The selection of proper clothing for your portrait is a critical factor in the preparation for a successful portrait.
If the clothing is noticeable in a portrait, it could easily become a distraction. Clothing that does not attract attention to itself is the ultimate goal. It could be the difference between a very successful portrait and just another picture.
I get asked this question a lot and so here are some suggestions regarding clothing and what to bring to the photo shoot. First I will start with some general suggestions and then go into a little more detail specific to the type of shoot you are considering:
What to avoid
Avoid bright yellows, reds and oranges (they battle the subjects face for attention) and the camera will readily pick up the reflected light and render skin tone with a color cast.
Avoid clothing containing logos, slogans, or other distractions.
Bold stripes, large designs and polka dots stand out and tend to draw attention from the portrait's subject.
What to wear!
Solids are always best!
Think of colors that are easy on the eyes. Our favorite colors that go with almost every skin tone are cream, beige, tan, blush, dusty blue, navy blue, burgandy and mustard. Black is also a go to but let's get creative! Here are some samples and color coordinations below!
Simple is the advice when selecting jewellery for a portrait. The same applies for any other accessories that you wish to have included in your portrait.
What to bring?
A comb or brush and hair-spray if you use it.
A light face powder to reduce any shine on your face that may build up during your shoot.
For gents (or women who prefer not to wear much or any makeup), bring a lip balm. Dry lips don't show well in photos and so a non-shiny, non-waxy, none colored lip balm is essential. Avoid chap sticks, as they tend to leave a white residue.
If you normally wear makeup, bring it with you but avoid high gloss lipsticks or very shiny lip gloss. Often they look too unnatural and reflect too much light in photos.
A towel to damp your face depending on humidity and South.
Your portraits are meant to be enjoyed for generations to come.
You will feel very rewarded when you view your photographs. All of your efforts will be worthwhile.