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If you're preparing for a portrait session, you want to make sure everything is just right. Getting the best results is about much more than just mastering the perfect smile and pose. Your portraits capture a fashion moment in time which, good or bad, will represent you forever. First consider the purpose of the portrait -- corporate headshot or family momento. Then work on the colors, silhouettes and accessories. So, avoid cringe-ready memories and invest some time working out what you wear.
As much as a ferocious corset and hot pants combination looks great in music videos, for portraits comfort overrules. So, you're best sticking to things you regularly enjoy wearing and feel comfortable and confident in. If you have to suck anything in or try to balance in heels, your discomfort will show in the portrait. Unless for a seductive boudoir portrait, too much flesh on display is inappropriate and distracting, so keep bare arms and legs under wraps.
Don't put your eggs in all one style basket. Most portrait sessions include a change of outfit, so be prepared. Bring clothes that represent all facets of your personality -- some fun and glamorous, as well as more formal looks, too. Try a favorite party dress, some simple pants and a blouse or a cute shirt and jeans combination for your inspiration. At the same time don't go wild with outfit choices; too many changes will disrupt the pace.
While you may love your favorite polka-dot blouse, the portrait camera will not feel the same way. When it comes to color and pattern, keep things simple and neutral for foolproof results. Too wild or bright a choice and your clothes will be the center of attention, not you. Enhance your features and personality, so consider your skin tone, eye and hair color. Remember to double-check with your photographer before bringing white or black, as you may disappear into the background.
If you want to work it like a model, then add drama to your portrait with a fashion editorial-inspired clothing selection. If you're planning an outdoor portrait, speak to your photographer beforehand and look through fashion magazines for inspiration. Sparkling party wear will look edgy and urban in a graffiti-filled street setting, while a more bohemian outfit will look romantic on the beach.
If your clothes are very simple it's nice to add a few touches with accessories for your portrait. However, too much can be overkill and distracting. Unless layers of bling is what you're known for, stick to timeless pieces like your wedding ring, diamond studs and pearls that will still look good in years to come.