How to Have Amazing Headshots!

As your Image Consultant, I was trying to look professional here—hence the jacket and shell-but also someone who knows color and how to use it. Coral (pink-melon color on the left is one of my best colors—and it complements my warm, rosy beige skin tone.) This wall was actually in the area I chose for the head shots. It is on the Monon trail near our house.

Image Consultant Advice: Headshots

Many times, I am asked to work with new and seasoned professionals on brand image and headshots. Most of the time, the photos are to position them a certain way or an extra nudge to make a promotion a sure thing. Or, someone is wanting to leave a job, start a whole new career, and the headshots are requested by a headhunter. Or, you are a new entrepreneur and you want to establish an image and online presence.

For those who work in a field now and want to start establishing an image that will bring a promotion, as your Image Consultant, I urge you to think about this: How do others already at the level I am aspiring to go dress. Is it formal, business casual or even casual?

Breaking It Down with Your Image Consultant

Here’s a review of what the different image classifications really means:

Formal business: This goes back to the Mad Men era. For men, it’s a dark navy or charcoal grey suit image; white shirt and plain tie. Black Oxford shoes – always. For women, it’s a dark navy or dark grey skirt suit, and a white blouse. Possibly a bow tie. (Think Brooks Brothers.)

Business casual: This look actually is the first diversion from the dark business suit. It is more casual pants such as khaki pleated pants, and a button-down shirt. Possibly a polo shirt, but more likely it is a button-down shirt. Maybe a half-zip sweater over a button-down shirt in colder temperatures.

Casual business: Casual business can be some of the pieces above as well as a more casual shirt and dark rinse jeans (not distressed at all). Could be camo pants and an olive T-shirt.

Casual: This look could be a polo shirt and shorts in the summer; or something more casual. Sneakers could be a part of this look and possibly sandals.

Athleisure: This look is a hoodie, dress sneaker, yoga pants and other variations. It is the most casual of all the looks.

According to Your Image Consultant, Dress Accordingly

Anyway, once you know your target audience, dress accordingly. For instance, if you are in hard core business or a very corporate company where formal dress code is the norm, that is how you will want to dress. If you are targeting the other extreme – let’s say stay-at-home moms—you might want to dress casually. If you do that, add an accessory that really makes you stand out: let’s say a black T-shirt, grey distressed jeans, but add a colorful scarf with red, purple, black and grey!

Image ConsultantWhen are you looking for a photographer, be sure and check out their portfolios—especially close up photos, since that is what a headshot really is. Be sure the photographer knows how to make someone look sharp, on target and energetic. (We don’t want half-closed eyes, or weird scene shots.)

If you are a woman, consider using a makeup artist and airbrush makeup. You can find one for $150 or so – it is worth the extra cost. Also, consider getting your hair styling at Dry Bar right before the shoot.

What you wear for your head shot should also communicate who you are as a professional.

Be sure you and your photographer are on the same page and know the look you are going for the audience you are targeting.

The rest is magic!

Want to Work with An Image Consultant?

I work with individuals who want amazing headshots, from conception to the final shoot. I have favorite photographers I know are excellent as well. Please email me for more information!


Keep it sassy,




Beth Divine, MA

AICI Certified Image Consultant