Regardless of the session type, wear what you look and feel great in!
Be sure to groom your hands and nails as they inevitably end up in the photographs.
Remember, these are general guidelines and if you are doing a fashion-inspired session or have a really unique style you want to show off, they are not all meant to be hard and fast rules.
Engagement Portrait Sessions
Engagement sessions are all about showing you as a loving couple that loves to be together and your clothes should allow you to be comfortable and secure. Outfit changes are strongly recommended and we suggest bringing a bag. Starting with a casual outfit and moving on to something more dressed up (think Sunday brunch with the extended family) is a good way to go. Finish it off with your dressed to kill 'going out' outfit.
Senior Portrait Sessions
Senior sessions are all about showing who you are and what makes you unique at this time in your life. Jerseys, uniforms, killer designer jeans and tops, and accessories like iPhones, notebooks, sunglasses, skis, etc. are all strongly encouraged. Just like engagement portrait sessions, we will have a chance to move through a series of outfits and it's great to start off casual, go on to something more formal (grandma will want to see it), and finish with your best look.
Black is slimming
Unless we are using a bright white background, black is always going to make you look slimmer in photographs and minimize areas that might appear larger to the camera.
Similar tones go well together
Choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light) so that one doesn’t look bigger than the other. Think of color tones in black and white; one person in pink and five people in black is going to make the person in pink stand out. All denim colors for bottoms work great because they look comfortable and timeless.
Wear solid colored clothing
Stay away from branding (logos), busy designs, and busy patterns. Plaid, checker patterns, big stripes and busy patterns can be very distracting in portraits.
Reflective surfaces are bad
Large, shiny, reflective surfaces such as big belt buckles should be avoided. An assortment of bracelets, scarves, necklaces, etc. are all encouraged and can really complete an outfit. Watches that don't hold a sentimental value should be taken off for portrait sessions.
Choose muted tones that are a bit subdued
So that you are the subject, not your clothes, and you don’t stand out from the group. Bright colors project (especially reds, oranges, and yellows), which also makes you appear larger.
Choose 1-3 colors for your group portrait, ones with similar tones that go nicely together
Have everyone work within that color palette. For example: dark green, navy, and burgundy – all dark jewel tones. OR tan, a lighter olive green, and denims – all lighter, softer tones.
Specific portrait tips for women
Covered shoulders are always more flattering, unless you are trying to show off your arms, in which case, sleeveless can rock!
AVOID HORIZONTAL STRIPES; They have a widening effect.
V-necks and U-necks look better than traditional collars
Floppy necklined tops can be tricky; be sure to bring an alternative
Buttondowns and crewnecks should be avoided unless you have a long neck
Blouses with collars that lie flat over a jacket make a great look
Layering is good for portraits; a cool jacket over a tight fitting shirt is great
In most situations, fitted tops look better than loose fitting clothing
Do a crossed arms test with everything you want to wear; if you can't cross your arms comfortably without the shoulders riding up, leave it at home
Specific portrait tips for men
Formal portraits call for darker clothes. Lighter colors are generally better for informal portraits and engagement sessions
Avoid wearing a jacket that is much lighter that what you're wearing underneath
If it's your style, crewneck sweaters look great on guys