A woman standing in front of a purple wall.

Tips for Great Female Professional Headshots (+ Examples)

A guide to getting the best results for women's professional headshots, whether you need a headshot photo for a business profile or a corporate photoshoot.

Female professional headshots are more important than ever before.

Whether you’re creating your LinkedIn account and you need profile photos, or you’re building a website for your brand, you need a professional headshot.

So, if you’re a businesswoman that’s having their headshots taken, you’ll find many headshot tips that will help you make the best out of your session.

These headshot tips for women can also help you if you’re a portrait photographer. Your clients will often ask you for advice on what to wear or how to pose.

So, keep on reading and learn how to take the best female business headshots.

Key Takeaways

  • Wear well-fitting clothing.
  • Keep a good posture.
  • Be confident.
  • Don’t change too much from your everyday look.
  • Opt for a natural look.
  • More headshot photography tips

4 Tips & Examples of Female Professional Headshots (for Business)


1. Choose the right outfit for your professional headshot

Before you even get to the photo session, you’re probably already wondering what does a woman wear for a professional headshot.

Well, the perfect outfit depends on your personality and line of work. You should also pick the clothes according to your body type, skin tone, hair color, etc.

However, there are some rules that are universally flattering for women’s headshots.

First of all, you should wear something that you would actually wear for work – see what to wear on a corporate business photoshoot.

Even if you decide to get a new outfit for the occasion, it should be something that you could use on any given day to do your job – see these stylish photo shoot outfit ideas.

For corporate headshots is best if you wear long sleeves. This can be a jacket or a blouse – depending on how you feel more comfortable.

Speaking of which, it’s very important that you feel comfortable with what you’re wearing. This will give you the confidence you need for the best headshots.

Another important thing is that your clothes fit you perfectly – neither too loose nor too tight.

Two business women standing in front of a whiteboard.

Credit: Christina @wocintechchat.com

To give you more specific advice, I decided to answer some of the most common questions asked by clients to a headshot photographer.

What is a good color for females to wear for professional headshots?

Solid colors are the best choice for headshot photos. Flesh tones or pastel colors won’t distract the attention from you, but you might look washed out. So, choose the color of your clothes according to your natural coloring.

For example, using strong neutral colors such as dark grey, brown, purple, or navy blue are usually good choices.

Can you wear black in a headshot?

Absolutely. Black is one of the safest colors you can wear for a corporate headshot. It’s neutral, so it’s flattering for most people. Also, it looks elegant and professional.

If you feel like black is too heavy, you can soften the look by adding a pop of color to your accessories.

One caveat – consider the headshot background color – for headshot photography, it’s normal to use white as a backdrop, but occasionally, some modern businesses will use a dark color or black, in which case you shouldn’t wear balack for your headshot photo.

What necklines are best for headshots?

Usually, the best neckline depends on the shape of your face and your upper body type. As a general rule, the neckline you consider most flattering in your clothes in real life is the one that works well for a headshot session too.

For example, if you have a round face or short neck you can use a V-neck. Instead, if you have an oblong face type, you should wear a narrow neckline like a crew neck or a turtle neck.

Generally speaking, all necklines are fine for professional portraits – just avoid low-cut tops. You’ll want the focus to be on your face, not on your cleavage.

Should you wear jewelry in a headshot?

You can wear jewelry on business headshots if that’s something you usually wear. Although, it would be wise to stay away from pieces that are too big or too flashy.

Since a headshot photo is cropped close to the face, using big earrings or necklaces would take up too much space in the frame. As a result, they could distract attention from your face.

2. Hair styling and makeup is important for professional portraits

A woman in a blazer posing in front of a white wall.

Credit: Nussbaum Law

Hiring a professional makeup artist and a hairstylist the day you’re taking your professional headshots is a good idea.

However, it’s important to say that you shouldn’t go for a look that’s too different from the one you have in your everyday life.

Whether you’re applying for a job or taking a headshot photo for personal branding, trust is the most important thing you should achieve.

The person viewing your professional headshot is expecting to meet someone who looks similar in real life. If you look nothing like you do in your picture, that breaks the trust from the very beginning. This would have a negative impact on your business relationship.

You can also wear makeup and even have it done by a professional. However, don’t overdo it. Keeping a natural look is the best way to go on corporate headshots.

If you don’t like make-up, you should use some translucent powder to avoid unwanted reflections on your face.

Having said this, let’s move on to some more FAQs.

  • How should you wear your hair for a headshot?

Generally speaking, I would advise the same thing I did for the outfit – wear it as you would normally do for any working day.

Not only will this make you feel more comfortable, it will add to the concept of trust and honesty that I was talking about before.

  • Should I wear my hair up or down for a headshot?

There isn’t a specific rule on female business headshots that establishes that wearing your hair up or down is better.

Even if this article isn’t about beauty tips, I do advise you to choose a hairstyle that’s flattering for the shape of your face.

  • Should I curl or straighten my hair for headshots?

It’s OK to do your hair before your professional headshot. However, it’s usually best to keep the hair similar to your everyday looks.

If you have curly hair, keep it like that. You can use products to control frizz or have the hair stylist make tighter curls for a better look.

Instead, if you have straight hair, I don’t recommend you get curls for your professional headshot. If you prefer not to keep it perfectly straight, may try some soft waves.

Remember that on a corporate headshot, you should look similar to the way you look in your workplace. This way, there are no surprises when people meet you in person.

A woman in a business suit posing for a photo.

Credit: Nussbaum Law

  • Should I wear eyeliner for headshots?

You can wear eyeliner when taking professional headshots. This way, your eyes will look more defined.

Remember to keep a natural look, though.

  • Should I wear lashes for headshots?

It’s not common to wear lashes on corporate headshots unless this is the way you regularly show up for work. The best headshots are always the ones that make you look natural.

3. Learn how to take great headshots

Usually, the clients looking for female professional headshots don’t have any modelling experience.

So, here are some more FAQs about how to look good on female headshots.

  • Should you smile in a professional headshot?

Yes, a natural smile looks great on a professional headshot. You don’t need to be laughing or showing all your teeth – but a short smile will soften your facial expression and make you look more welcoming.

  • How can a woman look confident in headshots?

To look confident you need to feel confident. This is one of the reasons why you should choose comfortable clothing and keep makeup and hairstyle the way you like it.

You should also believe in yourself and know how great you are for the job you have or you are applying to.

Last but not least, the pose is very important in looking confident.

Here are some examples of poses for women’s professional headshots.

A young african woman in a black dress posing for a photo.

Credit: Ila Bappa Ibrahim

A smiling black woman in a gray suit leaning against a wall.

Credit: Emmy E

A young woman in a black suit posing against a pink background.

Credit: VK Studio

A woman in a pink suit sitting in an office.

Credit: Rebrand Cities

A business woman holding a laptop on a gray background.

Credit: Pavel Danilyuk

  • How do you look natural in headshots?

Just be yourself when you’re taking a corporate headshot. Don’t try a crazy new hair cut or dress in a way that doesn’t fit your style. This will help you to look more natural.

Also, relax and enjoy the experience. A professional headshot photographer should be able to guide you and put you at ease.

4. What not to do in a business headshot

Sometimes the best headshot tips for women are about what not to do.

  • Don’t loose focus of what your brand represents.
  • Don’t look away from the camera.
  • Don’t change your style just for your corporate headshot.
  • Don’t use shirts with short sleeves.
  • Avoid using a see through top.
  • Stay away from busy patterns.
  • Don’t wear too much makeup.
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Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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