Industry Norms

While we all want to stand out there are certain industry norms which you may want to take into account when it comes to wardrobe choices. These ‘norms’ are different depending on your industry and depending on your target audience.

Solid colors, simple and effective.

For more formal business headshot, a white shirt/blouse is a mainstay. Similarly black blazers go over well. For full length, matching skirts or pants, jeans, appropriate footwear should be considered. In some cases exposed upper arms can work, but this is rare, if you are at all conscious of this, please bring something that you can wear over the top.


Bring something to manage your hair.

There are some things you should always bring to a session. Even if you hire an MUA (make-up artist), even if you visit a MAC counter and unless you happen to be totally bald, always bring a hairbrush/comb and either hairspray or gel. Why? The next time you’re looking in the mirror, take a good, hard look at the fringes of your hair – chances are unless you’ve used the aforementioned items, you’re going to see dozens of flyaway hairs. Those hairs are likely to appear on your photograph and they can be time consuming both during the session and in post-production. A quick dash of hairspray, a pat down and they’re gone.


Keep make-up simple, healthy and vibrant.

If you have hired our make-up artist (MUA), then she’ll take care of this, but in most circumstances I would advise either the use of an MUA or a visit to a MAC counter or similar. If you do visit a counter, let them know it’s for a business headshot – it needs to be largely neutral, clean, simple. We’re not shooting for Vogue and you don’t want to look like you’re heading out for a night on the town.  If you’re doing it yourself, the same advice applies, simple and clean. Note if you are using our MUA, please arrive with the absolute minimal amount of make-up already on.

Studio Arufu recommends Hitomi Haga, Haga-san is easy to work with, speaks a good amount of english and is very professional.


Choose your jewelry wisely and it"ll enhance your pictures. If in doubt, go without.

Some of my clients are known for their extravagant accessories and their photo needs to reflect their personality. For othersbe aware that jewelry can be a highly distracting element in an image for the following reasons. Firstly, jewelry tends to be shiny and shiny surfaces reflect light back to the camera like mirrors, and that can become quite distracting. Secondly, jewelry tends to move when you pose – so we may have just captured the absolute essence of you;  great expression, perfect hair, etc. but the jewelry is all crooked and that can break the image.

Some items work really well; pearls for example can look both professional and beautiful and seldom move as much as other items such as gold necklaces. Bring some variety so we can see what works. But if in doubt, go without. Remember the portrait is about you and not your jewelry.