Video Tips: Wear This not That

If you are a speaker or someone doing video to promote your brand or business, no doubt, you have fabulous content to share!  Video is compelling and a great way to communicate your brand and your story.  But it is time consuming, it can be expensive and there’s a lot to consider.

One thing that can be overlooked – how you look.  Take the time, even in a Facebook Live to consider your hair, makeup, and wardrobe before stepping in front of the camera. It can be SO easy to ruin a video by unknowingly wearing the wrong things. Take it from me, I am an expert on what to wear, but not without committing some faux pas along the way!  In this blog I will share a few of them so you can avoid making the same mistakes I did.  Here are 10 things you need to know to show up at your best for video:

#1 Wear your ‘wow colors” near your face

The colors near your face will either drain you of life or highlight your best features.  There’s a palette of colors that look best on each of us and especially great on video.  Some colors to consider: Your best red, green, and blue are usually great choices depending on the background. 

#2 Stay clear of black and white

There are lots of reasons not to wear black and white.  For one thing they make it hard for the camera to create an accurate exposure.  This can be handled in post processing… But why take the gamble? 

Also, white will commonly wash you out, while black is harsh and runs the risk of bringing attention to any circles or crevices. Yikes.  Even navy runs this risk (exhibit A on the right there).  I recommend bright crisp colors instead of dark ones.

#3 Be business brand free

This one is relatively self-explanatory: be sure to avoid wearing shirts that have visible logos, brand names, or loud text.  These can be distracting for the viewer, so keep it brand-free!

#4 Show off your personal brand

As always, be true to who you are and what you want to communicate.  Dress in a way that is consistent with how you look when your clients meet you in person.



#5 Wear solid colors and avoid patterns

Even subtle patterns can be a problem.  They can be distracting and pull the viewers eyes away from you and they often create the moiré effect

(when lines on the screen look like the are moving).


<—Quel moiré faux pas ! (French for “what a moiré faux pas!”) 🙂



#6 Consider comfort a priority

Make sure you can move easily and freely, wearing lightweight garments that don’t make you sweat.

#7 Say yes to makeup but don’t over do it

The lights can wash you out but unless your personal brand is ‘glamorous’ you still don’t want to over do it.  You’re not an actor on stage in front of an audience–today’s high definition cameras pick up everything (in fact, be sure to wear powder so you aren’t shiny, otherwise, you might end up reflecting the lights).

#8 Jewelry should be quiet

Big earrings and statement necklaces are great but if they move and jingle you don’t want them on the set.

#9 Avoid trends

Your video may be around for some time to come.  Don’t date it with trendy clothes or styles.



#10 Don’t wear glasses unless the videographer confirms there are no shadows

Unless you are in a very controlled environment, don’t wear glasses.  They cast shadows that can’t be avoided and can ruin how you look and distract from your message.


See how my red glasses cast a frightening shadow around my eyes?





Finally, do yourself a favor and always do a final bathroom double take.  I recently traveled to L.A. for a conference and paid a nice sum to be video taped.  I didn’t go on stage until midday.  I looked in the mirror in the bathroom but there wasn’t a full length mirror so I only saw myself from the neck up.  The videographer didn’t mention there was a big wrinkle across my tummy and a few others in my skirt.  Geez.  I know better. I’m an Image consultant… This will clearly be video I will never use.

So be sure to look in a full length mirror and check out your backside while you are at it.


Isn’t this better?  




I had great success in all of these events even though the video wasn’t 100% what I wanted.  So if you wear the wrong thing, don’t beat yourself up.  It clearly happens to the best of us.  But I share this so you can indeed learn from my mistakes and first hand knowledge.  It makes a difference what we wear.  And video has it’s own set of rules.  Follow these easy tips so you know you will look amazing on video and can focus on all that compelling content you have to share with the world.

What’s Your Your Image and Style IQ?

Does Your Image Pass the Test?

What's Your Style IQ?You have 10 seconds to make a first impression. How you dress and groom yourself speaks for you even without you saying a single word. It’s not just what you’re wearing but how your clothes fit you.

How do you score on this image and style test? Give yourself two points for every statement that you can say “yes” to.  This quiz applies to men and women so go for it!

