The selection of proper clothing for your portrait is a critical factor in the preparation for a successful portrait.
If the clothing is noticeable in a portrait, it could easily become a distraction. Clothing that does not attract attention to itself is the ultimate goal. It could be the difference between a very successful portrait and just another picture. We can not stress enough how important it is for you to observe the following criteria. It is quite possible that if inappropriate clothing is selected, the photographer may ask you to change your selection before the portrait sitting is made.
- Dark Clothing Tends to Slenderize
Darker clothing helps to blend the bodies with the background, so that the faces are the most important part of the photograph. Dark colors definitely tend to slenderize the subject. Light colors seem to add weight to the bodies. The color of the clothing should always be toned down. Bright colors attract attention away from the face. Colors MUST be dark and not bright. This is ESSENTIAL! When choosing lighter colors, stick to pastels, but avoid pink tones. Pale yellow and pale blue work well, especially with jeans or kaki pants.
- Prints and any kind of pattern (no matter how small) become a distraction.
In the case of digital portraits, in particular, small patterns in clothing (even a small herring-bone or checkered pattern) can cause terrible distortions to appear in the portrait that are not originally there.
- Avoid Short Sleeve Clothing and Short Pants
- Long sleeved clothing is a MUST! For casual portraits it is equally important to wear long pants instead of shorts. When arms and legs are exposed to the camera there will be more flesh in the photograph in those areas than on the face, itself. This is a major distraction.
White shirts and/or blouses under a dark jacket are great! A scarf loosely tied around the neck also helps to frame a face beautifully when a collarless blouse or sweater is worn. Neckties should definitely be toned-down in color and with a minimum of pattern.
If you own a dress that you love, use it! Dresses are amazing to photograph especially if they are longer.
We tend to see a ton of solid color dresses or summer dresses.