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Portrait Clothing

So… people sometimes have a difficult time knowing what to wear when having their portraits taken. Individual and family portrait clothing suggestions differ somewhat, but there are many similarities, too.

For starters, focus on your skin. Facial shine will be picked up by the camera, so a little powder or a towel is advisable to minimize that shine. Typically, a little makeup and a light powder works well for women. For men, a little baby powder or a quick towel dry should be fine.

Next, dress from collar to sole. Too much skin showing takes attention away from the face. The point of the photo is to capture the faces of people in the focal zone. Not arms. Not legs. Keep your tops modest and make sure your socks match your pants.

For colors, it is ideal if all parties in the photo wear solid and simple and consistent tones. Too many tones or even one odd pattern can be very distracting in the photo. Choose clothing in the same tonal range so that no single member of a family or group stands out. Darker tones are slimming and work well with darker backgrounds or settings. Middle and lighter tones work well for outdoor photography. Stay clear of super bright colors as they can wash out the image.

If you wear glasses, it is best if you can remove them for the portrait to reduce glare.

There is a bit of an exception to all of this… With senior portraits, the kids tend to want to express their unique look and personality through their photos. This is a special moment and we like to let their creativity flow. So… some of the “rules” above fly out the window.

What are your thoughts?


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