What to Wear?
We are often asked by clients what they should wear to their portrait sessions. Below is a list of do’s and don’ts based on some general wisdom and our own personal experience.
1. Dress comfortably. This is the most important rule of all. If you sit and fidget with your clothes, tug at your blouse, or worry that your hemline is too short, you will never relax. If you can’t relax it will show in your expression and prevent your real smile from making an appearance.
2. Dress alike, but not identical. If there is more than one person in the photography session, imagine you’re going to the same party. How would you dress? Probably not like twins – but logic suggests you’re going to be dressed for the same season and in similar levels of formality.
If it is an engagement session, the man wouldn’t be wearing a sweater and the woman a tank top. Likewise, one person shouldn’t be wearing wool slacks while the other wears capri pants. Dress for the same party.
3. What about color? You don’t have to match colors, but it’s okay if you want to.
It is more important that you match tone than color. Navy blue and dark gray have similar tones. Pale yellow and baby blue have similar tones. Black and pale yellow don’t. This matters because dark colors tend to recede visually while brighter colors come forward. If Lucy wears yellow and Jake wears black, Lucy may seem a little larger or closer, which isn’t usually what she wants!
For the best results, pick colors that have similar levels of darkness and are either complimentary or analogous (next to one another on the color wheel – such as red and orange or blue and green).
Still not comfortable picking colors? Almost everyone looks great in jeans and a black shirt.
4. Can I Wear My Lucky Hawaiian Shirt?
If everyone else wears a Hawaiian shirt or the goal of the session is for you to stand out – great. If not, wear something that won’t compete with your face for attention.
5. Long Term Concerns
We have all laughed at portraits of our parents with feathered hair and bell bottoms and we may cringe at our old school portraits when our clothes reflected the latest trends on VH-1 or MTV. Consider your long term goal for the portrait. If you want to enjoy it for decades to come you may want to avoid overly trendy clothing