What to Wear

Probably the most difficult part of portraits is deciding what to wear! Clothing choice can dramatically influence the final image, so its a really important decision. Color schemes really depend on your home and where you would like to display the final image. Think about whether your personal style is warmer colors, cooler colors, bright pops of color, etc. and we can be sure that it is reflected in the portrait, especially using wardrobe. We are happy to help if you have an idea and want to run some thoughts past us!

While colors are really personal and there are few rules, there are some general guidelines that apply to almost everyone:


  1. Solid colors always photograph better than patterns. If you choose a pattern, opt for a simple pattern that is not too distracting. Gingham, bright plaids, busy florals and small polka dots are cute, but are best in shorts and skirts. The closer the pattern is to the face, the simpler it should be.
  2. Not everyone in the portrait needs to wear the same color, but colors should coordinate well together.Think of color palettes like you see in a paint store and choose clothing that will coordinate similarly.
  3. Avoid having one person in a dark color and others in light colors. Colors may be different, but keep the tones similar so that no one looks washed out or too dark in a group.
  4. Darker colors are always more slimming.

Clothing Fit:

  1. Clothing should fit well. Items that are too loose or too snug can not only be unflattering, but also frustrating for you to constantly be adjusting. Check skirt and pant lengths, straps on tops and dresses to be sure that they fit well and you can comfortably stand and sit.
  2. Tops with sleeves are always more flattering and sleeves help slim the arms.
  3. All undergarments should be covered by clothing without a great deal of adjustment, but it is also helpful if you choose garments that have the same color as your clothing to help camouflage any wayward straps.
  4. For babies who cannot sit or stand, pay close attention to collars, skirt lengths, etc. to be sure that an outfit still looks nice when the baby lays or sits.


  1. Simple accessories are always best.
  2. Watches are an easy way to date a portrait, so unless the watch has significant personal meaning, consider leaving it off.
  3. Be sure your necklace, earrings, etc are not ones that need to be constantly adjusted.
  4. Pay attention to belts and socks for men to be sure that the colors and style coordinate with the rest of the look.

Hair and Makeup:

  1. If you color your hair, be sure to have it colored within two to three weeks of your session.
  2. Men should have their hair trimmed within two weeks of the session date.
  3. Avoid any lotions or makeup with SPF, shimmer or glitter.
  4. your makeup should only be slightly darker than normal- you should still look like yourself!
  5. eye makeup does not need to be super heavy, but eyeliner (on top lids) and mascara are really great and can be heavier than normal.
  6. bring extra lip gloss just in case.

Please use these examples to help guide your choices and if we can help at all in the selection of clothing, please let us know!

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