What should I wear?

For many people having their portrait made stimulates the same reaction as being told they have to give a speech in front of thousands of people or leap from an airplane – without a parachute.

My goal, as a photographer, is to help you relax and look your very best so that you will have photographs that you will be proud to share with family, friends and maybe even the whole world.

You (and your family / friends if it is a group portrait) are the star(s) of the show. We want anyone viewing the photograph to see who you are, not what you are wearing. So, to help you shine, here are a few suggestions in answer to the inevitable question – what should I wear?

  • Most people look their best in solid coloured clothing. Floral patterns, plaids etc. distract the viewer.
  • Muted or subdued tones ensure that YOU are the subject of the photograph, not your wardrobe. Really bright colours tend to make you look larger.
  • Choose similar tones for your top and bottom (i.e. both light or both dark). A white top with dark bottoms makes your top look bigger; a dark top and light bottom emphasizes your derriere.
  • Choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow. Bare arms have more skin area than your face and draw the viewer’s eye away from you – and bare arms, even on a very slender person, look much larger than they even really are.
  • Select long pants for men/ladies or a skirt below the knee for ladies. Like the arms, bare legs draw the eye away from the face.
  • Choose dark socks and footwear (unless it is a barefoot shot or wedding photographs) because white sticks out like a sore thumb.
  • Keep jewellery simple and minimalistic. Too much “bling” draws attention away from your face.
  • Get your hair done/cut two weeks or so before your portrait session, especially if you are getting a ‘new do’. It gives you time to get used to “the look” and, in the case of men, allows a little growing out time to avoid that shorn sheep look.
  • Wear your hair in a style appropriate to the wardrobe you’ve chosen. A fancy up do combined with a t-shirt and jeans just doesn’t seem to work well. Similarly, a casual pony tail with a formal gown also looks out of place.
  • People in group portraits should wear similar styles and colours so no individual appears different than the rest (the only one in a floral shirt, for instance). The idea is to show unity within the group. In the case of multi-family shots, it would work to have one family in green, one in brown and a third in blue, for example – as long as they are all darker tones and subdued.

If you are unsure or uncomfortable in any way, please ask. I’ll help you select a colour and style theme that will compliment the story you want to tell. My goal is to help you look your very best.