2021 Style Guide
Style is What Works!
Don't worry, you don't have to be the best fashionista to look good in your portraits. There are just a few guidelines that we would like to inform you on that will get you the best outcome for your portrait session.
We want you to look and feel good in your portraits and so therefore, we have put together this guide for you to follow when picking out your outfits and doing your hair and make-up. We don't want to tell you how to dress and how to look because we want you to feel like YOU, but we want to make sure you are aware of what will photograph the best and look the best on camera.
In this guide, we will go over how to coordinate your outfits if you are a family or couple, what to avoid when choosing each piece, and what make-up and hair practices to avoid right before your session. This is by no means an all-inclusive guide so if you have any questions please feel free to ask.
I always urge people to look through their wardrobes. Look deep back, you will find that one outfit you bought a couple years ago that you said, "I really want this, but I don't know what I'll wear it for. Oh well, I'll buy it anyways". Usually, that outfit is perfect for a portrait session.
If you don't normally wear dresses and don't want to wear a dress, don't wear a dress! If you feel more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt, wear jeans and a t-shirt.Try to avoid wearing hats. Hats hide your eyes and can create shadows on your face that do not photograph well. Plus! They hide your wonderful, smiling face! Clean and neat clothing and shoes work the best!
For couples, it is best to find coordinating outfits, not matching ones. you may look through Pinterest and find a lot of families wearing the same colored t-shirt and jeans and think, "I want to do that". As this can look okay during a portrait session, it's not always the best option.
Pick your outfits to match your personalities and to coordinate your location. If it's going to be an outdoor session in a rustic, outdoorsy location, pick outfits that coordinate with that.
Overall, I want you to be comfortable. If you are going to be pulling down or pulling up your clothes because it's too high or too low, then don't wear it. Sessions can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours so you want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible at all times.
Couples sessions are so much fun! I encourage couples to take a look at images on Pinterest to get an idea of outfits that couples typically wear during their sessions with each other. You can also bring multiple outfits if you want to change things up a bit. Dig in your wardrobe to find outfits and/or go out and find some items that may go well together.
For Seniors: Bring a few outfits. A dress or suit, casual outfit, and then something special that reflects who you are (sports uniform, band uniform, ballet, etc). I highly encourage my seniors to also bring along outfits and props that show who they are as high schoolers. They can be school related or not. We want to be able to cater your session to you and this helps.
For Personal Branding: Typically the best outfit for a personal branding headshot (especially if you're using it to promote yourself for a career) is a well put together and well-fitted suit or other business wear. That the number one outfit you should bring to your session. I also encourage personal branding clients to bring other outfits as well. We can have some fun with your session if you bring a variety. Pick out outfits that show off who you are!
For everyone else: This all depends on what kind of session you would like. The world is open to you! For individual portraits we can sit down to make a plan for your session and design what kind of look you are looking for to create the beautiful portraits you dream of.
Hair and Make-Up
Ladies, for your hair, make sure it is fresh and clean the day of your session. If you normally get your hair colored, make sure the roots are all touched up. If you are going to leave your hair down, curled or straight, I suggest clients run a blow dryer through the inside of their hair right before you come to your session to give it some shape and body and it will bring your hair away from your face. Please make sure your fingernails (and toenails) are either painted or if you wish to not paint your nails, please make sure they are clean. No chipped nail polish!
We don't suggest tanning, but if you do, please refrain from tanning the day of or even the night before your session. Give it some time to set in.
If you wear make-up, we have some suggestions on what types of make-up to stay away from because they tend to not photograph well. First of all, stay away from anything that sparkles (a little shimmer is okay). They can reflect off of light and therefore reflect off of the camera. Avoid any heavily applied make-up and make sure your make-up lines are smoothed out and not noticeable. Make sure when putting on your foundation, to blend it into your neck to avoid a line created on your jaw line.
Hair for men is pretty simple. Make sure you do not go and get a hair cut within a week of your session. This avoids any mistakes that may occur (like if they cut your hair too short). Also, you don't want to look like your 3rd grade portrait with those fresh cut lines. Make sure your hair is fresh and clean before your session.
Be yourself. Don't choose a hair cut or style that you don't normally have done unless you are sure that is what you want in your portraits.
Please do not wear hats on the way to your session. They leave an unwanted line in your hair that is hard to get rid of. Also, we highly recommend you do not wear hats during your session because of the same reason and they hide your face in a shadow.