Children Portrait

Colours: Reds, bright blues (sky blues) photograph well. You can create dramatic effects with certain backgrounds. A child dressed in white photographed against a white background draws attention to the child’s face. If you dress your child in bright, strong colours either a light or dark background can be stunning.


Style: Make sure clothing fits well. Clothing with a little interest around the shoulders works well (smocking or collars). Avoid abundant lace or frills; in portraits they tend to overpower the child. The fancier the child’s clothes, the simpler the background should be.


Shoes: Use well -shined black or coordinating coloured shoes with the outfit the child is wearing. Match socks to pants and anklets or tights to skirts or dresses so they won’t stand out in the portrait. Make it a cute, casual portrait by not wearing shoes.


Hair: Hair should be trimmed neatly. Simple hairstyles are best. Keep barrettes or ribbons small.


Patterns: Avoid busy fabrics that will detract from your child’s face. Solid fabrics or small prints (calicos or small stripes) are good.

Family Portrait

  • Keep the heads on different planes. To do that, it helps if you don't sit people the same size on the same chair, rock, etc. or at least one that is sloped. No one's eyes are at the same level. This makes for a far more interesting portrait.
  • Clothing is very important in the portrait. What you wear can change the whole look of the portrait. From a formal timeless classic to a casual photojournalistic style, it's important to consider what you wear and where you want to hang the portrait. There are also some dos and don'ts with clothing. They are all about eliminating or minimizing distractions in the photo and helping to set the tone. Portraits are all about the face. Everything in the portrait, the lines and shades, should draw the viewer's eyes to the faces of the subjects.
  • Do wear all the same color. And when I say the same color, it should be the EXACT same color. Not two different hues of blue or brown or whatever color you are wearing. A dark blue and a light blue will still be distracting.
  • Do cover your elbows and knees at least for adults. Most people's knees and elbows don't photograph well and will become distracting in a portrait.
  • Do go barefoot. Shoes are always a problem in group photos. Few people own similar shoes as the rest of the family and then of course there's the problem of scuff marks, ornaments and trim that can become distracting.
  • Do choose clothing that is neither too tight nor too loose because this assures that it will hang evenly without excess creases or folds.
  • Avoid clothing with patterns (i.e. dots, strips, flowers, shapes, logos, or any bold patterns, etc)

Adult Portrait

Clothing: Styles should be simple, solid colors work best. More formal clothing is generally used for an indoor setting, while casual styles can be worn both indoors and outdoors. Avoid bold patterns and stripes. You want to create an image that is not dated or trendy.


Makup: Apply make up as you normally would if you were going out for the evening. Pay special attention to your eyes. Cover up makeup can soften blemishes and lines.


Eyeglasses: If you wear glasses most of the time you probably want them in your portrait. Eyeglass glare can be tricky to remove from an image. You may want to temporarily remove your lenses for the portrait, or look into borrowing a pair of empty frames similar to your own. (Anti-reflection clear is recommanded)


Hair: Plan haircuts a week or more in advance. Don't experiment or try a new hair style on the day of your session, allow at least two weeks for a fresh perm to relax. If an outdoor session is planned hairspray may be needed to keep hair in place.


Jewelry: Fine jewelry in good taste is always a good idea, watches, necklaces, bracelets, pins etc.


"A good portrait flatters the subject and conveys information about the subject's inner self. A portrait is more than a mere likeness… a smiling face. Create images that tell a story; images that remain fresh and interesting forever".