The answer to this question is so IMPORTANT to the success of your portrait!
Here are some ideas…
1) Be true to yourself. Like the clothes you are wearing! Look in the mirror and make sure your outfit fits you well and flatters your figure. For a family portrait, the MOM should pick out her outfit first and then dress everyone else to compliment what she is wearing. Mom gets to be queen for the day for these sessions.
2) Coordinate with your environment. Earthy, medium tones work best for natural locations. Go for solids, semi-solids, small prints. Jeans are always good. Urban settings can handle brighter colors, patterns and dressier clothes. Avoid stripes, chevrons, big plaids and strong graphics. You don’t want your clothes to be the most prominent part of your portrait. And…unless you are the bride and groom, avoid white and black. (There are always exceptions – just ask!)
3) Just say NO to the portrait uniform! It’s important to coordinate clothing but unless you wear exactly matching clothes in real life, you shouldn’t wear them for your portrait session. Coordinate in color families, shades of color, complimenting colors. Mix up textures and small patterns.
4) Dress on the same scale of casual/formal.
5) Use layers (jackets, sweaters, vests) and accents such as scarves. Layers photograph well and can sometimes help hide body parts that you are sensitive about! Layers add visual interest without being distracting. Layers are AWESOME!
6) Everyone should wear the same tonal range so that the clothing blends. One or two people wearing much lighter or much darker clothing will stand out from the rest. The lightest part of the portrait will stand out (imagine one pair of white jeans) and the darkest part of the portrait will recede (imagine a missing tooth).
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