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What to Wear

I’m frequently asked about what to wear to a shoot. Here are some guidelines that may help.

The goal of any fine portrait is to direct the viewer's attention to the face or faces in the portrait. Simple long-sleeved garments in medium to dark tones of brown rust, burgundy, green, or blue are pleasing choices when photographed against a dark background. Avoid light colors that approximate flesh tones such as beige, tan, peach, pink, white, and yellow. Darker shades are more flattering and slimming.

Proper clothing allows the face to dominate the portrait. All other elements should be secondary. Bold stripes, plaids, checks, and prints are confusing and do not photograph well. Light-colored clothing calls attention to itself and away from the face.

Couples or small groups should choose simple garments within the same tonal ranges. Light tones on one person and dark tones on another create visual confusion, as one subject comes forward and the other recedes.

In a family group, proper clothing coordination is critical. When decorating a home, a major concern is to coordinate the colors and tones of the walls, carpets, draperies and furniture. This kind of coordination also is necessary when selecting clothing for a group portrait. Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so that no single member of the family stands out because the clothing is too light or bright as compared to the rest of the group.

Using props and accessories is a good way to get different looks out of a single outfit. Think about things that characterize you and your personality: scarves, purses, shoes, items from your line of work, hobbies, and interests.

Often, we will take photos of details like hand-holding, rings, and family feet! Remember to clean and trim nails for these shots. For feet, if you have matching shoes or shoes in the same shade, that's a plus. Of course, we love bare feet too.


What to bring:

  • Change of clothes if you desire
  • Pressed Powder to eliminate shine
  • Lip stick, lip gloss or lip balm
  • Hair brush
  • Mirror
  • Accessories like musical instruments, athletic gear, books, awards
  • And lastly, please wear clothes with no wrinkles and brush your teeth! Camera sensors today pick up every detail.
Copyright Aurora Anderson Photography