Portraits – What Should We Wear

  • Try and avoid very white or very bright colours. People in future looking at these pictures will have their eye drawn to the brightest part of the image first. If the shirt, blouse or neon shoes are brightest, people’s eyes will tend to go there first rather than the faces of the people in the image.
  • You should coordinate outfits. This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to match (although this can also work well depending on the intent – think plaid flannel pyjamas in front of a fireplace or Christmas tree etc.). It does require a conversation to ensure that people aren’t wearing clashing patterns or colours.
  • Avoid busy patterns, large logos, loud colours, bold stripes or graphics that could distract from the overall image unless the pictures or logos relate specifically to the photos. No Mickey Mouse unless you’re in front of a Disney castle. Solid colours are best. The best colour for you, however, is one based on your own eye, skin and hair colour… What colours do you feel best in and does this coordinate with your family members?
  • Wear something comfortable. The more comfortable you and your family are, the more natural your expressions will be.
  • More important than even your clothes, however, is to bring a great attitude to the session. If your body language says “nervous,” the best-looking outfit in the world is not going to save the shoot. 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!
  • If you still find yourself uncomfortable in front of a camera, take ten minutes and watch this wonderful Ted Talk about how to bring your best self to a photo session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYJCDYNsL6A