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Graduation Portrait Photograph

What to Wear

You've spent a lot of time planning for your session, so it's important to go that extra mile and put some thought into what you want to wear. This is the most important step as it will really help you to fall in love with your new pictures. 

Here are some tips to help you in choosing what to wear for your upcoming session.

  • Consider Your Surroundings
    Try to visualize what your wardrobe choice will look like in the location we will be shooting at. Will you blend in or stand out?

  • Resist the "Everyone Should Match" Look
    When planning for a group shot, it's great to have coordinating outfits, not matching ones. This helps to give variety to your photos and be more visually pleasing and timeless. At the same time it prevents your family from blending into one another. 

  • Colors
    You want to be the focus, not what you're wearing. Solid, muted tones will help to bring out the subject without being distracting. Soft tones usually work very well. Bright colors project (typically red, orange, yellow) and tend to make the subject look larger. If you are in a group, choose 1-3 colors, similar tones from the same color palette; however, coordinating yet not matching. 

  • Patterns
    Patterns are a great way to bring more interest to your photograph; however, if you are in group, have only one person wear a pattern. This helps to tie in the colors from others wearing solids and will give a nice pop to your photo.

    Try to avoid having your group wear several different patterns (stripes, florals, plaid) as there will be little to no continuity to your photo and it is distracting to the eye. Choose clothing that is timeless and will be something that you can enjoy for years to come.

  • Layers
    Everyone looks great in layers and they are one of the best ways to bring dimension and interest to your photos. I encourage you to bring a blazer, button up shirt with a shirt underneath, sweater, etc, especially during season changes. Additionally, having layers gives you more options for different poses.

  • Accessories and Makeup
    It's important to look your best as you will be happier with the outcome. I encourage you, especially if this is a senior or headshot session, to invest in a hair and makeup artist. This is a great way to give yourself a natural and finished look. If you need a makeup artist, I can provide those services for an additional fee as I studied Beauty Makeup Artistry at the Makeup Designory in New York City. If you choose to do your own makeup, it is best to avoid heavy makeup.

    Keep in mind that you want to be the center of focus, not your jewelry or makeup. Simple jewelry and natural makeup will make for a more pleasing photo. Adding subtle accessories like scarves, or layers like a vest or denim jacket can really help give dimension and interest. 

  • Details Are Important!
    Shoes will almost always show in some of your photographs. Stay clear of white socks. They will stick out like a sore thumb.

    Long pants, instead of shorts, are usually more flattering.

    Short sleeves cut off the arm at the widest part; therefore, go sleeveless (for girls) or beyond elbow length.  Try to not go shorter than elbow length.

    Also, the camera picks up lots of details, therefore, don't forget to shave, brush your teeth and comb your hair. 

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