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What Colors Are Best for Professional Headshots? [Updated 2024]

A guide to choosing the best colours for your professional headshots: Based on your body, skin and preferences, let's design you a colour pallette that represents your true essence on your headshot image

A man posing for a professional headshot with a warm smile
A man posing for a professional headshot with a warm smile

It has happened to all of us: We are scrolling through some social applications, and a simple picture with perfect color balance catches our eye. Isn't it mesmerizing? 

But is it just the photo that rates the magic, or is there something else?

It's the color palette of the Headshot that makes you go wow... The correct color selection radiates impactful energy. It makes people look slimmer, more confident, or brighter, respectively. 

An appropriate color selection for professional headshots can slay the picture. If you can't wait to make your Professional Headshot look like those business magazine cover pictures, this guide will help significantly. 

Keep Reading…

Choose colors that make you stand out.

Have you heard of the famous campaign tagline of Levis? 

Be Proud. Be bold. Be yourself. 

This tagline stands true even when selecting the colors for your headshot. 

Bold makes you stand out, whether it's color or a business move. Though there are no set rules or regulations, there are specific colors that are always the showstoppers. 


A woman in an outdoor setting posing for a headshot

Blue is the corporate color. No, it's not mentioned anywhere, but it's a color that completely fits professionalism. The light shades of blue, like powder blue, are so much in trend. The tenderness of this color brings a certain amount of soft glow to pictures. At the same time, the darker shades, combined with a contrasting touch, make the look attractive. 

Also, as per the color psychology, blue showcases calm and serenity. Blue makes you look confident and evokes authoritativeness. 

The cool skin tones look very balanced and regal in blue shades. Also, if someone has blonde or brown hair, blue makes them stand out. 

The versatility of the color highlights your personality and makes you look confident with your choices. Also, it is universally believed that blue is an easy-to-notice color. And that feature is an excellent reason to wear blue or use it as a background shade for professional headshots. 


A man wearing a black suit looking smart in a professional photo

Everyone knows that Black is the cult classic color. Black can never go off the season. It's always the regal choice to grab the spotlight forever. Wearing a black outfit can never make Jack a dull boy! Black screams sheer elegance and grace. Most elite professionals are often seen slaying in their black attire. 

Whether you belong to the upper management or some executive profile, here's how you can style that black thing in your wardrobe waiting to make heads turn. 

  • The Ladies: A basic black toasted with some elegant golden accessories is a perfect take for a classic headshot.  

  • The Men: All black is also a good option, but to break the monotony style, a black coat with a light-shade shirt is a great match. 

  • The Must: Baggy and voluminous clothing is not for professionals. Go for perfect fits as per the bossy type, and let your headshot do its thing.


A man in a grey suit looking daper for his headshot

Neither too dark nor too light. It's not dull, it's not light, it's not predictable, and it's not very flashy. It is just perfection! Yes, that's precisely what a grey color says. 

Grey always stands out because it is a unique shade and makes your personality look more classy. Grey goes with all types of skin tones and hair colors and does magic to a professional look for every season. 

But yes, though the color is sassy, it can make your headshot look dull. For that not to happen, add some bright colors in the background. It compliments the attire with some accessories and scarves of brighter shades to elevate the entire look. Also, adjust the lighting so that the color palette looks balanced for professional headshots and the Grey that you have chosen can Slay.  

Another exciting thing about your personality is that grey brings out your personality as bold and responsible. Why? Oh! When someone does something unpredictable, it puts them in a place where people see them as a very content personality.


Woman in a red dress posing for a headshot

The most skeptical one, for sure. But the only one that can create an impact of 'Hey, I have arrived.' Red is a very energetic-cum-enthusiastic color, making your headshot speak the same narrative.  

This color can make headshots shine for people with brown and warm complexions. Red radiates the royal energy and amazes people. Also, if you are taking charge of C-Suite positions, this one is the perfect choice for you to stand out. 

If you are skeptical about using this color, go for accessories, shoes, or a lip shade. 

Dear readers, trust that Red is the language of flamboyance and royalty. 


Woman in a purple shirt posing for a headshot

(Image source)

Purple is another color that beautifully fits in the professional palate. This color looks great on people with both warm and cold skin tones. Also, purple comes in a range of shades. So there is complete room for you to make the right choice for your professional headshot. 

Lilac and lavender are more in trend. These days, we can spot them everywhere; walls, flowers, coats, dresses, jackets, ties and more. These colors feel so fresh, new, and creative. Choosing them can make your headshot stand out to the audience in a world that still requires a repetitive palate. 


A cool toned green shirt suits this man posing for his headshot

Green is just the synonym for vibrance and growth. Green is the color that dates so much life and energy. A headshot with the addition of subtle green in it makes the recruiters believe in your creativity. 

If you have cool skin tones and brown hair, this is genuinely your color. 

Sometimes, people believe there are better colors than green for professional spaces. But you can use it for the headshots, which the recruiters or interviewers will see. 

Find colors that flatter your complexion. 

Every complexion is unique and beautiful in its way. And that beauty must be enhanced and enriched to let the world notice, especially when a professional headshot is concerned. 

