Case Study: Corporate Portraits – Part II

In Part I of our corporate portraits case study we looked at what to consider before the shoot. If you’d like to read this first click here. Part II of our case study focuses on the client and how to dress for the session in order to look and feel good.

How to Dress for a Corporate Portrait

As we’ve just seen, a lot of thought needs to be put into considering what is, and is not, included in the frame when shooting a corporate portrait. Most of this is the photographer’s job, but as the sitter you too can go a long way towards helping to make your corporate portrait a real success. Above all, nothing should be allowed to distract from the real focus of the portrait: your face.

Yes absolutely, you should dress well for your portrait in order to give off the right image – both for yourself and for the company. But in actual fact, the clothes you wear should effectively be invisible: if the viewer immediately notices your clothes and accessories (jewellery, necktie, watch, scarf etc.), then they were probably not the right choice of items.



It goes without saying, then, that overly extrovert clothing, or garments featuring dominant patterns, text, graphics, or logos should not be worn. Clothes with writing on them in particular can cause real problems, especially as there’s no guarantee that the entire sentence will be included in the final shot. So while you might be tempted to wear a t-shirt emblazoned with the fairly innocent phrase…


(yes, such t-shirts exist).

…if only the left side of the t-shirt were to appear in the final photo, you’d instead forever have to live with the legend:


Which may or may not be the impression you were hoping to put across.

Similarly, this is not the moment to experiment with new looks. Rather than risking some bold, fashion-forward sartorial moves that you may quickly come to regret, it’s instead better to fall back on your old fail-safe favourites. Make-up, too, should be kept subtle and natural, or at least not deviate too much from your regular working-day look.

If you normally wear glasses in everyday life, and people are accustomed to seeing you with them on, then wear them in the photo. If you only use them for reading or working at a computer, then you can probably leave them off for your portrait.



If you do wear glasses for the photo session, be sure to give them a thorough clean immediately beforehand: greasy marks and fingerprints will show up more under the lights and will be particularly distracting once photographed – not to mention difficult to remove in Photoshop.

Finally, if you want to look good in your portrait you’ll need to feel good. Enjoy the attention, and have fun. This will show in the final shots. In fact nothing guarantees that a person will end up looking bad in photos more than that very same person worrying about looking bad in their photos. You want to look good, your employer wants you to look good, and the photographer wants you to look good. In short, everyone is on your side. Be yourself. Relax. Smile.


If you’d like to discuss the service we offer for corporate portraits please contact us.