? Wardrobe Tips - Wedding Photography Dallas, Allen, McKinney, Plano, Richardson, Lucas, Addison, Frisco, Prosper, Wylie Melissa Celina Greenville McKinney Fairview Anna Rowlett Garland Rockwall royse City Weston Heath Fate

Wardrobe Tips for Portrait Sessions

Printer friendly version

A general rule of thumb is that we don’t want the clothing to be a distraction in the photograph. The following rules and guidelines help make sure that’s the case. Of course, if you have a favorite outfit that breaks all the rules don’t sweat it . . . sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

  • Avoid stripes, plaid, and patterns. Solids photograph much better.
  • Bring a variety of colors; don't bring five red outfits, even if it is your favorite color.
  • Vary the dress level, bring some dressy and some casual.
  • Long sleeves photograph better than short sleeves and sleeveless.
  • Mid-tone and dark colors photograph better than light colors.
  • For outdoor sessions, there may not be a place to change.

Certain colors look worse outside. Orange, teal, any kind of green (except deep, forest green) and pink tend to clash with many outdoor locations, especially areas with the green of trees or grass. We suggest mid-toned solids or darker color solids like black, any kind of blue, browns, reds (or burgundy), purples, or grey. Yellow can also work (but tighter fitting yellow outfits can accent weight). Women may wear dresses or skirts outside, but pants or jeans allow a greater range of poses.

For shirts and tops, avoid colors that are too similar to your skin color. (These might be a brown, beige, tan, or very pale peach, and very pale gray). For many people these shades can drain the color from your face, making them appear washed-out.

Keep in mind that lighter colors (especially white), tight fitting tops and horizontal lines tend to accent weight (very loose fitting white will usually look fine). If you are self-conscious about your arms, wear a long-sleeved shirt instead of a short-sleeved or sleeveless shirt. Darker colors (especially black), loose-fitting clothing and vertical lines have a more slimming effect. Avoid baggy clothes that may add weight.


Best tip here: keep it simple. We want the attention on you, not your jewelry. If you have different jewelry for different outfits, you might put each set of jewelry in a small bag and hang it on the hanger with that outfit for easy changing.


Makeup should only be slightly heavier than normal; about like you might wear in the evening. Mascara should be clean and smooth (if possible) for close-up shots.


Be careful of drastic changes right before your session. Be sure your hairstyle will stay in place for the length of the session by bringing hairspray, mirror and brush or comb to do touch-ups as needed throughout the session.


Please bring appropriate foundation garments to wear for each outfit. Flesh colored undergarments are best. Also, if you need a strapless bra, please bring one; tucking in the straps usually looks awkward. With thin blouses, please carefully select these pieces so you can't see unsightly lines.


Avoid Sunburn. Sunburn and peeling skin do not photograph well. If you are a winter or spring session and your tan has faded, you might consider mild tanning. Summer sessions should choose outfits that hide tan lines. Be careful with self-tanner on hands, elbows, knees and heels.


Fingernails and toenails show in photos so please remove chipped paint or repaint before your session. Many casual shots are done barefoot, so don't forget the toes.


Make-up does wonders; even for guys when necessary. A little touch up on blemishes makes your previews even better. But don’t worry, your package orders can be retouched to perfection.


Most glasses glare. Some prescriptions more than others. Your best bet is to check with your optometrist. Most will loan you an empty set of frames similar to yours for your photo session.