1. Choose your wardrobe with care
“What should I wear?” is probably the first question asked by all portrait sitters. My suggestion is to wear clothes that compliment your skin tone and that fit you well. Basically, if you are comfortable in your outfit, the odds are that you will shoot very well in it.
I find that smooth clothing creates the most beautiful photographs. In other words, your clothes should flow over your body, not restrict it. Therefore, try not to let undergarments create noticeable bumps or ridges since these may cast shadows from lighting.
For the ladies, tops that show off the neck, shoulders and collarbone are usually very flattering. Minimal coverage for tops is from above the areola and down just past the breast.
High heels are optional. They can help with posture and accentuate curves, but if heels aren’t your thing, don’t wear them. You’ll only look uncomfortable.
Clothing ideas for female portraits
The most beautiful female portraits are the ones where the lighting casts soft shadows off the neck muscles, collar bone, and upper chest. The following clothing items work particularly well for accentuating the female form:
- Off-the-shoulder tops
- Spaghetti strap tops
- Deep V-neck with thin straps
- Sundresses with thin straps
- Mini or midi-dress with thin straps
- Fitness clothes
- Fishnet fabrics
- Blue jeans
For adult female photoshoots, here are a few clothing ideas.
Selecting the right colors for your outfits
In addition to choosing colors that compliment your skin tone, you also need to think about the background to your portrait. Basically, you need a good contrast with the backdrop, whether your photo session is indoors or outdoors.
- Avoid black and other dark colors
- Avoid busy prints
- Consider an interesting wrap, nightdress, oversize shirt, coverup or jacket
- Bring at least one outfit that contrasts with orange skies (green, cyan, blue, or purple)
- Bring at least one outfit that contrasts with blue/grey skies (pink, reds, oranges, or yellow)
If you’re doing a friends or family photo session, check that the colors of everyone’s outfits are complementary.
Clothes for photo sessions at Marineland, Lewis Point and Vaill Point
If your portrait session is at one of these St Augustine beach locations, I have developed some additional tips for your wardrobe decisions. These tips take into consideration the theme of your session, the time of day, and the natural stage.
- How to Dress for Marineland
- How to Dress for Lewis Point or Vaill Point Park