Portrait Tips

General Tips

  • Drink lots of water and be well rested (so your eyes will not have dark circles)
  • Your skin might not look it's best after drug/alcohol use. Try to abstain from these before your shoot

What to Wear – Everyone

  • Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you look great 
  • Make sure your jacket and shirt fit you well. A poor fitting jacket or shirt will be obvious in the photos (especially around the neck) 
  • Don't overdress
  • Turtlenecks are almost always a bad idea
  • Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new 
  • Avoid busy patterns and large lines/stripes
  • Blue/green/turquoise shirts/blouses or accents can help emphasize blue/green/hazel eyes

What to Wear – Men

  • The standard business look is a suit jacket, dress shirt and tie 
  • A casual business look is often a jacket and open dress shirt, shirt and tie (no jacket), or dress shirt on its own 
  • Polo shirts are a good look for some businesses. Be sure the shirt is in good condition and fits well 
  • For a no-jacket casual look, bring colored shirts – ideally darker than your skin tone 
  • A white dress shirt by itself is a bad idea – unless you plan to wear it underneath something (jacket or sweater) 
  • Bring a few different jackets, shirt colors and ties so you have options during the session

What to Wear – Women

  • Avoid big prints and busy patterns 
  • Different necklines will change the apparent shape of your face. Bring a variety different shirts/blouses to see what works best
  • For a no-jacket casual look, bring various colored blouses – ideally darker than your skin tone 
  • Be stylish and fashionable, but remember the picture is about your face and not your clothes or jewelry 
  • Sleeveless tops/dresses can draw attention to your shoulders/arms. Consider bringing items with a variety of different sleeves 

Remember: Select and wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. Select something that makes you look and feel good.


  • Keep jewelry extremely simple – small is better 
  • Avoid jewelry that would distract from your face or that looks dated 
  • The picture is about your face, not your jewelry 
  • Consider if facial piercings or multiple ear piercings are appropriate for where your photo will be displayed 

What to Bring

  • Various changes of clothing (see above)
  • A good attitude
  • Lip balm
  • Hair brush/comb
  • Makeup and hair products you prefer (especially if you have allergies)

Hair and Makeup Tips

  • Make-up should be clean and natural 
  • Wear a heavy layer of translucent powder – your face will appear flawless in photos. Shine disappears, pores seem smaller, skin looks even, and blush is smoother 
  • Line lips before applying matte lipstick, then reline. Don't overdo it. Dip a cotton bud in powder and run along lip line to prevent color from bleeding
  • Avoid shimmers or products with lots of sparkle or shine 
  • Avoid frosts or overly-bright colors 
  • Don't get a new hair cut just before the shoot (you may want to let it grow-in a bit or get used to styling a new cut) 
  • Do not try/use any new product on your hair, face or body the day before or few days before your shoot. In case you have a bad reaction to the product 

Please Arrive With

  • Hair styled and makeup already applied (if not using makeup artist)