top of page
  • Writer's pictureMark Paterson

One of the "unwritten rules" of having your Portrait taken

Updated: May 4

A couple of things that you may not think about when you are thinking about having a professional headshot image taken, is what to wear. Or what backdrop to be shot against. In this post, you'll find out what NOT to do with some unwritten rules and guidance on what you can do. While there is a variety of coloured backdrops available, for this I will be using the traditional WHITE and BLACK as those are the most popular.

As mentioned in my last post, the importance of a professional headshot can not be under rated as a key marketing tool. Quite often, it is the first thing a person sees when they are checking out new partners to work with. So lets start with the you, the sitter, matching the backdrop.

While both images are well lit, the colour of the shirt blends in with the background. And gives the illusion of the head just floating in the air. Straight away, your eyes are drawn to the image as you decipher what you see. This is one of the distractions that the mind plays tricks on you. As your eyes are drawn to the brightest part of any image. In the white background, your eyes are drawn to the background and shirt. While in the black background, your eyes are drawn to the head, which appears to be floating.

In these images the sitter is now contrasting with the background, which makes the image look more "comfortable" to view. Straight away, we can see a contrast in the lower half of both images. With the black contrasting with the white in the left hand side, and vice versa in the right hand side. Only now do we see a person and what they are wearing. Thus making them stand out better.

"What if I don't wear a black or white shirt/blouse in your workplace. Or what if I wear a blazer in my profession?" And that is a great question.

The best way to explain the "rules" in this instance is this.

If you have a light coloured blouse/shirt, then a dark coloured background works best.

With a dark coloured blouse/shirt/jacket a light coloured backdrop works best.

So next time you have a professional headshot session, bare in mind what colours you choose to wear, as well as the background.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page