huffington Post and more.

*Disclosure: Next Level Wardrobe only recommends products that we’d suggest to our clients or personally wear ourselves. All opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, Next Level Wardrobe may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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Cassandra Sethi

is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. She is the Founder of Next Level Wardrobe and 'The NLW Style System' that guarantees clients more outfits with less items.

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