John Tucker Photography

© 2014 John Tucker PhotographyClothing Tips

In order for you to get the best possible results from your portrait session, the following clothing tips are provided for your consideration. We highly recommend that you follow these suggestions to help ensure your satisfaction with the end product.

Adults & Teens

  • Coordinate outfits. Everybody in the portrait should wear items that complement each other in style and color. It is not necessary for all clothes to match, but they must make sense together.
  • Choose clothing that’s appropriate to the portrait’s setting. An outdoor portrait with a backdrop of fall leaves lends itself to casual clothing like khakis and white shirts or jeans and sweaters. A studio portrait with a solid-colored background lends itself more to formal or semi-formal attire.
  • Stay with solids and subtle patterns. Bold stripes, large designs, and polka dots stand out and tend to draw attention from the subject’s face. A mix of patterns can clash and reduce the quality of a portrait.
  • Dress in timeless clothing for your family portrait. Let your age, rather than the clothes you wear, date the portrait.
  • Wear appropriate shoes and socks. If you plan to change clothes, bring shoes and socks to go with each outfit.
  • Wear colors that translate well through photography. Dark colors like navy blue, black, and earth tones look especially nice outdoors. White clothing can get lost against a white background. Dark clothing against a pastel background provides nice contrast. Bright shades of yellow, orange, and pink can alter skin tones; therefore, they are not ideal for portraits.
  • Photography tends to “magnify” details. Clean and iron all clothing before the session. If your clothes wrinkle easily, change just before the session. Bring wrinkle release spray and a detergent pen with you for last-minute emergencies.


  • Keep the outfit simple. A complex outfit will most likely seem out of place on location.
  • Select clothing that won’t compete with your child for attention in the portrait. Bright primary colors and high-contrast outfits (for example, black and white) should be avoided.
  • Subtle patterns are fine. Bold stripes, dots, and designs are not recommended.
  • Shoes and socks are optional. However, children seem to enjoy going barefoot, and it makes for very cute portraiture.