Choosing what to wear for your portrait session can certainly be an indecisive event. Below are some tips to assist you with what to and what not to wear for your portrait session.
As a general rule of thumb, it is best to keep things simple but whatever you choose to wear, be true to your own style. Your portraits should reflect who you really are. Wearing high heels if you’re a high-top sneakers kind of person will make you feel uncomfortable and won’t be any fun for you!
For a classic and timeless look, jeans, plain shirts and simple dresses are great choices. Simple and plain clothing helps create a photograph that emphasizes the subject’s faces and won’t go out of style. Solid colours in subtle tones work well for a timeless look. Traditional advice is to wear medium toned or darker solids. As a bonus, dark shades are slenderizing.
For a hip and trendy look, choose bright and bold colours. I would recommend avoiding tops with busy patterns, logos and writing; they compete with the subject’s face for the viewers’ attention.
Wearing the latest trend can be fun and a very natural desire, but keep in mind they can also date your portraits very easily. This is not necessarily a major faux pas, just something to keep in mind. Have a few different outfits ready for a greater variety in your final images.
Be cautious about wearing white – it attracts a great deal of attention in the photo. Your face(s) should be the center of attention. White clothing does have the potential to look great in some lighting scenarios and certain backgrounds, but please speak with me before your session if you are thinking about wearing white so we can discuss if this is suitable for your session and location. Also, do not wear white socks with dark coloured pants!
Hats, belts, sunglasses, shades, etc. can be super cool accessories for your session.
Wear shoes that you like - they will show in the photographs. Bare feet are fun too!
Selecting outfits for a family session can require more planning. Choose colours that complement each other - everyone should be dressed in matching tones. Tone is the degree of lightness and darkness; think of clothing tones as black, dark gray, medium gray, light gray, and white. Everyone in the portrait should be wearing similar tone clothing: white and light gray, light gray and medium gray, medium gray and dark gray, dark gray and black. Matching or complimentary outfits, styles and colours create a sense of togetherness in portraits with more than one person.
On the flip side, sometimes rules in the world of photography are meant to be broken and I’m not going to tell you what you can and cannot wear. Clothing choice is a reflection of personality and that is what portraits are all about!
If you are still unsure about what to wear for your portrait session, please browse through my blog and website for further ideas.