Clothes make or break a photo
What you choose to wear in a portrait is just as important as all the other details such as: lighting, location, and posing. While I take care of nearly every other detail, clothing is up to you. It can be a daunting and intimidating task. Poorly selected clothing can take away from an otherwise really great portrait.
Here are some recommendations for your portrait session
1. wear solid colors and limit patterns
In general it is best to wear solid colors in muted tones. That being said having the occasional pattern can add to the image.
2. Coordinate your colors
Many dated photos have something in common. Everyone in the picture is wearing matching outfits. Instead try choosing 1-3 colors with similar tones that go well together. Everyone in the group should work within that color palette. Try to have similar tones for your top and bottom (not colors but dark and light tones).
3. Choose a top with sleeves that go at least to the elbow
There is more skin surface on your arms than on your face. This can pull the attention away from the face and to your arms.
4. Long pants or skirt
Long pants work for both men and women. If wearing a skirt try to keep it below the knee. It is the same concept as above. Your legs have much more skin surface than your face and wearing shorts or a small skirt can pull the attention away from your face and to your legs.
5. Think textures
When I take a picture I am looking for scenery that can add texture to the photo. Things like trees, bricks, walls, plants etc… These textures do amazing things to a bring a photo to life. The same can be said about your clothes. The clothes themselves can have interesting texture or you can add texture by creating layers. Things like scarfs and belts add texture. Think carefully about how you can add this extra layer to your photo.
6. Wear dark socks and footwear
Unless your outfit has a very specific look that will go well with light colored footwear it is best to wear dark toned socks and shoes.
7. Jewelry and makeup should be kept simple and minimalistic
Some people have the assumption that the day of your photo shoot requires extra makeup for the camera. This couldn’t be more wrong. It usually turns out looking unrealistic and not true to yourself.
Your hair should be done nice but done the way you normally wear it. You don’t want to get your photo back and not recognize the person in it. If you plan to get a haircut then make sure it is done several weeks before the actual shoot. A new haircut usually looks its best a week or two after it has been done.
9. Remember the accessories
Accessories add a lot of character to a photo. They allow people to interact with an object rather than awkwardly trying to figure out what to do with themselves. Think of things like ties, necklaces, hats, umbrellas, picture frames, bubbles, baskets, etc… The options are endless. Try to think of your interests or hobbies. Can you incorporate them into a photo?
10. Take a look at your home decor
This might seem weird but it is something to take into consideration. When you hang these photos on the wall you want them to go along with your color schemes and styles.
11. Look for clothing collections
If you are having trouble picking out clothes try heading to stores that have color coordinating collections.
12. Avoid logos and characters
Logos and characters will be very distracting in your photo.
13. Avoid clothing that is all white or all black
Clothes that are all white (for example an all white shirt) are hard to photograph. It is very easy to blow out parts of the shirt which cause it to loose all its detail. The same thing can happen with an all black shirt.