Headshots photo of a woman with black hair wearing a black top and blazer. Professional headshots coquitlam

Top 10 Tips to Look and Feel Your Best in you Vancouver Headshots

Headshots image of a woman

“What do I wear?!” is my most commonly asked question regardless of the type of photos you’re planning to get done. If it’s branding images and headshots that you’re looking for, here’s my Top 10 Tips to Look and Feel Your Best in Headshots!!

1. Let Your Personality Shine

These Headshots photos need to show the REAL authentic you! Don’t try to be someone you’re not, so if you wouldn’t wear a suit or a dress to work, don’t do it for these photos! 

What is your personal style? Classic? Trendy? Modern? Earthy? Etc? Wear what you FEEL fantastic in because if you feel incredible, it will certainly shine through! 

I get asked a lot about tattoos and are they appropriate?! I say heck yes, show off your art that you’re proud of. It’s part of you!

And if your striped eyeglasses are your signature piece, then please don’t forget them! Your clients want to see who you truly are!

Headshots image of a woman in a v neck sleeveless top with one hand on hip
A woman's headshots image with elbows on desk and hands together leaning slightly forward

 2. Embrace Your Brand With Your Clothing 

Think of who your ideal clients are and who you are trying to connect with. Does it make sense to wear a sharp suit, or something more casual? Or maybe both!? 

This also goes for your brand colours. Pick outfit colours that will either match or complement your business branding colours.

Layering is an easy way to shoot more than one ‘look’. Perhaps you start with a suit jacket or blazer and then it’s super quick to remove that layer and do some shots of the shirt/blouse you’re wearing underneath. Easy!

Consider textures too as they can add warmth and a certain vibe to your photos. For example, sequins or cashmere or flowy fabrics – will these work for your branding? Or would a crisp white shirt be more up your alley? You’ll see what I mean when you look at my Pinterest board linked below.

Headshots image of a man
Headshots image of a man

3. Colours and Patterns

Your clients want to see YOU, not a bright, loud and hard to look at patterned top. That would be too distracting, so do avoid super busy patterns and any smaller pin stripes too. Having said that, if hot pink leopard print or clashing patterns are your go to style, absolutely bring it!

Solid colours look much cleaner in photos and that way YOU will be the focus of the image, not your clothing. 

I always suggest wearing something that matches your eyes as that will always make them POP!

image of a woman sitting on a stool
Up close headshots image of a woman with red hair and blue eyes

4. Fit for Success

There is nothing worse than seeing someone in an ill-fitting outfit, be it too tight or too loose. 

Clothing should hang nicely and not show any pulling. And while wearing something looser may feel more comfortable (I love a good tunic too!), it can also look like it’s too big on you. 

Find that happy medium so that your clothes look like they fit you.

Headshots image of a woman clutching a book in her arms
Dramatic Headshots image of a woman wearing a white blouse

5. Headshots Necklines

You likely already know which necklines look good on you, but here’s some food for thought. If you have a shorter neck, a deeper neckline can help to elongate it in photos. The V and Scoop necks look good on pretty much everyone. Plus, the V also complements those of us with a rounder or wider shaped face.

If you have a longer neck, then select a higher neckline like a turtleneck, boat neck or crew neck. This will help your upper body look more proportioned.

If you’re looking to minimize a larger chest, a square neckline or a collar will be your best friend.

Headshots image of a woman smiling and leaning over the back of a chair
Headshots image of a woman in an indigenous wrap

6. Accessories

Adding a statement necklace, your signature eye-glasses, hats or even a bow-tie can help tell your unique story! 

Show off your personality by simply adding a great accessory. It could be a scarf, fancy shoes, suspenders, bold jewellery etc, but make sure it’s YOU! If you wouldn’t normally wear any of those things, please don’t start here. 

And if wearing a more refined and elegant necklace is your style, that too tells the story of amazing you!

I consider props like accessories so if there’s something that makes sense for you and your business, feel free to bring it along.

Headshots image of a woman wearing a hat smiling
image of a woman with flamboyant dangly earrings

7. Bring More But Not TOO Much

If you’re not 100% sure which outfit looks you’d like to wear at your session, I always say please bring more, not less! Variety is the spice of life as they say, and you don’t want to arrive at my studio wishing you’d brought that red dress. Having more variety is definitely better than less. But please don’t bring your entire closet, LOL, that would be overwhelming!

We can bang off a few different styles during our session and I’d rather you have more photos to love and work with, rather than feel like you’re missing something.

Headshots image of a woman sitting on a stook and one hand crossed over the other on her knee
Image of a woman sitting in a chair, elbow leaning on the arm

8. Image Usage

Think about where you will use these Headshots photos. Will they become part of your bio page on your website, your new Linked In profile pic, an email signature image, in articles you write, or for a speaking engagement promotion? 

As you may have a handful of ways that you’ll want to use your photos, think about all the above tips to ensure you’ll have looks prepared that will work best for each marketing need.

Wide shot image of a woman sitting on a chair with arm leaning on back of chair
Close up image of a woman, head and shoulder shot

9. Vibe

What type of vibe are you wanting for your photos? Pics that are more fun, traditional, smiley or fierce, corporate or editorial, serious or playful?

In the past, headshots were usually Head & Shoulder shots and you’d be looking into the camera, but, things change and evolve, so if you want to have more fun with your images and be looking away or laughing, we can absolutely do that. They don’t have to be all serious. Sharing your intended vibe(s) with me will be really helpful.

10. Mindset

Do consider your mindset, especially the day of your shoot. Prepare to have a lot of fun, have an open mind, and ultimately, let your personality shine through. You won’t need to worry about anything, especially what to do with your hands, as that’s my job and I’ll take care of directing you. I look forward to creating some magnetic and personality-packed images together.

Bonus Headshot Tips!

Here’s my everyday need to know personal PRO TIPS for Headshots: 

  • Don’t get a new hair do the day before your shoot just in case you don’t like it!
  • Do make sure your hands and nails are clean and tidy, as they may make an appearance in some shots.
  • Do bring your favourite TWO lip colours as even a simple lip colour change can create an entirely new look (y’all know I love lipstick!). 
  • Do ensure your outfit choices are clean, pressed and look brand new. Pilling of fabric or loose threads will really show up in your images and I don’t think that’s the vibe you’re going for.
  • Do drink water like it’s your job! You want to be hydrated so your skin looks great and you feel your best! 
Headshots image of a woman with her hands clasped under her chin
image of a woman with one hand up to her cheek


Now, having read all of these tips, here’s a couple of Pinterest Boards that I curated to give you some inspiration and ideas.

Headshots Inspiration for Women 

Headshots Inspiration for Men

Ok, now you’ve got a bunch of ideas that will reflect you and your brand and we hope these tips help you feel prepared for your next  Headshots or Personal Branding Photoshoot with Mateus Studios! 

Keep your eyes open for our headshots mini sessions coming up. We host them several times a year.  

Photos shared with permission.

Michele Mateus is a Boudoir, Intimate Portrait, Nude Fine Art, Headshots and Personal Branding Photographer located in Coquitlam, BC. Serving Coquitlam, Vancouver, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley, BC. Studio, Outdoor and On-location Boudoir Photography.

Hair & Makeup By Jenny Valla.

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Michele Mateus is an award winning Vancouver Boudoir and Women’s Portrait Photographer. Serving Coquitlam, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Langley, Abbotsford, Squamish, Burnaby, Surrey, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, New Westminster and the Great Vancouver area.

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