What do I wear for my photo session?

What a client wears in a portrait session is just as important as every tiny detail of lighting, location and posing. Always remember that a portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it. It is therefore important for the photographer (me) to infom the client (you) of the "dress code". 

What is the "dress code" and why should you try to follow it?


"Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance." - Coco Chanel


I always advice my clients to

  • wear solid colored clothing with muted tones so the face is the highlight and not the dress
  • match tones of tops and bottoms - wear both dark or both light clothing so that one doesn’t look bigger than the other. Let's take for example, a white top + dark pants will make your top look bigger. On the other hand, white pants + dark top will make your bottoms look bigger.
  • choose a color palette that can be coordinated if we're doing a group portrait. If you wear big stripes or any printed or floral clothing, you will stand out from the rest of your group. Work with simple color palettes and choose tones that are close to it.
  • wear long pants for men and for ladies, a modest skirt down to the knee and sometimes, I also advice weight conscious clients to wear at least an elbow length sleeve to coverup the bare arms which will look bigger if uncovered. 
  • choose dark socks for men just becasue peeping white socks between pants and shoes is not cool.
  • keep jewelries or accessories simple and minimalistic unless of course we are aiming for highly artistic shots, then we can talk about that
  • keep hair and makeup simple 

A humongous brand logo on your shirt or a white sock peeping between your leather shoes and your dark pants, a big hairdress, a chandelier earring -  huge no no. Please try to avoid these crimes. *wink* ;)

The reason why many times a portrait does not work is because there are too many distracting elements in it that the attention of the viewer is diverted away from the main subject of the photo which is you. It is this very simple reason why good portraits are what they are. Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.

Help me help you. After all, it is my job as the photographer to help my clients look their best in their portrait photos. 

-KJS