Clothing Choice Matters
Remember, the portraits are about you and not necessarily your clothing. You don’t want focus drawn away from your face.
Colors: Darker colors are often the most flattering – just be sure the color complements your skin tone. Loud patterns and prints as well as logos, pictures, or lettering are not the best choice for more formal portraits. Tone-on-tone prints or small patterns may work if they aren’t prominent in the article of clothing. Choose pants or skirts in a darker color than your shirt as it helps lead the eye up towards your face. For family or group portraits, be sure everyone is either in the same color or the same tonal family (for instance, all in jewel tones, warm tones, or cool tones). Bright reds and oranges are often difficult choices, but there are exceptions to every rule.
Black & White: Black or white shirts may work in some instances but contrary to popular belief, they are not always the best choice. They can present processing challenges when it comes to adjusting exposures. Also consider that white will compete with your face for attention.
Shoes: Don’t forget about your shoes! Full-body photos will include your footwear. Group shots will also show your footwear in many cases. Keep this in mind when choosing your outfits and coordinating with others in the group.
Accessories & Glasses: Again, we don’t want to draw attention away from your face. You’re always safest keeping jewelry simple by opting for stud earrings over large hoops or long, dangling earrings; a ring or two; and if a necklace is absolutely necessary, a simple pendant on a chain is best. Bold necklaces are very popular right now, though. So if you do want to go bold, pair it with a simple, understated shirt to really highlight the necklace. Remember to keep in mind that your face should be the main focus.
The choice to wear glasses in photos is entirely up to you. Most lenses have a glare-free coating that makes light reflections minimal these days.
Hair & Makeup: If a haircut is planned, do so at least a week ahead of your scheduled photo shoot. Girls, if you plan on styling your hair in a different way than you normally do, please practice ahead of time to save frustration and disappointment the day of the shoot. Keep in mind that it’s always best not to “over-do”. This goes for makeup as well. Too much makeup will detract from your face instead of enhancing it. Well blended makeup in natural tones is very nice! Please note that light, frosted or glittery eye-shadows and certain lipsticks will pop right out of your photo (not in a good way) and will be the first thing the viewer notices. Neutral lipstick that matches or is slightly darker than the inside of your lip is perfect!
Bottom Line: These are only suggestions and basic guidelines for your consideration. These guidelines often work well, but you have to decide for yourself what image you want to present in your portraits. Backup plans are always a good idea, too!