What to Wear – Clothing Guide

The session is booked, everyone is excited about the shoot, then comes the question… “What should we wear?” This simple yet informative guide will take all the guess work out of this seemingly challenging task and you’ll feel like you’ve got a personal stylist!


1. Decide on a Color Scheme

Pick your colors based on where the images will be displayed. For some people, this doesn’t make a difference. But for others, if they plan to hang the prints in a room with a dominant color, then your clothing should compliment rather than clash.
Individual skin tones and hair color also should be considered.

2. Select a focal piece

Shop around to find one patterned piece that you love. It can be a floral dress or a men’s plaid shirt, but if you find one central piece, it helps to plan everything around that. Applying the discussed suggestions will help tie things together and give an overall continuity.

3. Pick 3
It’s a good idea to pick three colors to work as your main colors, then consider grays, whites, blacks or browns as freebies. Not all together, but one or two that work with the 3 colors you chose. Too many colors become overwhelming and distracting.

4. Layers & Accessories

Cardigans, necklaces, headbands, scarves, button up shirts, hats and ties add texture, individuality and fun to the overall look. Bring a few different options to the studio so we can help advise what will photograph best.

5. Split up the colors

If photographing a group portrait, having everyone in the same colors doesn’t work as well as separating each main color. Think about who will be standing next to each other (often age comes into consideration with this.) If you have very similar colors or outfits, use the layers and accessories suggestions to help split up the colors.

6. Lay it on the floor

Once you have gathered items in the colors you’ve picked, lay everything out. This will help you to see how all of the pieces work together and compliment one another. Take a look from afar, and even take a picture of it. You are welcome to send this to us prior to your session.

7. Plan ahead

Start planning when you book your session. Be thinking of it, look around in your home/closets and shop well in advance so you aren’t stressing at the last minute.
Contact us if you have any questions.

A few more do’s and don’t
•    Don’t forget shoes for the outfits you choose
•    Bring a comb or brush and make-up to touch up
•    Men – decide if you want a clean shave, stubble, etc. and plan accordingly
•    Be aware of tan lines
•    Try not to make major hair style changes just before the shoot
•    Get plenty of rest
•    Drink lots of water
•    Be comfortable and confident in your outfit changes

Above all, just remember to relax, be yourself and think happy thoughts!  It will show in your portrait.

For Executive Portraits & Professional Headshots

Solid colors always work best. The clothing should be simple and never take away from you as a professional. Wear what you would to meet one of your best clients.  Especially for a corporate headshot, you should wear a solid color middle to dark tone business suit or pantsuit. Another outfit can work more on the causal side if that is desired and is more consistent with your company brand.

Wear a blue, off-white or plain white shirt. Choose an appropriate tie that doesn’t have too busy of a pattern. Wear a solid color middle to dark tone business suit. Shave the morning of the appointment.

Wear a solid color middle or dark tone pantsuit or a dress shirt (light color) that works under the jacket.  Make-up should not be overdone: wear what you consider “everyday” daytime make-up. Keep jewelry to a minimum.

Clothes to avoid:
Busy patterns. Tweeds or plaids (they will appear to move in digital format).
Sleeveless or short-sleeved shirts (your arms will distract from your face).
Turtlenecks (you will look like a floating head).
Deep, plunging necklines.

Smile or no smile:
We let you decide. Generally people look better when they are smiling. Take 30 seconds the morning of your shoot: Grab a mirror. Flash a smile. Do a non-smile. Remind yourself of how to accomplish both.  We’ll photograph you smiling with teeth showing, and we’ll snap a couple of shots with a more serious look as well.  Be flexible and look for our coaching during the session.  We’ll help you achieve the best look.