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Getting Ready

Your clothing choices can help make or break our portrait session. Please plan your clothing choices well in advance of our session. Keep these things in mind:


Eliminate Distractions


In general, darker colors and long sleeves will look best. This helps in a couple of ways. All of the attention should be on your face, and long sleeves help eliminate the distraction created by bare arms. In the same way, if we're creating your portrait outdoors and you're wearing a light colored shirt or blouse, the eye will generally go to the lighter clothing before it goes to the face. One exception to this is family groups wearing white shirts along with khaki slacks for a casual portrait.


Color Counts


Whether you are planning on color portraits or black and white, denim is always a great choice. Other good colors are dark or forest green, black, any kind of blue, browns, reds (or burgundy), purples or greys. Avoid pastels, pinks, yellows, orange, and teal.


Solid Suggestions


For most portraits, solid colors are appropriate. This is not to say that you can never wer anything with a pattern or multiple colors. The clothes should say something about who you are without being a distraction. Generally, solid colors will make your portrait look 'timeless'. Clothes that are a fashion statement today may look dated in just a few years. Solid colors within the same color family work best for portraits of two or more people.


Group Portraits


Harmony is the primary element of a good family portrait. You really need to plan in advance, especially if some family members are coming from out of town. Make sure that clothing is coordinated for color, tone and style. Your portrait will not look nearly as good if some are wearing short sleeves, others long; some are wearing light colored pants, others dark; some have brown shoes, others white; and each person is wearing a different color or pattern.


For additional ideas about choosing clothing for family portraits, open and read the link below and check out the color palette illustrations in the next section.. I purchased them from Drake Busath, a famous family photographer from Salt Lake City, UT, to give you even more ideas on how to select your clothing. If you'd like me to email you a .pdf file of the color palette illustrations, just ask.


For some more good information, open and print the .pdf file below, also from Drake Busath:


Clothing Suggestions for Timeless Family Portraits