What to wear on a portrait session - Subhankar Barai Photography

What to wear for portrait session

Coordinate but don't match.

Choose mostly solid colors. Choose neutral and subtle colors. Colors that are diagonally on the opposite side of a 'color wheel' are complementary colors and they can go well together. You can also try different tonal ranges of the same shade. Try to limit to 3 colors for all in group shots.

Do not have everyone wear the exact same colored shirt and same colored pant in a group.

Avoid very bright colors because they will invariably distract from the main focus: your face.

Avoid busy print patterns. You can choose to wear plaid/stripes if it has colors that coordinate well but avoid very thin stripes.

Babies/Kids look best in their regular kids dresses, not in some traditional/formal dress. Please avoid traditional/formal dresses like Kurta/Salwar/Suits for babies and kids.


Layers.

Layering with blazer/coat/jackets/sweaters can bring in variety without having to spend time in changing of clothes. Try to use textures with different clothing materials like tweed, crochet and embroidery, ribbons, ruffles. The details in such textures bring in added depth to the photos. Again choose colors that go well with the underlying dress or you may even try to bring in a pop of color.


Accessorize.

Accessories are great if we don't overdo it. Bring hats/caps/scarves/hair accessories/jewelries and we can pick and choose during the shoot. Don't let accessories overwhelm the subject. Keep jewelry simple and minimalistic because too much draws attention from your face.

Don't forget to bring some toy/lollipop for your little ones to keep them happy during the entire shoot 

You can bring helium balloons/bubble-maker if you have kids of age less than 8. If you are bringing balloons, the quantity should be no less than 12.


Shoes.

Men - Please do not wear sneakers or sandals. Other formal or semi-formal shoes or any other funky shoes coordinated well with your dress can go well.

Women - Even if you plan to wear heels, please bring a pair of flat sandals/shoes to be able to walk on non-paved roads in the woods.

Kids - Funky colored/styled shoes/boots go well.


Headshots.

If you are wearing a coat, make sure that your shirt's sleeves are about an half inch longer than your coat's sleeves. 

Wear shirt that is not too tight on your neck when the collar is buttoned.

Wear plain solid shirt. Iron your shirt well. Do not bring folded/wrinkled shirt to the shoot.

Wear tie that complements your coat/shirt.


Newborns.

Keep newborns well fed and slept before the shoot. I cannot emphasize enough on how important it is. You should feed them half hour before the shoot and try to keep them slept before arriving for the newborn session.

Tip: Newborns sleep well at temperatures of 70-80F. So, if needed bump up your room temperature. Don't worry, they will not sweat as you do because they are used to that temperature in mother's womb. 


Most Important.

Sleep well the night before and plan to enjoy your photoshoot rather than being tensed about it. My goal is to give you a good experience and your photos will naturally look great.

Keep babies well fed and slept before the shoot.


What Not to Wear/Do.

Do NOT plan on getting a facial treatment done the day before the shoot. Do it 3-4 days prior to the shoot so that skin eruptions settle down by the day of the shoot.

Matchy-matchy, unless you’re going for a specific theme. It is important to coordinate your outfits WITHOUT your group all wearing the exact same thing. All plaid or all white can be painfully overpowering in your final image.

Try to avoid having just one person wear a completely different color, especially when that color is very bright or in stark contrast to the rest of the family.

Clothes that you are not comfortable in or something you have never worn before.

Check fit of jackets/shirts to make sure that the collar won't obscure your face when you sit down and the shoulder's won't bunch up.


You can visit this page to see some examples in action.


Dry on ideas? Pinterest is a fantastic resource with ideas and storyboards showing how to group colors and pick a variety of outfits that you’ll love to show off.

If you are not sure, please email/whatsapp the photos of dresses you plan to wear before the shoot.


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