Portrait Session Tips


Make sure you get at least 2 nights of good sleep before your photo session so that you will look fresh and won’t have bags under your eyes. Beauty sleep is real!

Hair Care:

Guys, let a new hair cut grow out for at least a week before your pictures, allowing time for any white tan lines to disappear. Also, facial hair should be neatly groomed or freshly shaven.

Girls, if you plan on coloring your hair or getting a new style, also allow at least a week to get used to the style. Your portrait session isn’t the best time to try out new hairstyles!

Themed Sessions:

Some of the most fun sessions are the ones styled/themed around one central idea/concept. For example, cowboys and indians, dress-up time, tea parties, princesses, birthdays, etc. The options are endless and only your mind can create the theme that is best for you. If you are interested in styling your session around a central idea for a more fun and playful final proof set, please let us know and we would be delighted to aid in theme suggestions, props, furniture, overall styling, etc.


Please feel free to bring multiple clothing options to your session. Children should have at least two clothing choices, and we suggest that they be totally different looks. Parents can have two options as well, or only one outfit that coordinates with all children’s clothing. Have your clothes and accessories ready the night before your shoot. Choose clothes that reflect your style and the changing seasons (summer – fall). Make sure they are clean and free of wrinkles. For each outfit, put your accessories in a zip lock bag and attach it to the hanger.

Coordination NOT Matching:

Please do not arrive to your session with all matching clothing. This does not photograph well. Coordinate using a similar color palette, and try to avoid all white tops. For example, using pink as a coordinating color, you could have mom in a black dress, with a pink cami and pink heels, dad in jeans and a black shirt with a pink tie, and children in clothing with splashes of pink and other various colors. Solid colors are traditionally best for portraits, but that doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING has to be a solid color. Some sessions lend themselves to clothing with a little more pattern and flair. Do not be afraid of COLOR! Remember to base your colors for all individuals off of a pre-determined color palette!


This is the ultimate rule of thumb for your photo session. Layering creates depth in your clothing choices, as well as allows you to add and remove pieces, at will, to create varying looks. Layering can be in the form of a vest, a scarf, a belt, undershirts, camis, jackets, layered tanks or tops, ties, coats, tights, leggings, etc.

Oversize Clothing:

When dressing yourself or your children, please keep in mind that when you sit, pants tend to ride up and show socks, and ankles. For this reason, it is best to keep clothing a bit oversized, to avoid this. Rolled up jeans/pants also create a great look for kids.

Shoes & Accessories:

Shoes are not required for anyone, and bare feet photograph very well. If you would like to wear shoes, please be sure that your shoe selections for children are not worn/ragged/dirty and that they coordinate well with your selected clothing. Shoes should not be an afterthought. Accessories are wonderful for children and teens … hats, bows, funky/trendy tights, gloves, headbands, etc. all photograph well. Chunky jewelry (intentionally paired with your clothing) is also a lovely touch for girls/women.


Girls, make sure that your face make-up is blended into your neck so that when you look in the mirror your neck is not too white. Also check to see if you have tan lines that will show with the different outfits you are going to wear. Bring ChapStick or lip gloss to keep your lips moist. Glitter makeup, while it may look cool in real life, it looks terrible in portraits because it fills your face with distracting white specks that don’t even look like makeup and are difficult (and expensive) to remove.


Don’t worry your final prints will look great! All photos selected for purchase will be touched up.

Girls, don’t use too much make-up trying to hide blemishes. It will be easier to retouch your prints if you keep a more natural look.


If you wear glasses, bring an extra pair of frames without lenses if available. If you often switch between glasses and contacts, consider wearing your contacts to the session.


Most portraits will be taken with and without you smiling. If you don’t like your smile, get in front of a mirror and practice it. Once you like a smile, close your eyes and smile, and then open your eyes to see if it looks the way you want. Get used to how it feels to smile the way you think you look best. Don’t be afraid to whiten your teeth if you think you need to.

Outdoor Portraits:

Bring an outfit that blends with the outdoors whether it is the park or the beach. Wear blue jeans or khaki pants unless you want a dressier look (girls, wear longer, flowing dresses.) You may want to avoid very short skirts as they will restrict your movement and poses. Certain colors look best for different seasons outdoors.

Color Recommendations:

Spring/Summer: sky blue, khaki, pale green, pink, watermelon and dark peach.

Fall: Red, gold, deep orange, emerald green and dark green.