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What should I wear?

So if you are reading this page, you will have already booked in for your Personal Branding Portrait Session with Divine Photography. I'm here to help guide you get the most from your shoot. As with everything in life, preparation is key! This is where I can help.

So many clients ask me 'What should I wear?' and I always tell them that the first question they need to ask themselves is 'What image do I want to portray?' This will vary from client to client depending on the industry that you work in and your personality.

Do you want to be perceived as business-like, more formal and serious? Maybe you work in a very creative market so in this case you might want your image to portray a relaxed, informal vibe. I know this might seem obvious but it is a very important question to ask and gets you thinking.

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Colour also plays a very important role in your session. Feel free to bring along as many outfits on the day as you like and I'm happy to help you choose if you aren't sure. Select colours that compliment your skin tone and hair colour.

Choose clothing that blends with your brand - the feel, the look and aesthetic. If wearing a jacket, keep it fitted and think of a top/shirt underneath that will add a pop of colour. Primary colours (blue/yellow/red) work well as do jewel colours (jades/pinks/silver/gold).

What image do you want to showcase to clients - Is your brand modern, professional, creative, corporate, colourful? How can you translate this in your choice of clothing. Consider how your client will feel and react when they see your images online or in marketing materials.

Avoid clothing with busy patterns. Go for solid colours. Avoid plain black or white (where possible) as they can wash out skin tones. Large logos are a no-no as they are too distracting and don't date particularly well. Form fitted and tailored clothing is best.

Layers are good too so that you can mix it up quickly to give a totally different look.

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Ensure the fit is right. Don't have anything too flowing or loose as it doesn't photograph well. Form fitted but not too tight. Heavier fabrics (than a blouse fabric say) work better for dresses. If you feel it is appropriate for your business and audience, a sleeveless dress that shows shoulders can look great.

Underwear - For the ladies, pay attention to your underwear up top. If your top or dress is a sheer fabric, light coloured or one that you can see the pattern/texture of your underwear, please make sure that you wear a suitable bra. Please avoid ones with textures (such as embroidered detailing / lace) or patterns as it will show in your images and doesn't make for a good portraits.

Necklines - Avoid anything too revealing as you end up pulling this up continually during the shoot and may end up being cropped out of the photo. Avoid necklines that fall at or above the collar bone too. Polo/turtle necks are a no-no 🙂

* Top tip - Prepare your clothes & accessories the day before and have them ready & waiting for your session. Have them pressed and hung up all ready to go. This will mean that you aren't stressing on the day & running around last minute. It's important to present the best version of yourself in your photos.


Necklaces and earrings are great to help add a splash of colour.

I'm a great believer in less is more generally. Keeping it simple is more timeless, elegant and classic. It's still important to reflect your personality, just ensure that your jewelry doesn't take away from your face. If you are in a creative field, it would be great to showcase your work and wear it as well so keep that in mind.

Regarding earrings, this will really depend on your hair style on the day. Studs or smaller earrings work best with shorter hair in more formal professions but creatives can afford to go a little more adventurous. For anyone with longer hair, depending on how your hair is styled on the day your earrings might not even be visible. Feel free to bring along a few options on the day if you aren't sure.


If you are getting your hair cut/coloured before the shoot, do it a week in advance to allow it to settle and not look to severe. For anyone with longer hair, I recommend nice soft, sleek, loose waves in your hair. If you can, get a blow dry and hair styled. It adds a little bit of polish to your shots and is more flattering. Tell your hairdresser it's for a personal branding session so pay particularly attention to the front of your hair (around your face) as that's the part we will be capturing most in the shots (as opposed to the back). If your hair is shorter, just keep it in your normal style. Choose a style that highlights the natural curve and shape of your face.

Bring along your comb/brush/styling product and some hair spray / serum to the session. I'm happy to help you fine tune before we kick off.

Facial Hair - Prepare your facial hair in advance - if you know that your skin gets very red or irritated leave time between the shoot and work you get done. If you have beard, try and get it trimmed and smooth with some hot oil treatment for a more conditioned look.


If you use fake tan, please try and ensure it is properly applied to the hands - not to heavy or patchy. I tend to find that when I'm applying it if I exfoliate beforehand and use lots of moisturiser on my hands just before I apply the fake tan it works best. Also if you have an old, clean powder makeup brush you can then use it to apply a thin layer of tan to the hands works a treat!

Your hands may end up in some shots, so ensure that your nails are trimmed/tidy and without any chipped polish. For women, neutral colours are popular however if you are in a more creative industry then you may wish to be a bit more adventurous. For men, a clean trim is sufficient.


I would strongly recommend that you get your make-up professionally applied for your personal branding portrait session unless you are proficient at applying it yourself. It can make a real difference to how the end result turns out. It doesn't have to cost the earth and you don't have to end up looking like a clown with over-the-top make-up. I am happy to recommend a number of talented make-up artists who can give you a totally polished look whilst still allowing your natural beauty to shine through.

Some other general tips regarding make-up: -

Emphasize your eyes – they will be the main focus of your closer headshots. Avoid anything too heavy or overdone. PLEASE do not wear eyeshadow with glitter in it. It doesn't photograph well (for the purposes of this type of shoot) and can fall down on your face and clothing. Not a good look. Neutral colours are always good but you can ask your MUA for guidance on your colouring and eye colour.

Avoid too much shine - bring along some powder to the session if your skin tends to shine or sweat. Oil blotting pads are also useful to eradicate shine. You will probably be rushing about before the session and maybe stressing a little about getting your photos done so we want you looking your best.

Lip colour - mauves, browns & berry shades are good. You want some colour to your to brighten up your face but avoid lots of gloss. A more matte/sheer finish is good. I love Catrice Ultimate Colour in shade Maroon 020

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Brows - whilst there is a real focus on brows right now and a trend to heavily sculpt and define them, natural is best. Feel free to shape the brows but avoid heavy painted on brows and concealer above/below them. If you can also tidy brows up before the session to eradicate stray hairs outside the main brow line that works best.

Look after your lips - if they are chapped/dry ahead of the shoot, use lip balm to try and improve the surface. I also have found that rubbing with an old toothbrush over the top can help shift dry skin on the lips and then apply moisturising balm such as Blistex Intensive Moisturiser Hydrating Cream.

Drink plenty of water - this keeps your skin hydrated & plump and looking amazing for the photo shoot

Face Mask - use a facial mask the morning of your shoot. This will give your skin next level hydration and leave your skin luminous. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes if you have time for optimal skin glow. This will revive your skin and prepare it for your make-up

Moisturise - If you don't normally moisture your skin, try and prioritise this in the week leading up to your shoot. If using a new moisturiser, use one that's fragrance free to ensure that your skin does not have an allergic reaction. A moisturiser will boost hydration and ensure your skin glows

So there you have it! I hope you found this useful and I look forward to working with you soon at your session.


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