Clothing, Hair, and Make-up


Guidelines for Clothing

  • Solid colors work best.  Patterns, prints, stripes, dots, etc. generally do not look good in portraits as they can be very distracting and draw attention away from the subject.  However, texture in clothing is acceptable and can add interest without causing distraction.
  • Females should avoid sleeveless / short sleeves.  These draw the viewer's eye to your shoulders and/or bare arms which is a distraction and this can make you look heavier as well.
  • Writing and logos on clothing should be avoided.
  • Accessories and/or articles of clothing that match your eye color are a good choice.
  • Clothing that is close to the same as your skin color is not a good choice.  It can make your skin coloring look faded or washed out.
  • Its a cliché that basic black is a good choice for most people.  Actually, dark grey tends to be more neutral for most people and is often a better choice than solid black.  Dark brown is another good choice versus black.
  • Loose clothing does not hide excess weight and in fact makes a person look heavier.  Comfortable clothes that fit properly will look the best.
  • Avoid blouses with cut outs or low scoop or boat necks.  Also, avoid turtlenecks.
  • Bring extra everything / anything including jewelry, accessories, ties, scarves, jackets, etc.  This will allow you all sorts of options.
  • For portraits including multiple people, it is best to try to coordinate colors.  This does not mean everyone has to match.  However, if each person is wearing a completely different color scheme the portrait will likely look a bit disorganized and distracting.


Hair / Makeup

  • Bring a hairbrush, comb, and any other styling products you need.
  • Men and women - bring lip balm to avoid dried / cracked looking lips.
  • Make-up should be natural and even.  Bring what you need for reapplication including and especially lip stick.
  • Check eyelashes for separation.  Today's digital cameras will pick up every detail including eyelashes that are stuck together.
  • Liquid eyeliner creates a harsh line.  Pencil is softer and blends in better and is preferred.
  • Powder is useful to reduce shine which can catch flash and create "hot spots" in photos.



Consider bringing a variety of props / items that are meaningful to you that you would like to include in order to make your portrait shoot unique to you.