Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.

Rachel Zoe


Proper clothing selection for your portrait is a critical factor in the preparation for a successful-portrait session. Clothing that does not attract attention to itself is the main goal.

It could be the difference between a successful portrait and just another picture. 

Dark clothing tends to slenderize.

Dark clothing tends to help to blend the subjects with the background so that the faces are the most important part of the photograph. Dark colors tend to slenderize the subject.

Tone down bright colors. 

Bright colors attract attention away from the face and can be reflective. Avoid wearing red, bright pink, bright green, etc. When choosing lighter colors, neutral tones, or pastels, but avoid pink tones. These colors work great in-nature!

Light clothing can look fresh.

White can look beautiful, simple, and fresh. White shirts and/or blouses under a dark jacket are the perfect combination.

Bold Prints and Bold patterns are a definite NO. This includes logos.

Avoid busy prints of any kind and bold patterns. In the case of digital portraits, clothing can cause terrible distortions to appear in the portrait that is not originally there.

Don’t over-accessorize! 

Heavily noticeable accessories can be a huge distraction. Simple and minimal works best.


Eyeglasses may or may not be worn. Non-reflective lenses, of course, are a big help and preferred. You can always obtain a matching set of frames without lenses. This is helpful if your lenses sometimes distort the outline of your face. Or if you are comfortable can just remove them in between shots. 

Makeup, Hair & Nails.

It is preferred that you have your makeup and hair professionally applied for your portrait session but is not necessary. It will make a huge difference in how you look and feel, as long as you feel and look fabulous. Please have your hair and makeup finished before your scheduled session. Please book a stylist well before your shoot. Your nails should be manicured. No chipped nail polish.

Group/family portrait sessions.

Keep your clothing simple and coordinating. It must be carefully selected to blend. Avoid loud or busy patterns and large logos. Solid colors are best. First, decide whether the basic tone of the clothing will be warm-toned (browns, etc.) or cool-toned (blues/grays/blacks, etc.) Keeping a group in similar colors focuses the attention of the portrait on the faces and individuals that make up the portrait.

White tops with khakis/jeans make a great casual look, but if anyone in your family is pale in complexion, then white can make pale skin look paler. Jeans are the timeless choice and they’re great for casual pictures because they are flattering and don’t show wrinkles. Pastels enhance natural skin tones. Black or other dark shirts on top give portraits a more serious and thoughtful feel. Everyone should have color-coordinated outfits. For children, choose outfits that fit well. 


Teens have their sense of style – I love to let them express it however they wish.


Layout all the clothing onto a bed. Shoes, socks, stockings – everything! Then, take a careful look at the collection. If your eye goes to any one item, in particular, you can be certain that the same thing will happen in a photograph. That item should be changed.

Final thoughts. 

Your portraits are meant to be enjoyed! You will feel rewarded when you view your photographs. All of your efforts will be worthwhile.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me before your session.

See you at your shoot!

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Art Goans Photography | Senior Portrait + Portrait + Intimate Wedding + Elopement + Engagement Photographer

Medina, OH 44256 | 330-485-3184

Available for travel and destination affairs.

Art photographs throughout Northeast Ohio serving Cuyahoga and Medina Counties, including the following cities: Brunswick, Medina, Hinckley, Columbia Station, Valley City, Strongsville, North Royalton, Middleburg Heights, Parma, Parma Heights, Cleveland, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville, Westlake, Berea, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, and surrounding areas.