Looking your best

About Clothing, Color, Style, and Tone

Whether it's one person or a whole group in the shot, your choice of clothes and props can make or break the resulting portrait!

Here are a few things to remember to ensure that you look your best:

1. The Face is the Point

Whether your complexion is light or dark, you want the eye drawn to the face or faces in the shot. So when a medium to dark background is used, all subjects photograph best in medium to dark tones, no matter the skin tone. For individuals, simple long-sleeved garments in medium to dark tones of grey, brown, burgundy, green, or blue are great choices when photographed against a medium or dark background. It's your only face: Make sure everyone gets to see it!

2. Clothes Keep it Together

If there's more than one person in the shot, you want everyone wearing clothes within the same tonal ranges. When subjects appear in a mixture of light and dark tones together, there is visual confusion—the light colors pop, the dark colors recede. When this happens, you'll look heavier than you actually are (and unless you are a bull walrus during mating season, that's probably not the look you're going for). 

3. Your Genes Match; and So Should Your Clothes

In a family group, proper clothing coordination is critical. When you decorate your living room, you make sure the carpet, curtains, walls and furniture all look good together.  It's the same thing with a group or family portrait. Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so that no single member of the family stands out because the clothing is too light or bright in comparison to the rest of the group.

4. A Few More Things to Keep in Mind:

Turtlenecks or v-necks generally look good as long as they aren't exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particularly deep v-neck garments or bulky cowlneck sweaters that completely hide the neck.

For close-up portraits, long sleeves are essential for teens and adults, as bare arms call attention to themselves and will overpower the face.

Women being photographed in full length should wear long skirts, pants, or dark stockings in order to keep the eye from being directed toward the legs and away from the face. 

Men should be clean-shaven or have their facial hair carefully groomed. And if you get a hair cut before the session, make sure you do it about a week prior.

5. And Finally.... Make Sure You are Ready to Have Fun!