Photography Tips

What to Wear for Portraits ...
  • Wear monochromatic colors. Clothing with bold stripes and colorful prints are distracting. Choose one solid hue that complements your eye color. Dark colored clothing works well because it has a slimming effect in photographs. Avoid very light colors as they don't photograph well.

  • Wear classic styles to prevent the photograph from looking outdated later. A simple sheath dress for women or a blue or gray suit for men are recommended fashion choices. Or ask the photographer to recommend clothing options that will blend best with the portrait setting or on-location shoot.

  • Keep your makeup and hairstyle simple. Outlandish hairdos and extreme makeup choices look unnatural. Makeup is actually exaggerated in portraits by the harsh lighting. Subtle tones and hair combed away from the face allow your natural beauty to shine through.

  • Wear V-necks. Bulky turtlenecks, thick scarves and sweaters can add additional pounds to your appearance. V-necks and open collars elongate the neck and body and flatter your face. Likewise, choose sleek, close-fitting clothes over baggy.

  • Dress your family members in complementary colors. When sitting for a family portrait, apply the monochromatic rule discussed in Step 1. Or use a color palate that has variations of one color theme. A family portrait should focus on your faces; clothing options are secondary elements when considering the overall composition of the photograph.

Tips & Warnings


  • Do not have your hair cut the day of a portrait. Schedule hair appointments at least a week in advance to create a more natural look in the portrait.
  • Cover your arms with long sleeves or a jacket--bare arms are a distraction in a portrait because it draws the eye away from the face.
  • Keep jewelry simple.
  • Any clothing with writing, large graphics and bold designs are discouraged for a portrait.
  • If you wear glasses, be prepared to remove them during the photograph session for alternative looks.
  • Don’t forget to select proper footwear to compliment your outfit. Men should select brown and black shoes with dark hosiery to wear with a suit or slacks.
  • Have your clothes washed and pressed to prevent unsightly wrinkles from appearing in the portrait.