  1. I know my personal brand, I always shop and dress with this in mind, I never wear clothes without thinking about what image they will project.
  2. I know about my body proportions and my body shape; I know what clothes look best on me.
  3. My clothes fit me very well. There is no pinching at the waist, my pant length is right where it needs to be, the cuffs of my jackets are just right.
  4. When people look at me they can tell right away that I’m someone who takes care of details. My shoes are polished, my purse or briefcase is of good quality, and my belt doesn’t show any hints of wear or change in waist size.
  5. My hair is more than cut, it’s styled by someone who knows how to make me look my best.
  6. My clothes are always clean and if a shirt or jacket needs pressing, it’s pressed. No one has to say to me, “Hey, did you know you have a stain on your shirt?”  I take care of my clothes. I always present myself in a respectful way.
  7. When I shake someone’s hand, I’m never self-conscious. I groom my fingernails and don’t have chipped polish.
  8. I know which colors make me look the best. My wardrobe consists of only clothes that help me reflect my best self. Colors that don’t flatter me left my wardrobe long ago.
  9. My tailor knows me by my first name. When I purchase clothes I visit my tailor right away because he knows exactly what to do to help me get the best fit. I take pride in knowing that I’m someone who walks out the door every day in clothes that fit well. I never look sloppy or disheveled.
  10. I don’t wear too much cologne or perfume, people are comfortable around me.
  • If you scored 18 to 20 points, read no further, you are most definitely conveying a strong, polished image that is making heads turn. I’m sure this will impact both your personal and professional success. Great job!
  • If you scored 12 to 16 points, you’ve got some understanding of how image works for you or against you in the workplace. With a few tweaks, you’ll be on top of your image game in no time.
  • If you scored 8 to 10 points, your image is not working in your favor. Don’t panic.  But if you want to project a winning image you might want to consider making some changes.  There are people who know how to do this and can help you along the way.
  • If you scored 0 to 6 points, hmmm, I recommend you stop everything and find some assistance.  Your personal image is your brand and your brand needs updating.

Thinking about yourself as a brand is a powerful concept and dressing this way is something you can do on any budget.  It all starts with knowing who you are and deciding what image you want to convey.  Getting to the point where you have a closet full of clothes that work for you takes time.  By shopping with a plan, spending the time to think about how you look now and where you want to take your personal image will pay off. It will leave you feeling empowered and you will exude self-confidence.


Professional. Authentic. You. How to Discover Your Style for Success

Cyndy Porter Photography Image Consultant Professional BrandingCyndy Porter Style and Photography empowers professional women through personal branding, image and
fashion consultation.

Do you want more customers or a promotion? Do you want to attract like-minded people into your life? First impressions are formed in less than 30 seconds and your appearance significantly shapes that first impression.

The first and most important question: What do you want to convey? Creating a mission statement, a logo, a look and feel are among the first things a new business does as it puts it’s business plan together. I suggest you do the same. This will drive all other decisions you will make about your wardrobe.

In general, we know what not to wear. Too much leg and too much cleavage may get you undesired attention and impair your climb up the ranks. Dressing unkempt is equally an image killer. How you dress tells a story and it should be unique to you. It will set you apart from the crowd, and get you noticed in desirable ways.

Personal Stylist, Image Consultant and Photographer in Northern Virginia


Are you edgy, driven, confident and smart…  or, approachable, loyal, trustworthy and dedicated?

These are two different women and they should have different hairstyles, clothes and accessories. Will they still have a professional wardrobe? Definitely.

Be authentic.

For the moment, set aside preconceived ideas of what an executive, CPA, doctor, lawyer, banker, or business owner, should wear. Accept that you can also be feminine, bohemian, creative, edgy, genuine – however you may see yourself. Find four or five adjectives that define you. Now ask yourself if your clothes, accessories, make-up and hairstyle tell the story you wish to communicate? These adjectives should become your style words and they should be your key when shopping and dressing.


Style ProTip: When to Shop the Trends

Have you thought about when is the best time to shop?  Do you just do it on impulse or do you plan your shopping trip?

I believe you should always dress and shop with intention.  This keeps those orphans (the items that don’t go with anything) out of your closet and it helps you created complete outfits that work.

Updating  your fall wardrobe is easier if you have a plan.  The shops have a plan, so here are some things to consider:

When Should You Shop Early?

  • If you’re warm blooded, you run warm no matter what season it is. Shop early for the lighter weight fabrics like silk/wool blends, cotton jersey, or lightweight cashmere.
  • If you need transitional clothing that bridges two seasons or you plan to layer, shop early. You’ll use these same pieces next spring when the weather is unpredictable.
  • If you get an early peek at all the new trends, you’ll quickly discover what it is you can’t live without. By shopping early you won’t be disappointed if a style sells through and it can’t be found again.
  • If any part of your body is hard to fit (including your feet) shop for the difficult to fit areas immediately so that your sizes will be available.
  • If a coat is high on your needs list, shop early for the best selection.

When Should You Shop in the Middle of the Season?

  • If you run cold, skip the early deliveries and shop in the middle of the season to get the heavier weight wool, thicker cashmeres and 4-ply jersey knits.
  • If you attend holiday events or have a demanding winter social life, shop as soon as the holiday clothes hit the racks. Don’t wait!
  • If glamour is your middle name, anything metallic or anything embellished with sequins or beads is usually showcased in the November timeframe. Shop early before it’s all gone.
  • If you want to add a new color to your wardrobe but it isn’t the first thing you can spend on, you can shop mid-season to see if it’s on sale.

When Should You Shop at the End of the Season?

