7 Steps to Looking Your Best for Your Portraits

You've scheduled your portrait session and now it's time to prepare. We want to help make sure you look your best. So, here's our seven step recommendation!

1. Get a good night's sleep.

You'll need to put your best foot forward for every day. A good night's rest is key to any successful day. Good sleep also means no dark circles, tired eyes or forcing your smiles.

2. Drink plenty of water.

Yes, yes, we know this sounds more like advice a doctor or mom might give you, but it's important advice for photographs too! See, water helps keep your skin clear and your energy up. Gotta keep those smiles fresh.

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3. Pick outfits which compliment your best features.

We all have that color that we know we look hideous in - mine's yellow. Whether you don't wear red because you have red hair, you are super pale, like me, and know that some days black really makes you look paste-y, or you have an olive tone to your skin so cool tones are really hard to match, we all have something.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we all have features we like to accent. For instance, teals are great with red hair, earth tones pull the warmth out of pale skin and blue eyes sparkle when you wear rosey colors. 

For some great resources on what colors will work for you, click here.

4. Coordinate Outfits.

This one can be tricky. You want everyone to wear something they look good in, because you just learned in step number three how important it can be to pick colors that compliment your best features, but what if the color that works for you doesn't work for someone else in your group?

Here's the easy answer number one : Pick a theme.

For instance, a theme of navy and white allows people many options : navy pants with a white top, white pants with a navy top, an all white outfit, an all navy outfit and not-to-mention there are plenty of navy and white patterns like polkadots and stripes which can be thrown in to the mix - top or bottom.

Now, be careful about being too matchy-matchy. Everyone is an individual and you don't want to lose their personality for an outfit.

Easy answer number two : Use complimentary colors.


Like the portrait below, rosey colors work well for the lovely red hair of the lady and blues work wonderfully for the gentleman's skin tone and eyes. Together, pinks and blues compliment each other.

5. Shoes.

Yes, shoes deserve their own step. You could have spent time coordinating the perfect clothing, but if you're wearing a pair of ratty tennis shoes, they're really going to draw attention. If you are wearing a nice outfit, you want to make sure people won't be distracted by mismatching elements. After all, these portraits are going to be the centerpieces of your walls and mantles. 

(Can't decide what shoes to wear?? Sometimes barefeet are a great option!)

6. Preparation is key.

Get your outfits ready a few days in advance. Last thing you need is to stress out right before a portrait session because the outfit you wanted to wear is dirty and now you have to either change the plan or do a last minute pesky task called laundry.

7. Allow plenty of time to get ready before your session.

Stress is the number one joy killer. In fact, it's one of the top ten criminals on Photographer's Most Wanted list. And the number one cause for stress? Running late or not having enough time to get ready. 

All in all, allowing plenty of time to get ready makes for a happier portrait experience overall.