The Most 
Your Portrait Session

The clothing you choose will impact greatly on the finished image. Careful attention should be placed on selecting the proper colors and styles for your portrait.

About Color, Tone and Style

Proper clothing is paramount in the creation of a successful portrait. The goal with any portrait is to draw the viewer's attention to the face of the subject in the image.

Simple clothing styles in dark colors of rust, green or blue or burgundy are pleasing to the eye when photographed against a dark background.

Bright colors are distracting as you can see in this portrait. Notice how the arm is not covered and competes for your attention.

A better choice is the portrait at the left with long sleeves. Still the bright color distracts from the face.

A bold pattern is not a good choice since it draws your attention away from the face.  

For this portrait, the subject wore a more conservative suit. Notice how the color and tone of the suit compliment the skin tones.

A better selection at right is apparent. This subject wore a black turtle neck. The dark tone draws your attention to the face

Light colors are more appropriate when photographed against a white or medium background.
Notice how the faces of the family at the right appear to be the center of attention and are not distracted by conflicting clothing colors.



  • Very simple garments photograph best

  • Turtle necks or V-necks are flattering provided that neither is exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particularly deep V-neck garments as well as bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.

  • 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 away from the face.

  • If feet are to show in the portrait, make certain shoes and stockings are in keeping with the visual intent of the portrait.



About Make Up For Women

Ladies can optimize their portrait by using make up properly for her portrait. For most head and shoulder portraits, women should wear their make up as they do usually, only adding slightly more around the eyes.

Ladies should have their portrait taken when she is most satisfied with the appearance of her hair. If you normally color your hair to hide the grays or to enhance color, be sure that you have any coloring or highlighting done a few days prior to your portrait session.



Some Tips For Men

Considerations men should address is to be sure to shave before your portrait session. I can't stress this enough. The 5 O'clock shadow is difficult to remove with traditional retouching techniques. Men should try to be photographed in the morning or to remember to take along an electric shaver to your portrait session.

When selecting your attire, remember that a dark suit coat will photograph well with a clean white shirt rather than in the white shirt alone. 

Men should consider having their hair cut about one week prior to his portrait session.