What to Wear?

What you wear makes a big difference in the outcome of your portraits. Wearing the right clothing for your body type is just as important as lighting, location, and posing. Poorly selected style, colors, patterns, mis-matching clothes can take away from a beautiful portrait. Below are some guidelines to help you make the most of your wardrobe selection. 

Solid colors​ are the best in my opinion. I love bold, bright, fresh solid colors. I recommend staying away from washed out, faded colors, unless that is the look you are going for.  Soft pastel colors are just as eye pleasing as bold, bright colors. Everyone has different undertone as well as hair color, so go for a color scheme that works for your undertone. Generally, dark hair individual tends to look better in bold, darker color (think of Winter colors). Lighter skin people with light hair will look best in soft, pastel colors (think Easter or Spring time colors).

Patterns can work well as long as it is not too loud or too busy. You may want to avoid distracting stripes or wild prints. This draws the focus off of your face and on the patterns. Simple patterns or small polka dots are ok. However, do not pair a polka dot pattern shirt or dress with someone else in the portrait wearing a busy stripe shirt. If one person is wearing a patterned outfit then the other people should wear solid color clothing. The goal is to keep the clothing simple and that it  exhibits a clean, polish, and classy look. 

Coordinate colors and patterns in a session with two or more people in the photograph. With multiple people (family session), it is best to keep clothing simple. Select two to three color schemes and stick with it. It may help to think like a bridal party. Everyone stays in the same color scheme so there is cohesiveness in the photographs. An example of color schemes are pastels, earth tone, or bold colors.


Makeup is essential for women. In this case, less is not better. Makeup appears toned down in camera so go slightly heavier, think of night time makeup. If you are heavy handed with your makeup, there is no need to apply more. It is best to stick with matte makeup and avoid shiny, glittery, shimmery makeup because the flash may pick up hot spots on your face. Lipstick should be in the same color palate as your blouse or dress color. If you wear a red dress, stick with a red or neutral color lipstick and avoid, pink, or peachy lipstick color. If your dress is pink, wear any pink shade of lipstick but stay away from red or peachy tone lip color. If you wear any other colors such as blue, brown, green etc, it does not matter what color lips you have as there will not be a color contrast.


Accessories and jewelries add a nice touch to an outfit. Less is more when it comes to accessorizing but do accessorize and show your personality and style.

What not to wear are bright neon colors, clothes with large logos, or exact matching outfits unless you're twins. 

An in depth portrait style guide will be emailed to all clients after a booked session with a deposit. 

  • Follow me on Instagram!
Donna I. Hawkins,  Donne Avan Photography  Hampton, VA 
donna@donneavanphotography.com | Phone: (757) 952-6168 
Donne Avan Photography Offers Photography Services Throughout Coastal Virginia Including:
Chesapeake | Hampton | Newport News | Norfolk | Puoqoson | Portsmouth | Suffolk | Williamsburg | Virginia Beach | Yorktown
757-952-6168                                                                                                                                   7 Marldale Dr. Hampton, Virginia 23666

© Copyright 2020 Donne Avan Photography - Hampton, VA Lifestyle Photographer | All rights reserved.