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Selecting clothes for your senior portraits

March 19, 2017

There are several factors to consider when selecting clothes for your teen or senior portraits. Personal style, skin tone, session location and home decor are all factors when selecting clothes. There are also clothes you should avoid.

First Personal Style:

  • Are you glam or casual, vintage or modern, country or big city, grudge or preppy? Be true to you!
  • Choose outfits that will coordinate with each other so the images on your graduation announcements, prints, wall art, album, memory box or soft book will look nice together. These outfits don’t have to match just coordinate and can be a mixture of casual, mid range and dressy.
  • Choose clothes that are comfortable…. dressy, casual or mid-range.
  • Choose a variety of outfits – skirts, long dresses, short dresses, jeans, pants, jackets, cardigans, hats and scarves.
  • Textures give dimension to your images, mix fabrics: leather, suede, fur, fringe, lace, and denim.
  • Layers will give you more looks…scarves, jackets, cardigan, hats.
  • Dresses and heels are flattering…. this includes boots.
  • Wear accessories chunky necklaces, flower crowns, converse, hats and sun glasses are popular now.
  • If you have a class ring, letterman jacket, or cap and gown you may bring them.
  • Be sure to bring the correct undergarments for your outfits, we want to avoid distracting straps/lines.
  • Remember your shoes for each outfit and nike pros are great under dresses.


Second consider your skin tone:

  • Fair skin looks good in jewel tones (red, green and dark blue), olive green, brown, coral, peach, melon and rose pink. These colors will bring out your natural rose undertones.
  • Medium skin looks good in emerald green, royal blue, fuchsia pink and berry. These colors will bring out the natural warm tones in your skin.
  • Dark skin looks good in soft yellow, pastel pink, deep purple, red, orange, and white. These colors bring out the natural warmth in your skin.


Third consider your location choice:

  • While specific backgrounds will be selected by the photographer to accent your outfits, if there is a definite area where you want to be photographed these suggestions will help make your images pop.
  • When selecting colors consider your location choice. You want to choose colors that are opposite on the color wheel.
  • For example is you are going to be photographed in a green grassy field, you should wear red or pink hues. Red and pink are opposite green on the color wheel.
  • If you are being photographed in a golden field or with yellow flowers, purple and blue hues are good choices.
  • Complementary colors are red-green, blue-orange, yellow-blue.
  • Neutrals go with any color on the color wheel.


Fourth consider your home decor and where you are planning on hanging your images:

  • You want your images to coordinate with the colors in room where your images will hang.
  • Consult your color wheel. Complementary colors will make your image pop!!



  • Avoid neon colors because neon colors will cast color upon your skin which will be unflattering. These includes neon pink, purple, blue, green and yellow.
  • Small prints do not photograph well
  • Avoid logos unless you are going for a specific look.
  • Horizontal strips make areas look bigger just an FYI
  • As a general rule if there is an area of your body you are self conscious about, it is best to cover it up.
  • For example if you don’t like your upper arms don’t go sleeveless.
  • If you are self conscious about your bottom or thighs don’t wear shorts.
  • Super short shorts don’t photograph well on anyone.
  • Dark solid colors DO make you look thinner so if there is an area you would like to minimize wear dark solid color clothing.
  • For example if you want to minimize your top wear a dark solid shirt if you want to minimize your bottom wear dark solid pants or skirt.


Be sure to check the blog every Sunday for more styling and make-up tips and general information on how to have a successful portrait experience!!

selecting clothes for your senior portraits