What should I wear? The definitive guide to dressing for a business photoshoot

So, you've got a business photoshoot on the cards.

Promoting your brand or business can often mean putting faces to names with some staff photography, which can feel daunting - showing up and posing isn't always in your repertoire. We get it.

But photoshoots of the team or key stakeholders are essential in humanising a brand. Real photos of real people do work. In fact, our Team page is our second most viewed website page every single month. The only thing that beats it is the homepage - how's that for a stat!

So we know people buy from people. Question is, how should those people dress for a business photoshoot?

Avoiding bobbled fabrics, knowing which colours to wear, remembering to bring a casual option - all pretty important, all easy to forget.

Over the years, we've held many a corporate or business photoshoot, for companies ranging from retail to tech, sports to food. We've faced every surprise stain and unexpected button pop in the book.

To that end, and using our world-weary knowledge, we wanted to put together a bit of an essential handbook on the matter. After all, we live to alleviate your sartorial woes & create great branding and imagery in the process!

So, say goodbye to blurry smiles and missing buttons - say hello to burningred's definitive guide to dressing for a business photoshoot.

This guide is ideal for:

  • Personal brands (e.g. Mary Portas)
  • CEOs / CFOs / directors / creative directors of companies
  • Small - medium business teams
 Gareth Aled, Senior Designer at burningred

Gareth Aled, Senior Designer at burningred

#1 Choose your colours wisely

Before you hit the shops for some new glad-rags, get your colours in order.

For videography, find out whether you'll be shot in front of a green screen. If so, yellow and green clothing are both hard NOs - in the post-processing your body will disappear, leaving you as just a floating head in a sea of green. If this isn't exactly the kind of imagery you're going for, avoid yellow & green colours.

Unless you've got a set background as part of a pre-conceived concept, it's possible you'll be shot in front of a coloured backdrop. This could be any colour, so make sure you find out beforehand and dress accordingly.

Alex, creative director at burningred
Alex, creative director at burningred

#2 Treat yourself to some fresh threadz

You may be the kind of superhuman who keeps their clothes crisp and fresh without throwing them on the floor for weeks on end (please, teach us your ways) but if not, you may find all your Sunday best is a little worse for wear.

If you don't have anything sharp to wear, we'd seriously recommend investing in a little light retail therapy and getting some brand new glad rags.

Faded or ancient clothes can be spotted a mile off. While there's nothing wrong with that - we don't judge - it's best to stick to something fresher for a business photoshoot. If in doubt, buy something new.

 Marc, Database Developer at burningred

Marc, Database Developer at burningred

#3 (Don't) get your abs out

Showing off your ripped physique is always nice, but when shirt buttons start popping, it's a health & safety hazard.

Remember, you'll be immortalised in these photos forever. A week before your business photoshoot takes place, try on your chosen outfit(s) at home and look out for:

  • Crease lines and crinkles - get that iron ready...
  • Undergarment lines - for women, bras can pose a difficulty with fabric detail & straps showing through your top layer. Make sure you're smooth by layering up or choosing a plainer bra
  • Fabric bobbling or staining - great for a Tesco trip, not so great on a hi-def camera
  • Too-tight clothing - if it feels uncomfortable or it's tight around the armpits, it's not the right thing to wear
  • Pose changes - try a few poses and see how the clothes look when you move around

If you're not wearing your outfit to the photoshoot, it's worth bringing clothes in a protective cover on a clothes hanger. And don't forget that although you'll be edited post-photoshoot, less time spent editing basic errors means more time spent on all your other branding or content. Result!

Heather, Content Marketing Executive at burningred
Heather, Content Marketing Executive at burningred

#4 Leave the diamond-encrusted gangsta chain at home

Jewellery says a lot about us. For a photoshoot that kicks off your entire brand and presents you to the world, jewellery can be a welcome addition to showing your personality through something static.

However, not all jewellery will work in your favour. Layers of big heavy gold jewellery is - while fantastic and totally our thing - not likely to be part of your brand.

On the flip side, a statement necklace (like colourful beads or some kind of jewel arrangement) can be great! If it's what you love to wear and you know how to work it, go for it - it is your photoshoot, after all.

Meg, Digital Marketing Executive at burningred
Meg, Digital Marketing Executive at burningred

#5 Options are a client's best friend

There's no accounting for the weather, or accidental spillage, or flecks of paint / water / juice cramping your style. We always recommend bringing at least two clothing options to your business photoshoot.

And, to make it even easier, we'd suggest bringing at least one formal option and one informal option. Business and play, corporate and cool. If something does go a little wrong, you're covered on all bases!

Kelly, Project Co-ordinator at burningred
Kelly, Project Co-ordinator at burningred

#6 'Time for a makeover montage...'

It's likely your hands will be visible in at least some of your imagery - even if it's folded arms or hands on hips. Therefore, you might want to think about painting or cleaning & shaping your nails.

Those of us with beards have to consider the degrees of shaving - fresh-faced, or a little bit longer? These images could be the first time a potential client sees you online before meeting you in person, so it makes sense to go with a neat version of what you usually look like.

As for the dizzying possibilities of cosmetics - if your thing is a dash of bright lipstick and some longer lashes then you do you, girl! But it's always wise to exercise caution. A photoshoot for a personal brand offers more creativity and freedom, while a corporate photoshoot where you're part of a bigger company might require a little less eyeshadow.

For those less well-versed in the world of makeup, it's no problem at all to hire a makeup artist / stylist to take the matter out of your hands during the shoot.

This goes for men, too. If you do have a few pimples, redness, or eye bags, there's no shame in a little concealer touch-up.

Gareth, Studio Manager at burningred
Gareth, Studio Manager at burningred

Top tips to takeaway:

  • Find out the colours of the backdrops - if you're shooting on green screen, avoid green and yellow
  • If in doubt, buy something new - it's worth it
  • Make sure your clothes fit well and drape nicely
  • Remove creases and inadvertent lines or lumps
  • Flava Flav is not a style icon - if you're unsure, keep the jewellery to a minimum
  • Bring at least two outfit options to your photoshoot
  • Of these options, bring at least one formal outfit and one casual outfit
  • Make your nails all new and shiny
  • If you'd rather not do your own makeup, let us know to hire an MUA in advance
  • We like to play music during photoshoots to help you chill out - bring along your own playlist to make it personal

And there we have it - burningred's definitive guide to dressing for a business photoshoot. Let there be no more panicked late nights in front of the mirror, trying to make decade-old shirts look decent! With our guide, you'll turn out smooth, prepared, and totally professional.

Need any extra help or info? Want to book in your next business photoshoot?

Get in touch