Here is how you can do that!

Understand what your complexion needs. 

Understanding your complexion is simple. All you need is to know that you are on which side of the light-dark, dusky, wheatish, or fair. 

Now you know what color of outfit will suit you best. For example, if you are fair, pale whites will make the look blurry. But if you choose something bright, it will all look aesthetic and decadent. Dark and dusky skin tones go with dark palettes like black and deep brown, but they still fail to leave an impact with brighter shades. 

Professional Headshots run on thy psychology of contrast. So, while choosing your colors, you must develop an understanding of skin tones and shades. Now, speaking of contrast, this game has its variations, the light contrast and the dark contrast. If one does not choose the color hues correctly the headshot will look washed out and a little off. And who has the chance to spoil their headshots, their first impression? 

Know your skin color better.

A woman posing for a professional headshot looks extremely polished and well put-together

People often consider complexion and color the same thing, but we will get it right for you. The complexion is straightforward, with light and dark shades. But skin color has its phenomenal range. There are so many regions, continents, and countries in the world, all with a different tint of climatic scenarios. We can't put skin color into boxes of differentiation. It's a range with no defined limits. 

Still, some color factors can help you get your perfect Headshot. 

  • Olive Green: People in Asia, the Middle East, and America are suitable suitors of this shade. 

  • Red: The brown people or those from the African regions have a tint of Red in their skin tones; thus, using Red for a headshot beautifully compliments it. 

  • Blue: Most people from Asia and the Middle East have a blue hue on their skin. Any color contrasting with Blue adds a phenomenal look to the professional headshot. 

Our skin is not one defined parameter. It blends several beautiful shades, all of which are beautifully unique. 

A few more details. 

  • If your skin tone is warm, pick neutral colors that enhance your features and let your natural glow shine. 

  • If you are cold (kidding), i.e., with a calm skin tone, go for hues, blues, natural, and a vibrant palette. 

  • Neutral skin tones should go with a balanced tone that is dark and dusky. Hues are only some of the perfect options. 

There is a shade within the skin too.

Getting the perfect headshot can be challenging, right? It would help if you got everything perfect. So now that you are done with understanding how skin shades work, it is time to get under the skin. 

Nothing to joke about; you indeed have a skin tone under your skin. It is called the undertone of your skin.

What's that?

While choosing the perfect color for your headshot, you must understand the undertone game. All ethnicities, races, and different native people have two or three undertones. Several fun DIY tests can help you know what you need to understand.

Pick colors that align with your industry.

Professional headshots suit different industries; thus, the colors defy that basis. Here is a basic segregation you must know before selecting the color palette for your headshot. 

  • Business Headshots: The color you use should be attractive at first glance. Sometimes, you can study the color your client often uses or is fond of and take advantage of that. If the occasion requires you to look approachable, go for a lighter shade. And if it's the opposite, then go for a darker shade. 

  • Corporate Headshots: Corporate has its language; to understand it better, communicate it with HR. Many corporations have their brand guidelines for headshots, so you can refer to them before selecting any color. 

  • Casual Headshots: If it's for social media presence or web presence, you can go with a theme, like what kind of vibe you want to resonate with your headshot. We often have selective website themes so you can go with that. Headshots supported by a theme uniquely stand out and make their presence more visible. 

Before finalizing the colors, there is one more thing you should focus on, and that is your brand value. Every industry has its metrics and narrative. Do you need to emphasize that as well? Brief yourself about the trending colors of your targeted industry and how you can own that palette. Once you bridge the parameters, you can select your colors and use them for your professional headshot. 

Colors are present in people's minds, so playing with them smartly is crucial.

Select colors that create a contrasting appearance.

Contrast is the king, queen, or whatever makes it sound powerful. But get it straight, readers, that it is the new normal, and professional headshots are no exception. 

If you have a calm skin tone, wearing something bright or going for a bright background will make your professional headshots look more attractive and appealing. Or else, if you are dusky-skinned, you can add red tones or good whites in your clothing or the background. If you choose black, style it with gold or silver jewellery to give it a classy overall appearance.  

Let's give it the final touch with InstaHeadshots. 

Instaheadshots turns your selfies into professional headshots

This was just a guide, but there is no one-line answer to what you should pick for your professional headshot. It all depends on your skin, the lights, the background as well as the setting. 

You must be feeling all this is complex, but hey, in the times of AI, there is a solution for everything else. And in this case, it's InstaHeadshots. 

Now, what's InstaHeadshots?

Easy Readers!

It's an AI, too, that helps you get your perfect headshot. All you have to do is upload your selfie with the recommended steps, and there you get 10 styles to choose from. From there, you can check out what suits you and your industry well. Also, they have an excellent range of pricing plans for you to choose from at your convenience. 

With InstaHeadshots, it is easier to get your perfect headshot than it sounds!  

Just Click>Upload>Choose>Slay. 

So, get it right and easy-peasy with InstaHeadshots. 

No hassle, complexities, jargon, just easy headshots in no time. 

Yes, we know for perfectionists, no piece of information is the last one. That kid inside you wants to know everything, so read more about whys and whats of headshots here.