Captured Faithfule

What to wear

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Probably the single most asked question I get is “what do I wear” and there are so many options it’s impossible to cover them all.  Here are a few basic recommendations from Darlene Hildebrandt, teacher at Niagara School of Imaging, and myself:

  • Wear solid colored clothing:    We want to see all of your faces and make sure no one person stands out. If you wear stripes or flowers, you will stand out from the rest of your group.
  • Choose muted tones that are a bit subdued:  This ensures that you are the subject not your clothes and you don’t stand out from the group. Bright colors project (especially reds, oranges, and yellows), which also makes you look larger.
  • Choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light) so that one doesn’t look bigger than the other:  White top, dark pants will make your top look bigger.  White pants, dark top will make your butt look bigger.
  • Choose 1-3 colors for your group portrait, ones with similar tones that go nicely together and have everyone work within that color palette: For example: dark green, navy, and burgundy – all dark jewel tones.  OR tan, a lighter olive-green, and denims – all lighter, softer tones.  So that we see the people first and your portrait looks stunning. Wedding group photos look so good because they’re all wearing the same colors and the people stand out!
  • Choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow: Your arms take up more skin area than your face and will draw attention and it may also make your arms look large.
  • Choose long pants for men/women or a skirt below the knee for women:  This is so your legs don’t take attention from your faces, and you will be able to sit and bend without showing too much leg.
  • Choose dark socks and footwear (unless it’s a barefoot photo on the beach):  White just sticks out like a sore thumb and that’s all you’ll notice in your portrait
  • Keep jewelry simple and m minimalistic:  Too much draws attention from your face
  • Do your hair the way you’d normally do it while wearing these clothes: No fancy up-dos with jeans, no pony tails with evening gowns, etc.  By doing this, your portrait will be more timeless and represent more closely who you are, not just what you look like.
  • If getting a haircut or new hairdo, make your appointment at least 2 weeks before your portrait session:  Fresh hair cuts rarely look their best the same or next day.  Allow some time to live with your new look before your portrait session.
  • Makeup: Just like with a new haircut or style, be sure to try any new colors or looks several days before your session.  Tweeze, wax, or pluck brows at least 48 hours before your session and when choosing eye, cheek and lip colors remember that matte colors are better for photography.  Do use mascara and neutral lip gloss at the bare minimum.  This helps create depth in your image.  Consider bringing lip gloss and a flat, translucent powder along with you if you need to do a touch-up during your session.

For more session tips, please click here.  For more wardrobe tips, check out some sample ideas here.

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