What colours to wear to look good in photos

Today I am going to show you how to enhance your professional image with the best colour choices from the very start, using items in your wardrobe.

I remember when I first started to learn about the impact of colours in professional headshots. I’d go from outfit to outfit, trying to understand how colour psychology worked. It was a bit overwhelming and confusing.

And in this no-nonsense guide, I’ll cut out all of the noise and show you exactly how to elevate your professional presence and boost your confidence.


Topic Overview


What is colour psychology in professional headshots?

Colour psychology is the process of understanding how different colours evoke specific emotions and perceptions. It’s important because it influences how others perceive you and can enhance your visual narrative, ultimately boosting your professional image.

For example, let’s say you have a headshot session coming up, and you’re not sure which colours to wear to convey confidence and competence. What’s the most important thing affecting how people see you?

Colour psychology

And when you choose the right colours for your headshots, your images will exude professionalism and authenticity, making a lasting positive impression on your audience.


How to Choose the Right Colours for Your Headshots


Our subconscious judgements about personality, competence, and other attributes are influenced by colour psychology within seconds.

Strategic choices shape split-second internal reactions – “I feel I can trust this person” or “I’m drawn to work with this coach.” Factors like colours that elicit warmth, lighting that makes someone approachable, and styles aligning with your speciality field distinguish which headshot makes the viewer think, “This is the advisor for me.”

Just as a heartfelt smile can brighten someone’s day, selecting the right hues in your headshots can create a positive impact by eliciting specific emotions tied to colour associations. For example, blue hues often convey trust, confidence, and stability due to connections with qualities like water and sky. While bright warm tones remind people of excitement and energy like sunshine or fire. You can strategically leverage these associations with thoughtful colour choices in headshots.

Now that you understand the basics of colour psychology dynamics, let’s explore the steps to select the perfect strategic colours for your personal brand.


Step 1: Decide How you want to look in Your Photos


Research shows first impressions form within 7 seconds of viewing headshots online. With care in colour choice, you can intentionally shape how viewers perceive qualities like competence, dynamism and trustworthiness in those critical moments. Studies reveal navy blues and royal purples enhance perceptions of authority and reliability for example.

Insight: Consider not just what colours you like, but colour associations you want to elicit in viewers based on strategic goals around first impressions. What 2-3 core qualities do you want to convey in the initial seconds someone sees your photo? Authentic. Honest. Trustworthy. Professional. Competent. Successful etc


Step 2: Discuss Your Desired Look with Your Photographer


Talk with your photographer about the impression you want to make in your photographs. What I do with most clients is have an intro call to get to know their personality, values, and goals first. Then in our consultation over video chat, we view different inspiration photos and engage in collaborative analysis to determine options that authentically align with who they are as an individual.

I aim to create a thoughtful space for my clients to explore possibilities and find their voice visually, while I actively listen and interpret verbal/non-verbal cues about what makes their spirit shine. This tailored process allows us to organically zero in on the customized colour choices and styles that reinforce their inner spark so it radiates through to viewers. My goal is for clients to feel heard while shaping the precise impression they envision by leveraging supportive guidance and strategic insights.

Insight: When meeting with your photographer, come prepared with the colour preferences of your business and brand image expectations. For example, share insights into how competitors in your field use intentional colour palettes that reinforce their professional qualities and personal brand.

Discuss specific colours that you believe would best highlight aligned values for your career, while shaping the desired first impressions from viewers. This collaborative process of sharing relevant insights with your photographer allows you to shape strategic, customized headshots.


Step 3: Consider Your Personal Brand and Desired Message


Reflect on your personal brand and the message you wish to convey.  This might be colours that resonate most and align closely with your core values and brand identity. Consider creating a brand style guide that identifies 2-3 words that you want viewers to associate with you, then translate those into complementary colours that will reinforce that impression.

Insight: Your personal brand plays a significant role in determining the colours that best represent you. For example, if you’re in a creative field, vibrant colours may reflect your innovative and dynamic approach. On the other hand, if you’re in a more traditional profession, such as law or finance, neutral tones may convey professionalism and reliability. If you’re not sure about this yet, a quick discovery call with your photographer will explain how to do this.


