What to Wear for Your Personal Brand Photos

You have a solid brand strategy and you’ve figured out who your ideal client is. Your business is ready for the next step: taking personal brand photos to capture the attention of people who want, need, and love what you do.

In other words: marketing! For solo entrepreneurs and service-based businesses, personal brand photography provides images that you can use on your website and in print and digital marketing to start a conversation with your potential clients.

You may be wondering, “What should I wear for a brand photo session?

As a Knoxville-based commercial and advertising photographer, this is a question I get all the time. Choosing what to wear for your personal brand photos can be exciting and a fun reason to get creative and stylish with your wardrobe. It may also be stressful if you’re wondering where to start!

I love helping my clients plan their outfits so they look their best. I’ve put together this guide to help you understand what a personal brand photography session is, who needs brand photos, and what to wear — and what not to!

What is personal brand photography?

Personal brand photography is a cohesive collection of images that, together, tell a story and deliver a message about what you do and what you are passionate about.

Your personal brand photos are part of your overall business brand strategy. When you select outfits that reflect your brand, your photos keep your brand message consistent. As you prepare for your moment in front of the camera, think about the message you’d like your photos to send to your ideal client.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What goals do you want to achieve with your photos?
  • Where will you use your images? (Your website? A brochure? Your social media pages?)
  • What story do you want to tell? What should your photos say about your brand?
  • When someone looks at your photos, what’s the most important idea or concept that you want to convey?
Woman in pink leopard print top holding gold balloons while laughing.

Who needs personal brand photos? 

Entrepreneurs, entertainers, influencers, and small business owners can elevate their businesses with personal brand photography.

Ultimately, the best photos help people connect with you and your brand so you can sell your product or service. They give your potential clients an idea of who you are and what it would be like to work with you.

How to pick the perfect outfits for your photo session 

Now for the fun part — deciding what to wear!

To tell your story,  a collection of at least three to five outfits can produce a diverse range of images. Your outfit mix can be professional, casual, or creative — or a combination of different vibes. Include outfits for different seasons or ones that make sense year-round. Bring options!

You may be thinking, “With so many outfit combinations to choose from, where do I even begin?”

Here’s a simple thought exercise I share with my clients. Think about what you would wear to meet your ideal client for the first time. What if you ran into them at a restaurant or a grocery store? What would you wear to a Zoom call? Or if you were giving a talk to a large group of prospective clients?

In all these situations, how would you want them to see you? How would you present yourself so your ideal client connects with you?

Now that you’ve started to brainstorm your outfit ideas, here are 7 tips for what to wear in your personal brand photos:

  1. Wear clothing that makes you look and feel great
    When you’re wearing clothes that you’re comfortable in and excited about, you’ll feel and look your best during your photo session. Just make sure your outfits fit your style and are consistent with your brand message. You’ll give off a positive energy that will make your photos pop!

    Is there an item in your closet that you’ve always wanted to wear, but have never had the opportunity? Bring it to your session! Or stick with structured classics. Mixing trendy statement pieces and classics can provide a great balance to your look.

  2. Be you
    Don’t be afraid to stand out! If leather pants, faux fur, and sequins fit your personality and brand, go for it. A client once told me they had an orange velvet jacket they were considering wearing, and they asked what I thought. I couldn’t say “yes, yes, yes” fast enough! You’re the star of your photos, so bring your whole self!

  3. Pick flattering colors
    Solid colors are generally best for professional photos. Your clients’ eyes will be drawn to your face, rather than distracted by your outfit.Think about what colors flatter your eyes or skin tone. You may also want to coordinate with your brand colors to give your social media and website a cohesive look.

    As a photographer, one of my passions is working with color. Deep, rich colors pop on camera. But if that’s not your style, neutral colors like black, gray, tan, white, and navy are classic and timeless options.

  4. Consider using layers
    Dynamic, visually interesting layers — like a jacket over a complementary-hued blouse — photograph well, especially against a solid background.

  5. Add jewelry as a finishing touch
    Incorporate jewelry into your overall look. Just don’t go overboard. Too much can be distracting.

  6. Mix up your looks
    Your outfits should have enough in common that they flow from image to image, yet be unique enough that each one draws attention. For example, simply changing your necklines, say from a v-neck to a boat neck to a square cut, can make your images dynamic.When thinking about necklines, pick styles that feel true to what you typically wear.

    Make sure you feel confident about how much skin you’re revealing. And speaking of skin, if you’ve been hitting the gym, then show off those arms! Depending on your brand, sleeveless can be a nice look. A sleeveless top under a jacket works well since the arm fabric won’t bunch up. Plus, it’s an easy way to add variety: the jacket and top combo can be one ensemble, and the top on its own can be another. Look at you, mixing it up!

  7. Give yourself time to select your outfits 
    When you buy a car, it’s a good idea to give it a test drive before you commit. Take your outfits for a spin, too.Once you have an outfit selected, walk around, sit, and stand in it — maybe even give it a twirl? Look in a mirror with different lighting and angles. Ask a friend or family member to snap a quick photo. Are you looking and feeling your best?

What not to wear to your photo session 

Now you know what to wear. But what not to wear is just as important. Your personal brand photos should capture the ideal version of yourself. As a photographer, I know what doesn’t look great on camera. I’m here to steer you in the right direction!

Here are 4 tips for what not to wear in your professional photos:

  1. Avoid baggy or tight clothes
    You don’t want to look heavier than you are in real life, or risk pulling attention away from your face. Wear fitted clothing that gives you the shape you’d like to see when you look in the mirror. Don’t wear an outfit that will make you worry about the fit.

  2. Stay away from certain colors
    Silver or shiny white clothing tends to shift focus negatively. Unless the photo is all about the outfit, use these high-key colors sparingly. Also, consider your brand colors when choosing your outfits, and don’t pick colors that clash.

  3. Be choosy about patterns and logos
    Sometimes plaid or checkered outfits have high contrast colors right next to each other that clash on camera. If plaid is your look, go for it. But I recommend planning additional outfits just in case.

    I also tell my clients to avoid small patterns. Sometimes, they can cause a phenomenon known as moiré, a visual effect where the image looks wavy.

    Unless graphic tees are your brand, leave them in your closet. And if you’re going to wear logos, make sure they’re yours. You want to promote your brand, not someone else’s.

  4. Look tidy
    Give your glasses a good cleaning before your photo session. Your clients want to see your eyes, not smudges! And don’t let a perfectly good outfit show up on camera with wrinkles. Iron and steam your clothing before your session.

Helping you dress your best for your personal brand photos 

If you’re looking for a Knoxville-area photographer, I’d love to help you get wardrobe-ready for your photo session. When you book a personal brand photography session with me, we’ll have a creative consultation to discuss your brand look, feel, and messaging.
We’ll talk through your outfit ideas and I’ll share my feedback. I always consider the location of your photo session, and I’ll help you think about outfit choices that won’t get lost in or clash with your surroundings.

After our conversation, I’ll create a mood board with wardrobe ideas that you can review. Once you’ve selected your outfits, I’ll ask you to share quick photos of your choices so I can work them into the flow of your photo session.
My goal is to help you look fantastic in your personal brand photos — and that starts with making sure you feel great about your outfit choices.

Additional styling expertise in my Knoxville network
If you want extra assistance to pick out your wardrobe, I’m happy to refer you to a stylist. K.C. Colemon and Kelsey Miller are two Knoxville-based stylists I’ve worked with and recommend.

Let’s work together to create your personal brand photos

If you’d like to make your brand more visible and connect with your ideal clients, please schedule a call with me. Let’s talk about what a personal brand photo session could look like for you.


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