  • If you desire to expand your coat selection, even though you have the basics, this is a great time to invest in extra coat styles for the different slices of your lifestyle. Maybe you need that grand entrance coat or more athletic, casual jacket. Variety is especially nice when you find it on sale.
  • Go late in the season for handbags unless you have an urgent need. While shoes have to fit you and your size might get sold out early, handbags are higher ticket items that go on sale and can be used for a long time.
  • Novelty items and items in precious fabrics that suit your wants rather than your needs will be further discounted after the holidays.
  • A few accessories that you find at the end of the season–earrings, a watch, a wallet—may be on the January sale table but be practical enough to use all year long. Other items to look for would be pendants that suit your style, a cocktail ring, or a tote bag for work.

Remember it takes years to build an amazing wardrobe that tells your unique story and complements your natural shape and features.  Think about your priorities and your budget and only buy items you LOVE.

Is Your Professional Headshot Working for You?

How's Your Professional Head shot Photograph Working?Odds are your ideal client will see your headshot before they meet you, creating a first impression of you and your business. Professional headshots are so crucial in today’s connected world that doing business without one is much like doing business without a logo.

Your headshot should tell the story of who you are. Easier said than done? Indeed, it is a challenge if you do it on your own, but a good professional photographer will know how to capture what you need.

I always hold a pre-session consultation with my clients to be sure we both walk into the session prepared to make a great image that tells the right story. Whether you work with me or another professional photographer, these are the seven key ideas you should consider and discuss with your photographer to be sure you get a great headshot:

1. Wardrobe:

Find clothing that compliments your skin tones. Clothes that are the same color as your eyes or blend with your hair, skin and eyes are always a good choice. A headshot should bring attention to your face so be sure you clothing is subtle and does not lead the eye away from your face and to your clothing.

Wear clothing that matches how your customers or clients see you. If you show up for a client meeting in a suit and tie, that is the style you should wear for your headshot. If you are more casual then that is what you should wear.

2. Setting (environment and backdrop):

Professional head shot photography in Loudoun Northern Virginia DC

The setting is important and needs to compliment your wardrobe choice providing color harmony. It also needs to match your business model and job position. Think about where and how you work, and make sure the backdrop or environment matches. For example, a CEO or lawyer would most definitely have a different setting than a Realtor or an owner of landscaping firm.

3. Props:

Props can be great for storytelling. Think about an artist in her art gallery, a photographer with a camera in hand, a CEO in her boardroom, a lawyer in front of a law library, a realtor in front of a white picket fence.

4. Pose:

Posing is important; it is something that takes professional photographers years to master. Here are a few trade secrets:

  • If you want to look thinner turn sideways.
  • Whatever is closest to the camera will look exponentially larger than what is further away, most of us want large eyes and small bottoms so lean in and push your bottom side away from the camera.
  • Most people have one eye that is smaller than the other, it is often best to put the smaller eye on the side towards the camera unless you have another reason to prefer the other side of your face.
  • Your stance will also tell a story so think about who you are and your professional persona when you strike a pose.

5. Lighting:

Studio lighting can make or break a great headshot. Lighting is key to the concept of taking a three-dimensional object (humans) and putting us on a two-dimensional medium (business card, photograph, screen). We do this with the use of shadows. Like other art concepts that have been in existence for hundreds of years, there are lighting techniques that are proven to complement the human face. Make sure the photographer you work with has an understanding of natural or studio lights to maximize your appearance.

How's Your Professional Head shot Photograph Working?6. Expression:

Your expression is not the icing on the cake, it is the cake. A really good photographer can do everything else right: a great choice in clothes, backdrop, pose, and lighting but if the expression looks forced or unnatural it will not be an effective headshot.

My suggestion is to find a great photographer who has credentials and proven technical skills and who can make you feel comfortable.

Your new headshot will not only improve your professional image it can help stimulate sales; depending on how and where you use it, it can even get you dates!

7. Post Processing:

A professional photographer will allow you to pick your favorite headshots and then enhance them. A good image becomes great in post processing; blemishes are removed, stray hairs cleaned up, skin softened, eyes brightened, and teeth whitened. Make sure your photographer plans to enhance your headshot after you see the proofs.

Cyndy Porter is a DC Metro image consultant and professional photographer with the experience and understanding you need to make your best first impression – in person and across all business and communication channels. Contact Cyndy today for more information on her image and style consultations, workshops and professional headshot photography!

A Unique Profile

I am sure that many of you reading this are wondering why I have changed my business and what it means for you and Cyndy Porter Creative Photography. First I want to say that I haven’t changed my business, Girl Style Photo I’ve only given the business a unique profile and I’m loving it! Cyndy Porter Style & Photography is about much more than just creating images, it’s about changing lives. I am passionate about building self-esteem and celebrating beauty. I want to empower women to feel beautiful, have confidence, and accomplish great things in their life as well in the lives of others. By blending Photography and Style for women and girls of all ages, we are not changing the business, but rather changing lives and celebrating beauty.

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