Step 4: Make an inspiration board


When discussing options with your photographer, provide examples of headshots you admire and explain what qualities you believe those colour palettes convey. Reference personalities in your industry who have crafted an influential brand image through intentional and strategic use of colour.

Insight: Compile a Pinterest board or vision collage with 15-20 example images of headshots using colour effectively. Include some compositions similar to yours as well as aspirational individuals you hope to emulate.

Identify 2-3 personalities and professionals you admire in your industry. Research articles and interviews they have given to understand their brand strategy and use of visuals in crafting their image. Overall tone and characteristics could inform colour choices that would align your brand with theirs.

Extract 5-6 exact colour palettes from headshots you love using a tool like Adobe Colour or Canva (free). Having these specific colours to show your photographer allows much more intentional coordination rather than just descriptive ideas. Compare hues that multiple inspirations commonly used to zero in on shared tendencies.


Step 5: Take Your Skin Tone and Hair Colour into Account


When selecting hues for your headshots, consider how they complement your skin tone and hair colour. Certain colours may enhance your features better, contributing to an overall polished appearance. If you’re interested in discovering the best colours for you, stay tuned for some exciting news at the end.

Insight: Schedule a consult call with your personal stylist such as www.yourcolourandstyle.com to have a personal or virtual colour analysis. See how swatches of different hues against your face make your skin glow or hair colour shine. Learn about warm and cool tones and see which work best for you.

For a quick reference, search for blog posts detailing flattering colours for your specific hair colour and complexion shade. Many celebrity stylists and fashion consultants provide guides that break down different palettes into primary and secondary colour suggestions.


Step 6: Conduct a Trial Session with Different Colours


Experiment with various coloured clothing during a trial session to determine which ones photograph best. Pay attention to lighting conditions and background colours, as they can influence the final result. Take time to evaluate your appearance in front of a mirror, and seek feedback from friends and family to gain multiple perspectives.

This process requires effort, but it’s essential for ensuring that your headshots authentically reflect your professional persona and leave a lasting positive impression on viewers.


In Closing


Strategically leveraging colour psychology in your professional headshots eliminates the struggle of selecting misaligned or uncoordinated colours that send the wrong impressions. This guide has equipped you to make informed colour choices that align with your personal brand and optimal features.

We explored how mindful use of colour in headshots can significantly shape viewer perceptions and first impressions, whether positively or negatively. Without intention in colour, achieving a polished, professional aesthetic is remarkably difficult.

However, by researching harmonious colours for your complexion undertone, conducting colour analysis consultations, and experimenting through test shots, you can craft a customized colour palette tailored for your unique needs. This enables you to highlight your best attributes while projecting qualities like dynamism, trustworthiness and competence through targeted colour associations.

You’ve got control over how viewers perceive your capabilities and brand in 2024, thanks to thoughtful colour choices.

Want to book a personal stylist?

If you’re feeling inspired to be professionally colour-analysed after reading this, then you’re in for a treat! Meet the talented personal stylist Fiona who specializes in colour analysis, personal shopping and more!

I’d also recommend Fiona’s newsletter for tips, offers and events.

If reading this has made you think it is time for a refresh of your headshot, you’re in luck!


Fiona Mobbs Personal Stylist


Join Our Headshot Event!

We’re hosting a special headshot mini-session event on April 12th. Get professional headshots with personalized support from photographer Mandy and stylist Fiona.

What to Expect:

  • 20-minute makeup consultation – Get a radiant, polished look
  • 30-minute private photo session – Held at Building 41 in Cowes
  • 3 professionally edited portraits – Showcase your best self
  • Expert guidance – We’ll ensure you feel comfortable and confident


  • Affordable introductory event – Great for new entrepreneurs, authors, creatives
  • Build your brand visually – Enhance websites, social media, professional profiles
  • Highlight your essence – Personality and professionalism shine through

Event Details:

  • Date: April 12, 2023
  • Location: Building 41, Cowes
  • Limited spaces – Reserve your slot today!

Next Steps:

  • Visit website to sign up: info[@]herbert.com or the BOOKING LINK 
  • Send us a message to ask questions 07719316609 for Mandy and 07469 246722 for Fiona

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to elevate your personal brand with an engaging, high-quality headshot!


Please contact Mandy at Mobile: +44 (0)7719316609

Seaview Home Studio at Phone: +44 (0)1983 617383



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