Memorable portraits take careful planning, and the clothing you choose is very important to your portrait's success. The goal of a fine portrait is to direct the viewers attention to the subjects. Proper clothing allows the face to dominate the portrait, with other elements being secondary.

Here are some general tips to help you make decisions about the clothing for your portrait. Upon reserving your appointment, we will send you more specific guidelines for your chosen session.

  • Simple garments in solid colors are best for creating timeless portraits with the focus on expression.
  • Avoid patterns such as stripes, plaids, florals, logos and bright colors that overpower the skintone.
  • Black clothing makes for a powerful and dramatic statement, and is the perfect choice to direct the viewers attention to the subjects face since the distractions of fashion and texture are minimized.
  • Darker clothing slenderizes and works best with medium to dark tone backgrounds.
  • White, ivory, khaki, or pastels are usually best with a white or light background.
  • Remember, when viewing an image, the eye is drawn to the lightest area of that image, which emphasizes it.
  • Shoes and socks or hose should match the tone of the outfit. No white socks with dark pants, no white tights and patent leather shoes on little girls.
  • V-necks are a good choice and flattering for most people. Avoid very wide or deep V-neck garments and bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.
  • Avoid colored shirts with a white collar, because the white next to the face pulls attention away from the face.
  • Long sleeves are usually best for teens and adults, as bare arms call attention to themselves, overpowering the face.
  • For family portraits, the goal is to create a unified look, so that no single person stands out because their clothing is too light or bright compared to the rest of the group. Think coordinating, not matching. Dressing everyone in matching white shirts with khaki pants is not visually appealing. Better to choose outfits that fit each family members individual style, using 2-3 colors as a base to coordinate. Browse your favorite store websites, which often show outfit ideas that coordinate well together.
  • For babies and children, bare feet are preferred over shoes, and children often find this more fun too! Newborns and babies under the age of one look best photographed in a simple tshirt, diaper, onesie, or just bare skin.
  • Avoid big hair bows and bow barrettes as they aren't flattering and often just annoy your child.
  • Adults and children are usually more comfortable and relaxed when casually dressed, allowing us to capture natural expressions and real personality.
  • Starched button down shirts, ties and jackets are best left to business portraits.