These tips are here to assist you. The best advice is to make sure you feel comfortable and can move comfortably in your outfit and shoes. If you feel uncomfortable, even the slightest bit, you will look it in your photos. You don't want to be pre-occupied thinking about whether your shirt is too low-cut, or your dress is too short or too tight in certain areas. Remember, the camera doesn't know your dress size! Coordinating colors and tones are key to looking put together without going 90's beach retro in matchy-matchy white shirts with blue jeans. For color scheme recommendations, Pinterest is a great resource. Check out my Pinterest board on color schemes you can use to mix and match for everyone in the photos. 

Scroll to see tips for groups, solo sessions, hair and makeup... 

Clothing for Groups (3 or more)

1.  Figure out what Season you are. Go to this website to figure out your season after a short quiz. If you're doing a session with other people, try to figure theirs out too so you can find colors you all are flattered by. This won't just help you out in your session, but as you build your wardrobe.

2.  Wear solid colored clothing so that we see all of your faces and no one person stands out. If you wear stripes or flowers, you will stand out from the rest of your group.

3.  Choose muted tones that are a bit subdued so that you are the subject not your clothes and you don’t stand out from the group. Bright colors project (especially reds, oranges, and yellows), which also makes you look larger.

4.  Choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light) so that one doesn’t look bigger than the other.  White top, dark pants will make your top look bigger.  White pants, dark top will make your butt look bigger.

5.  Choose 1-3 colors for your group portrait, ones with similar tones that go nicely together and have everyone work within that color palette. For example: dark green, navy, and burgundy – all dark jewel tones.  OR tan, a lighter olive green, and denims – all lighter, softer tones.  So that we see the people first and your portrait looks stunning. Wedding group photos look so good because they’re all wearing the same colors and the people stand out!

6. Choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow  because your arms take up more skin area than your face and will draw attention and it may also make your arms look larger

7.  Choose long pants for men/ladies or a skirt below the knee for ladies so that your legs don’t take attention from your faces, and you will be able to sit and bend without showing too much leg.

8.  Choose dark socks and footwear because white just sticks out like a sore thumb and that’s all you’ll notice in your portrait.

9.  Keep jewelry simple and minimalistic because too much draws attention from your face

10.  Do your hair the way you’d normally do it while wearing these clothes – no fancy up dos with jeans, no pony tails with evening gowns, etc. It is because your portrait will be more timeless and represent more closely who you are, not just what you look like.

11.  If getting a haircut or new hairdo, make your appointment at least 2 weeks prior to your portrait session. Fresh hair cuts rarely look their best the same or next day. Ladies need time to practice working it, men need it to grow out just a little. Allow some time to live with your new look before your portrait session.

12. Do not wear pinstripes/stripes of any sort! Typically shy away from checkered unless you're wearing a sweater on top. This causes a distorting in the images that requires advanced editing (+fee).

 

 

Clothing for the Couple

1. If your session comes with a wardrobe change, remember that for men a simple add on of a sport coat can drastically change his look without requiring a whole new outfit. 

2. Certain types of patterns cause a moire to happen in your photos. Stay away from small lines on shirts (think houndstooth and pinstripe type of lines). Anything with lines and patterns that are very fine may cause moire, which can be difficult to edit out!

3. Ladies, find a piece of clothing you really want to wear, and work the colors in that way. If your portraits are for an engagement session, you might consider incorporating your wedding colors in since you'll likely be displaying your photos somewhere at your reception or on your invitations. 

4. Choose your wardrobe fitting for a photo to hang on your wall. While you may not want to come clothed in your drapes, you want to match the aesthetic of your home (or future home) so that when you hang up your timeless photos, it doesn't clash with your design. 

5. Keep jewelry simple and minimalistic because too much draws attention away from your face. Ladies, clean those engagement rings!

6. If one or more of your outfits calls for a pair of lovely heels, bring them, but also bring along some good walking shoes in case we need to walk to some areas that would either muddy your shoes or cause you to walk on uneven ground.

 

 

Clothing for One 

1.  Figure out what Season you are. Go to this website to figure out your season after a short quiz. If you're doing a session with other people, try to figure theirs out too so you can find colors you all are flattered by. This won't just help you out in your session, but as you build your wardrobe.

2. Choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light) so that one doesn't look bigger than the other. White top, dark pants/jeans will make your top look bigger. White or light pants/jeans, dark top will make your butt look bigger. This can be misconstrued to mean wear all black or all white.

3.  Choose muted tones and wear solid colored clothing. Avoid sequins and glittery shirts, as they don't show well in portraits. 

4.  Little girls look great in twirly dresses! Make sure they have bloomers or shorts underneath so we can avoid them accidentally flashing the camera.

5.  Do your hair the way you’d normally do it while wearing these clothes – no fancy up dos with jeans, no pony tails with evening gowns, etc. It is because your portrait will be more timeless and represent more closely who you are, not just what you look like.

6.  Choose sleeves that cover your shoulders or that come down to your elbows. Feel free to layer something over your shirt/tank top. Layering adds depth and textures to your photos while allowing you to cool off during the summer or warm up during the winter. Showing too much arm can draw the eyes to the arms in the portrait. We want to focus on your beautiful face.

