Preparing what to wear for your portrait session can be complicated. I am here to help you and make it seem as easy as possible. You need to know what the reason for your portrait session is before you decide what to wear. I wanted to break this down into two categories: Professional and non-professional portrait sessions. This should help clear up any confusion. You can read both if you please, but you can also just jump to the section you specifically need.
- Keep clothing simple. Try to choose solid colors for your photo session.
- Our photographer may suggest a full-length pose. Make sure you coordinate your family's clothing from head to toe.
- Darker clothing slims.
- Scoops or v-necks flatter shorter necks and full faces.
- Keep clothing consistent.
Professional Portrait Session Tips
- Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you look great
- Make sure your jacket and shirt fit you well. A poor fitting jacket or shirt will be obvious in the photos (especially around the neck)
- Don't overdress
- Turtlenecks are almost always a bad idea (since they crowd the face)
- Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new
- Avoid busy patterns and large lines/stripes
- Blue/green/turquoise shirts/blouses or accents can help emphasize blue/green/hazel eyes
- The standard business look for men is a suit jacket, dress shirt, and tie
- A casual business look is often a jacket and open dress shirt, shirt and tie (no jacket), or dress shirt on its own
- Polo shirts are a good look for some businesses. Be sure the shirt is in good condition and fits well
- For a no-jacket casual look, bring colored shirts - ideally darker than your skin tone
- A white dress shirt by itself is a bad idea - unless you plan to wear it underneath something (jacket or sweater)
- Bring a few different jackets, shirt colors and ties so we have choices for the photo
- Avoid big prints and busy patterns
- Different necklines will change the apparent shape of your face. Bring a variety different shirts/blouses to see what works best
- For a no-jacket casual look, bring various colored blouses - ideally darker than your skin tone
- Be stylish and fashionable, but remember the picture is about your face and not your clothes or jewelry
- Sleeveless tops/dresses can draw attention to your shoulders/arms. Consider bringing items with a variety of different sleeves
(From: Headshots by Steven Noreyko)
Non-Professional Portrait Session Tips
- wear solid colored clothing
- choose muted tones that are a bit subdued
- choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light)
- choose 1-3 colors for your group portrait, ones with similar tones that go nicely together and have everyone work within that color palette. For example dark green, navy, and burgundy – all dark jewel tones. OR tan, a lighter olive green, and denim – all lighter, softer tones.
- choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow
- choose long pants for men/ladies or a skirt below the knee for ladies
- choose dark socks and footwear (unless it’s a barefoot photo on the beach)
- keep jewelry simple and minimalistic
- do your hair the way you’d normally do it while wearing these clothes (I’ll explain later)
- if getting a haircut or new hairdo, make your appointment at least 2 weeks prior to your portrait session
Choosing what to wear can seem complicated, but hopefully these tips will help you out!