Tips For Your Portrait Session

Generally Speaking…

  • Arrive 10 Minutes Early – To finish getting ready
  • Allow Enough Time – For your session, viewing, and portrait selections
  • Prepare for Something Different – Relax. Enjoy. Have some fun! It’ll show!
  • Bring “You” With You – CDs…we’ll play your music. Special mementos, outfits, & style…it’s all about you

Basic Wardrobe Tips

Choose wardrobe to reflect the look you want – fun, casual, formal, or fab

  • Make sure your clothes are clean & well-pressed
  • Bring several wardrobe choices for each person…if you like, we’ll help you choose
  • Solids & simple patterns best
  • For a range of style options choose neutral, soft or mid-range colors
  • For a casual or romantic look choose light colors
  • Long sleeves work better than short
  • Scoop necklines or v-necks flatter fuller faces and shorter necks
  • Turtlenecks & higher necklines flatter slender faces and long necks
  • Keep jewellery small and simple
  • Good undergarments go unnoticed, bad ones don’t
  • Dress from head to toe – shoes, sock, and belts, for each outfit…did we mention clean shoes
  • Don’t worry…we can handle glasses

For Groups – Keep It Simple

For a group, large or small, follow the Basic Tips noted above but also think about coordinating everyone’s wardrobe; simplify, by choosing similar colors, patterns, and styles. This creates a greater sense of togetherness and let’s the subjects shine. For example:

  • Similar Style Tops & Bottoms – Formal to casual; sweaters, shirts & blouses; slacks, skirts, jeans, or khakis
  • Similar Colors – Solids or simple prints; assorted pastels, medium to rich colors, white, blacks, blues, neutrals, etc. Taking it one step further…everyone in jeans (bottom) with blue shirts and blouses (top).

Hair, Makeup & Sun

You’ll want your hair and make-up to be ready when you arrive for your portrait session. It’ll be the finishing touches once you arrive. Keep in mind…

  • Good Hair – Bring a comb and brush. If necessary, cut and/or color at least one week before your session
  • Fingers and Toes – Nails should clean, even, and, if polished, use a clear polish
  • Ladies – Keep make-up light, natural & fresh
  • Guys – A fresh, close shave is absolutely necessary; neatly trim beards & mustaches
  • Avoid Sunburn – A nice tan photographs well, sunburn doesn’t

Kids & Babies
Timing is everything! A child’s interest will last only 15 to 30 minutes, so we’ll have to work fast!

  • Babies and children should be fed and well rested
  • Bring several changes of clothes, food, diapers, bottles, etc
  • Bring dry food to avoid soiling
  • Bring their special things

Executive Portraits
Executive portraits should reflect the style & image you want to project.

  • Suits often represent tradition and professionalism – They should be crisp & well pressed with ties, scarves, and jewelry simple and understated
  • Roll-Up-Your-Sleeves ”I Mean Business” – Simple, crisp attire says professional, too. These days, executives don’t always wear suits.

Senior Portraits
There’s no other time like your senior year and no other portrait tradition like Senior portraits. This is a time to capture the real you. To really get ready for your session follow these tips and see the Basic Tips noted above.

Your personality is multi-layered and your clothing reflects that. We recommend you bring the following:

  • 2 Casual Outfits – One that is light & one that is medium/dark/bright
  • 1 Classic/Formal/Dressy/Tailored Outfit – Something your parents love to see you in
  • 1 Specialty/Unique Outfit – A special dress, tux, team/dance/sports uniform, traditional ethnic/heritage costume, etc

Plan on 2-3 wardrobe changes — more for sessions an hour or longer


  • If it needs ironing, iron it before you leave home
  • Bring clothes on hangers with all the accessories.
  • Jewelry – keep it simple and to a minimum. If there’s a special piece, coordinate an outfit around it
  • Bring the accessories so you’re prepared to dress head to toe. That means shoes, socks, belts, ties, etc.
  • And about your shoes…select a (clean) pair to coordinate with each of your outfits
  • And finally, ladies, for each outfit, consider what you wear underneath. An appropriate undergarment goes unnoticed while the wrong garment spoils everything

Your Life – Bring the Things That Celebrate It

  • Musical instruments
  • Sports equipment (tennis racket to surfboards)
  • Letterman’s jacket
  • Special mementos
  • We can even fit a motorcycle in our studio (please let us know in advance in case we need to make arrangements)

After the Shoot
First, we’ll schedule a viewing session for you and your parents to select the portraits you want. The viewing session normally happens 2-3 days after your shoot and lasts about 45 minutes. Before you see your portraits, we want to bring out the real you so we prepare your images by retouching, color balancing, cropping, etc. Once you’ve made your selections at your viewing your portraits will be ready the next business day.