NW Photo & Video | Preparation



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Choosing the right clothing is the best preparation for

creating a unique portrait! We ask that you wear

darker clothing.


In Fine Art Portraiture, the eyes of the viewer should

naturally be drawn to the eyes and face of the subject.

The subject's face should be brighter than their clothing. 

Clothing should compliment the subject of the portrait

and not draw attention away from their eyes and face.

Here are some helpful hints.



Families - Simplicity and solid colors create elegance and unity! Choose

solid color from shades that blend together. Family members should blend

together rather than stand out from each other. Blended colors suggest unity

and family closeness. Avoid contrasting colors. For example: Do not mix a

light skirt with a dark blouse.


Dress the family in the same timeless style and in the same tonal range.

Black, blues, dark grays, dark greens, browns, and burgundies do best.


Clothing Colors - Select darker solid colors (Solid, darker clothing is


Patterns - Avoid stripes, patterns and plaids. Even a single stripe across

a shirt, blouse or sweater will adversely affect the portrait.

Texture - Clothing with texture creates warmth and interest. A thick

knit sweater has a different feel than a tightly knitted one.

Men - Wear simple, solid color shirts with collars and a simple textured

sweater. Do not wear white T-shirts or clothing that advertises for a team

or product, for example: NIKE. Be sure your undershirt does not show beneath

the shirt. Wear Long Sleeves!

Women - A solid colored blouse with a simple sweater works great. 

A “V” neck provides a base for the head and guides the eye upwards

towards the face. Skirts and dresses should cover the knees.

Use simple earrings, necklace, chains, and rings. A single pearl, a string of

pearls or a diamond  - - a small cross or a plain gold chain is all that is needed

to look nice. Wear Long Sleeves.

Children - Kids look adorable in oversized sweaters and coats. Well worn

overalls and Jean outfits look great, too! Keep kids in solid colors and

long sleeves. Short sleeves are fine for infants and young children.

Shoes and Socks - Wear dark socks and shoes. If everything else is

dark and muted but the socks and / or shoes are lighter, the viewer’s eyes

will travel from the face down to the feet.

Note to Parents: Check children’s hands and arms for drawings and

friend’s phone numbers.



Men - Dark Jackets (tuxedo or suit) white shirt, tie, and dark pants.

Ladies - Dark (black, navy, burgundy, dark green, etc.) dress or gown.

No pattern is preferred. Classic Jewelry such as diamonds, pearls, a cross.

Young Ladies - Dark or jewel toned solid dresses are preferable,

but ivory, cream or off-white are also acceptable if they are 4 or under.

Although long sleeves are recommended for adults, young girls can wear

short or no sleeves.

Young Men - Same as for men, or a solid dark sweater.

If under 4, a white shirt with a bow tie is appropriate.

Hair - Trim hair one or two weeks prior to the portrait session so it does

not have a “fresh-cut” look. Some people want longer hair in the portrait

and this is fine. Discuss it with me prior to your session.