Clothing Suggestions For Your Portrait Photography Session.

The selection of proper clothing for your portrait is a critical factor in the preparation for a successful portrait. If the clothing is noticeable or overbearing in a portrait, it could easily become a distraction. Clothing that does not attract attention to itself is the ultimate goal. It could be the difference between a very successful portrait and just another picture. 

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Dark clothing tends to slenderize

Darker clothing helps to blend the bodies with the background, so that the faces are the most important part of the photograph. Darker or neutral colors tend to slenderise the subject.

Seen here, a simple wardrobe choice will instantly guide the eye to the faces and eyes of the subject instead of following busy and distracting patterns

If you would prefer button-ups and a dress, keeping them simple and elegant will make for a timeless and clean portrait. 

Tone down bright colors.

Bright colors attract attention away from the face and may be reflective. Avoid wearing bright red, bright pink, bright green etc. When choosing lighter colors, stick to pastels, but avoid pink tones. Pale yellow and pale blue work well, especially with jeans or kaki pants. These colours work great in nature for example, if you have a sunset photography session booked in.

Fear Not...

You can still wear colors! Variations of each of colors listed above to avoid can certainly still be used as seen here. While bright red is advised against, a more muted red is often very complimentary and can draw focus into the subject against the right background. 

If you're concerned about wardrobe colors, let's talk!

Pastels Are Timeless

Unless you're planning annual photoshoots to look back from year to year, faddish clothing can date pictures poorly and distract from otherwise perfect pictures. 

Your clothing should compliment the most important element of the shoot, and that's you and your family-not distract from it. 

Light clothing can look beautifully fresh.

 If you are worried about not appearing slender then it is safer to avoid white. With that being said, if that's not a concern, then white can look beautifully simple and fresh. White shirts and/or blouses under a dark jacket are perfect.

Logos can hinder your portrait. 

 No matter how small the logo, it will become a distraction. In the case of digital portraits, in particular, small patterns in clothing (even a small herring-bone or checkered patterns) can cause terrible distortions to appear in the portrait that are not originally there.

 A singular floral print or plaid top may work nicely when paired with a neutral-colored bottom, but as a rule of thumb, single colors are preferred for timelessness and quality. 

Don’t over accessorize. 

Overbearing or heavily noticeable accessories can be a major distraction for the eye. Simple and minimal works best.

Make Up, Hair & Nails.

 Hair styles should be SIMPLE. Bangs that come down too low onto the face will keep light from getting into the subject’s eyes – the very most important part of the face. You may consider having your make up and hair professionally applied for your photography session. It will make a huge difference in how you look and feel.

Final Thoughts

Your portraits are meant to be enjoyed for generations to come. Fad-type clothing should be avoided, unless you are planning to have new portraits made annually. You will feel very rewarded when you view your photographs. All of your efforts will be worthwhile.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me before your portrait session. See you at your shoot!


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