What to Wear for Your Portrait Session

by Michele Stapleton

No White Blouses or Shirts

When we (everyone, not just professional photographers) look at photographs,

our eyes tend to go to the lightest part of the photo.

When a photo is a portrait of a person (or a group of people), the photographer

wants your eyes to go to the face(s).

So, a photographer taking a portrait will want your face(s) to be the lightest

part(s) of the photo.

This means no white or very light colored blouses or shirts. Even for business

portraits, men should select a shirt with at least some color, e.g., blue oxford

cloth. People with very dark complexions might want to consider deep colors

like black.

Stick with the Classic Styles

When picking clothes, remember that simple is good. Go for the classic,

avoiding trends that will make your photo look dated in six months.

Avoid clothing with pictures, writing or large logos unless the pictures, writing or

large logos relate specifically to the photos. In other words, no Budweiser tee

shirts unless this photo is for a magazine story about binge drinking; no Disney

shirts unless this family portrait is in front of Cinderella Castle.

Avoid Loud or Busy Patterns or Designs

Loud colors, busy patterns, bold stripes, big plaids, polka dots, tank tops, mini

skirts, and clothes that are baggy–or too tight–all call attention to the clothes,

not the wearer. Best to avoid them. No short shorts past grade school, please.

Neon-colored clothing is popular right now, especially in children’s clothes and

shoes. Please avoid neon if at all possible. It often prints an odd shade and

even a single orange shoelace draws attention away from your faces.

Consider Appropriate Dresses for Little Girls

When considering dresses for very little girls, remember that they often don’t sit

with their legs together or their panties completely covered. If your little girl

tends to sit with one leg bent up, you might avoid dresses. Or at least have her

wear bike shorts underneath so if her undies are in the photo, no one is

bothered by it.

Low Necklines May Be Too Revealing

Many photographers take portraits from above your eye level to hide double

chins or wrinkled necks, and to minimize extra pounds. However, from this

angle exposed cleavage is only enhanced. So women, please know that low

necklines might be even more revealing in final photos. If you aren’t happy

about your arms, neck, etc., wear a scarf or sleeves to cover them.

Avoid Tanning Booth or New Hairstyle Right Before Your

Portrait

Avoid any sudden (and potentially unflattering) changes immediately before the

portrait– no tanning booth visit or new hairstyle the week before your portrait.

What colors work best?

Generally speaking, darker clothing will be more slimming than very light colors,

but the best color for you is based on your own skin, eye and hair coloring.

You probably know which colors or outfits consistently bring you compliments,

so go with the proven winners. Ask a family member or friend for an honest

opinion.

Coordinate Clothing for a Family Portrait

If you are having a family portrait, you’ll want to coordinate everyone’s clothing

to avoid a visual train wreck. I remember when I was young, our family had a

portrait taken at Olan Mills. The four of us all picked out our clothing

independently and the final product was a clash of patterns and colors.

You might decide to wear matching outfits (e.g., navy turtlenecks with khaki

pants), or you might be more subtle, coordinating clothes around a common

color theme. Remember, you don’t have to dress matchy-matchy, but instead

you can pick out individual pieces that go very well together when you stick to a

controlled color palette.

Consider Your Shoes and Socks

Don’t forget to consider your shoes and socks. Group portraits are often full-

length, and you may not be able to hide your feet.

Iron Out the Wrinkles

Wrinkles are difficult to remove effectively in photoshop, so if you’ve picked an

outfit that wrinkles easily, iron it and then don’t put it on until the last minute.

What About Glasses?

A word about glasses: Folks who wear glasses only part of the time are

encouraged to remove them as glasses catch all sorts of reflections which

aren’t easily removed in photoshop. Remember to remove them 15 or so

minutes before the session to give any little marks on the bridge of your nose

time to go away. If your glasses auto-darken in sunlight, bring another pair that

doesn’t. Or don’t wear them at all. If you must wear glasses, your optometrist

might be able to lend you a pair of empty frames that match your own.

About Ladies’ Hair . . .

Often our hair looks “big” immediately after it is washed and styled, so if you

wash and style your hair on the day of a portrait, do it early in the day to give it

time to relax. Day-old hair holds a style better than just-washed hair.

Five O’Clock Shadow

Men who tend to have five o’clock shadows should plan a quick shave before

photos taken late in the day.

Talk to Your Photographer About Features You Want to

Subdue

If you have a lazy eye, ears that always stick out in photos, or another feature

you don’t like, be sure to mention it to the photographer. We can often pose you

in a manner that eliminates or minimizes certain features.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

And, get a good night’s sleep the night before to avoid bags or circles around

your eyes.

Bring a Great Attitude!

More important than even your clothes, however, is to bring a great attitude to

the portrait session. If your body language says “nervous,” the best-looking

outfit in the world is not going to save the shoot. And, the session will take

longer as the photographer tries to loosen you up and elicit a smile. If you are

totally relaxed and your eyes and smile are genuinely friendly, your portrait will

be friendly and the session can end sooner!

Source: Michele Stapeton - www.michelestapleton.com
Pho ography Juhl

Tips: What to Wear

Copyright 2005-2018, Stephanie Juhl  Juhl Photography  205 East Main Street  Watertown WI 53094  (920) 206-8668
Client Galleries CLIENTS CAN CLICK HERE TO VIEW THEIR IMAGES ONLINE Request an Appointment CONTACT US LIKE US ON FACEBOOOK FAQs Pricing Photo Gallery Questions? Contact Us Request Appointment
About Juhl Photography Home About Us Juhl Photography 100% Guarantee
If you are not happy with our service, we will reshoot the session for you or offer you a full refund.
FULL MENU Portrait Tips Portrait Galleries Prices Current Promotions Customer Testimonials Kidís Birthday Club Customer Survey Customer FAQs About Us Home Consultation Forms Juhl Photography Satisfaction Guarantee Business Hours Full Catalog
Pho ography Juhl
Copyright 2005-2018, Stephanie Juhl Juhl Photography  205 East Main Street Watertown WI 53094  (920) 206-8668
TIPS: WHAT TO WEAR
What to Wear for Your Portrait Session

by Michele Stapleton

No White Blouses or Shirts

When we (everyone, not just professional

photographers) look at photographs, our

eyes tend to go to the lightest part of the

photo.

