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Does Color Matter? A Guide to Selecting Your Headshot Color Palette.

Does the color you wear in professional headshots really matter? It's possible.

In my last blog post "The New Headshot" I alluded to something called color theory and how what colors we choose to wear can sometimes influence what others perceive about us or the colors can evoke certain emotions. Until recently I didn't even really think about this when it came to selecting certain colors for my wardrobe. I usually err on the side of my favorite color or seasonal colors.

As it turns out, it's a pretty interesting topic. Did you know that color theory is also cleverly used in design and marketing to help increase sales and attract attention? Think about when you are in a grocery store and you see a red sign next to a product. It usually means it's on sale. Why does LinkedIn use the color blue? Certain colors can help influence buyers, help them make quicker decisions and can also assist with brand recognition.

Let's look at a few color families and their significance according to this theory:

  • Dark Colors/Black: Formal, professional, authoritative, dominant

  • Bright Colors: Confident, energetic

  • Light Colors: Friendly, approachable

  • Muted Colors: Conservative, non-threatening

Here are some examples of the meanings of specific colors:

  • Red: Excitement, bold, youthful

  • Orange: Cheerful, efficient, fun

  • Yellow: Warm, comfort, clarity

  • Purple: Imaginative, wise, unique

  • Blue: Strength, dependable, trust

  • Green: Peaceful, healthy, natural

  • Neutral/Gray: Calm, balance, staying power

If your employer requires that you wear their colors in headshots, then everything mentioned above goes out the window. However, the next time you refresh your professional branding and have the liberty to select your color palette, think about what message you want to convey about yourself or your brand!

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