7.  Pinterest has some great outfit tips. Not everyone can afford to buy new outfits for their photo session, and that's fine. Look in your closet or your friend's closets for some ideas after browsing some of Pinterest's ideas. Click here.

 

Always feel free to text me a photo

of your outfit if you need advice! :) I am happy to help you!

 

Hair & Make Up

I highly encourage all of my client's to use a professional make-up artist. I work with several and would be happy to provide you a list of pro's. In the event you cannot hire one, please see below.

1.  Be sure to start with a clean and moisturized face; nothing is prettier than beautiful skin! 

2.  Apply your makeup in natural window light if at all possible. This may mean applying your makeup in a room other than your bathroom but good lighting is essential to a good, even application of makeup.

3.  A good primer is just as important as a good foundation. Use primer before applying your base to give a smooth canvas by concealing large pores, uneven color and texture, and fine lines. Allow time to dry ( ~ 3 minutes) before using the foundation. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is my favorite, but visit Sephora or even Target to find a great primer if you don't already have one. No joke, some women use Monistat for their primer. Obviously designate that tube for your face only! The ingredients are the same as the high end products. All in all, if you can, buy one meant to be a great base for your foundation.

4.  Please stay away from using mineral makeup for your portraits. Mineral Makeup is fantastic for everyday wear; however, in portraits it can give a very distinct and undesirable glow or shine.  Revlon’s Colorstay Makeup is my favorite drugstore option while M.A.C. Studio Fix and Make Up For Ever’s HD Invisible Cover Foundation are great high end options. In portraits, a matte finish is more desirable than a glow. Sounds weird, I know, but in person glow looks beautiful. In photos, it just looks bad. When applying your foundation it is best to use a damp sponge or foundation brush rather than wiping your foundation on your skin with your hands to avoid uneven coverage or streaking (this also cuts back on the spread of germs). I use a foundation brush or the Beauty Blender sponge. Opt to set your foundation with a translucent matte powder banishing any shine.  My favorite is M.A.C Prep and Prime Transparent Finishing Powder while another great option is Revlon Photo Ready Translucent Finisher.

5.  Play up your eyes! Again, avoid shimmer or glitter. I strongly suggest using matte or satin neutral shades to bring out your beautiful eyes. Trendy or dark colors can cause your images to look dated and your eyes to look small or garish.  Almost every makeup company offers pallets that can give you a natural look for your eyes. A golden brown really plays up any eye color. Almay Intense I-Color comes customized for your eye color and can take the guess work out of picking the right shade. Be sure to blend the color for the most flattering look.

6.  When it comes to applying eyeliner, in many ways less can be more. I suggest lining brown or black brown eyeliner, being careful not to line the inner rim too heavily as this will create a small looking eye. It is best to just line the lash line creating a full looking lash. Remember, no raccoon eyes! Keep the liner on the top lid only, unless you're going for that emo look. (Lining both upper and bottom lids also makes your eyes look smaller).

7.  Don’t forget mascara! I suggest waterproof (aka sweatproof) black mascara. Two coats. Using a new mascara tube can really be helpful because the product will not be dried out causing you to have clumpy lashes. Be sure to wipe off any excess mascara on the tube before your application. Don't forget to use your lash crimper! Using a decent set of falsies is not a bad idea, just be sure to apply them well. Draw on your eyeliner first, then apply the lash from inside to outside carefully as close to your natural lashes as possible. If you opt for falsies, practice before hand. You don't want to be in a huff and panic the day of your session because you can't apply falsies.

8.  When selecting a blush color, choose a shade that resembles the flush you have after exercise or laughter. Again, stay away from glittery or shimmery shades for your portraits. Almost every woman I know is afraid of blush but when applied correctly it expertly enhances your look. Apply the most vibrant part of your blush on the apples (where you smile) of your cheeks and blend upward on your cheek bone. Blush needs to be applied a bit heavier than normal for portraits because the camera has a tendency to wash out the color.  After applying your blush take a large fluffy brush with no product and blend once more for the most natural finish. (Tip: remember to always clean your brushes after each use to diminish build up and germs).

9.  A naturally colored lip is the most flattering in portraits because lip color trends change so quickly. One of my favorite ways to keep the lip natural is to use a neutral colored lip pencil (my favorite is M.A.C spice but almost every cosmetics company makes a neutral shade) and line and fill in the lip. I then apply a blush colored gloss lightly over the lip concentrating the application in the center and blending out toward the corners of the mouth (again, less is more).  If you prefer lipstick choose a color that enhances your existing lip tone. Clinique's Black Honey is meant to flatter every lip shade (yes, every lip has a different shade that is flattering). You know when you push your lips together real tightly then release? That color is your natural lip color that looks best for you. Find a color that resembles the color after your lips have been pushed together, or as if you've lightly bitten your bottom lip.

10.  When you are completely finished with your look, give a final dusting of translucent powder lightly over your entire face to set the look. 

11.   Bring your make up and a hair brush with you! Depending on the month of your session, know you may sweat off some make up. You'll want to be able to check yourself or reapply lipstick or blush if you need it.