What to wear to your portrait session

Preparing for Your Professional Portrait Photography Session

A successful portrait session begins with careful preparation, especially in choosing attire that complements rather than detracts from the final images. The first decisions revolve around selecting between a formal studio or a casual outdoor setting, as well as the preference for High Key or Low Key images, setting the tone for further choices.

Studio vs. Outdoor Settings:

Studio sessions typically call for suits, ties, and flowing long-sleeved dresses. However, discomfort with formal attire may reflect in the final portraits. Outdoor settings allow more flexibility but prioritize clean, well-maintained solid-colored clothing, preferably in earth tones or muted gem tones.

Clothing Considerations:

Clothing should neither be too tight nor too loose. Opt for solid muted colors, earthy tones, or monochromatic outfits that flatter your figure. For group photos, coordinate colors among participants to create a harmonious look.

Hair and Grooming:

Maintain your usual hairstyle to feel comfortable. Haircuts and grooming should be done several weeks before the session. Men should trim beards and moustaches, avoiding a five o’clock shadow. Keep makeup light and consider simple jewelry or skip it altogether.

Additional Tips:


  • Necklines: Choose appropriate necklines that aren’t too tight, too loose, or revealing.
  • Sleeves: Prefer long sleeves to avoid distractions from your face.
  • Accessories: Smaller jewelry pieces are recommended to avoid distraction. Embrace glasses as part of your identity.
  • Color Choices: Bold colors that complement your skin and hair tones work best. Avoid busy prints that may compete with your face.
  • Comfort is Key: Wear what makes you comfortable and reflects your individual personality.


  • Suiting Colors to Skin Tones: Select colors that complement your skin tone. Lighter skin tones may benefit from avoiding very dark colors, while medium to deep skin tones may opt for colors like emerald green or deep blue violet that enhance their features.
  • Footwear: Choose comfortable yet polished footwear that doesn’t distract from the overall portrait. This allows for ease of movement and contributes to a professional look.

By focusing on these guidelines, you’ll be prepared for a successful professional portrait photography session that accentuates your unique personality while ensuring you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera.

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