When a photo is a portrait of a person (or a

group of people), the photographer wants

your eyes to go to the face(s).

So, a photographer taking a portrait will want

your face(s) to be the lightest part(s) of the

photo.

This means no white or very light colored

blouses or shirts. Even for business

portraits, men should select a shirt with at

least some color, e.g., blue oxford cloth.

People with very dark complexions might

want to consider deep colors like black.

Stick with the Classic Styles

When picking clothes, remember that simple

is good. Go for the classic, avoiding trends

that will make your photo look dated in six

months.

Avoid clothing with pictures, writing or large

logos unless the pictures, writing or large

logos relate specifically to the photos. In

other words, no Budweiser tee shirts unless

this photo is for a magazine story about

binge drinking; no Disney shirts unless this

family portrait is in front of Cinderella Castle.

Avoid Loud or Busy Patterns or Designs

Loud colors, busy patterns, bold stripes, big

plaids, polka dots, tank tops, mini skirts, and

clothes that are baggy–or too tight–all call

attention to the clothes, not the wearer. Best

to avoid them. No short shorts past grade

school, please.

Neon-colored clothing is popular right now,

especially in children’s clothes and shoes.

Please avoid neon if at all possible. It often

prints an odd shade and even a single

orange shoelace draws attention away from

your faces.

Consider Appropriate Dresses for Little

Girls

When considering dresses for very little girls,

remember that they often don’t sit with their

legs together or their panties completely

covered. If your little girl tends to sit with one

leg bent up, you might avoid dresses. Or at

least have her wear bike shorts underneath

so if her undies are in the photo, no one is

bothered by it.

Low Necklines May Be Too Revealing

Many photographers take portraits from

above your eye level to hide double chins or

wrinkled necks, and to minimize extra

pounds. However, from this angle exposed

cleavage is only enhanced. So women,

please know that low necklines might be

even more revealing in final photos. If you

aren’t happy about your arms, neck, etc.,

wear a scarf or sleeves to cover them.

Avoid Tanning Booth or New Hairstyle

Right Before Your Portrait

Avoid any sudden (and potentially

unflattering) changes immediately before the

portrait– no tanning booth visit or new

hairstyle the week before your portrait.

What colors work best?

Generally speaking, darker clothing will be

more slimming than very light colors, but the

best color for you is based on your own skin,

eye and hair coloring.

You probably know which colors or outfits

consistently bring you compliments, so go

with the proven winners. Ask a family

member or friend for an honest opinion.

Coordinate Clothing for a Family Portrait

If you are having a family portrait, you’ll want

to coordinate everyone’s clothing to avoid a

visual train wreck. I remember when I was

young, our family had a portrait taken at

Olan Mills. The four of us all picked out our

clothing independently and the final product

was a clash of patterns and colors.

You might decide to wear matching outfits

(e.g., navy turtlenecks with khaki pants), or

you might be more subtle, coordinating

clothes around a common color theme.

Remember, you don’t have to dress matchy-

matchy, but instead you can pick out

individual pieces that go very well together

when you stick to a controlled color palette.

Consider Your Shoes and Socks

Don’t forget to consider your shoes and

socks. Group portraits are often full-length,

and you may not be able to hide your feet.

Iron Out the Wrinkles

Wrinkles are difficult to remove effectively in

photoshop, so if you’ve picked an outfit that

wrinkles easily, iron it and then don’t put it on

until the last minute.

What About Glasses?

A word about glasses: Folks who wear

glasses only part of the time are encouraged

to remove them as glasses catch all sorts of

reflections which aren’t easily removed in

photoshop. Remember to remove them 15

or so minutes before the session to give any

little marks on the bridge of your nose time

to go away. If your glasses auto-darken in

sunlight, bring another pair that doesn’t. Or

don’t wear them at all. If you must wear

glasses, your optometrist might be able to

lend you a pair of empty frames that match

your own.

About Ladies’ Hair . . .

Often our hair looks “big” immediately after it

is washed and styled, so if you wash and

style your hair on the day of a portrait, do it

early in the day to give it time to relax. Day-

old hair holds a style better than just-washed

hair.

Five O’Clock Shadow

Men who tend to have five o’clock shadows

should plan a quick shave before photos

taken late in the day.

Talk to Your Photographer About

Features You Want to Subdue

If you have a lazy eye, ears that always stick

out in photos, or another feature you don’t

like, be sure to mention it to the

photographer. We can often pose you in a

manner that eliminates or minimizes certain

features.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

And, get a good night’s sleep the night

before to avoid bags or circles around your

eyes.

Bring a Great Attitude!

More important than even your clothes,

however, is to bring a great attitude to the

portrait session. If your body language says

“nervous,” the best-looking outfit in the world

is not going to save the shoot. And, the

session will take longer as the photographer

tries to loosen you up and elicit a smile. If

you are totally relaxed and your eyes and

smile are genuinely friendly, your portrait will

be friendly and the session can end sooner!

Source: Michele Stapeton - www.michelestapleton.com
Request Appointment FAQs Questions? Contact Us Portrait Galleries Pricing Questions? CONTACT US