Portrait Style Guide:
Clothes are never a frivolity;
they always mean something.
- James Laver
This might seem pretty obvious, but an important way to prepare for a portrait session is to make sure all those little grooming details are taken care of ahead of time.
When it comes to grooming, I suggest imagining you’re about to go on a first date with someone you’re very eager to impress.
Schedule a hair cut, trim/clean your nails, brush and floss your teeth, trim the beard if you have one, and shave any unwanted stubble growing on the neckline and face. The camera loves to point out these types of oversights, but when they’re handled ahead of time, you’ll look damn good.
I strongly recommend keeping shorts and loose/baggy pants at home. Fitted jeans and dress pants look great on camera. Investing in a suit for your shoot? You will look all the more impressive if you have it tailored. Body shape or size does not alter this fact—there’s just something about a tailored suit that makes everyone look instantly handsome. Famous, even!
I recommend sticking with solid shades and avoiding pinstripes, plaid patterns, graphics and logos, which tend to distract the eye. Here’s a handy guide to choosing colors that go well together. (*Tip: You’ll look wonderful with gray, white or navy as your dominant colors, and if you’re feeling daring, accenting with pops of bold color in your accessories.)
Details / Accessories
Here are some accessories that are sharp complements to any outfit (choose just one or two if you’re new to this sort of thing):
Tie and/or tie clip
Layers on men look great on camera, since they bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Blazers, vests and coats can kick any look up a notch. Also, feel free to mix a suit coat, blazer or sport coat with a different pant color. It adds some extra visual interest, and breaks up the color tones.
On Your Feet
Closed-toed shoes are best! Brown leather dress shoes or boots always look timeless on guys, whether you’re wearing jeans (fitted!) and a t-shirt, dress pants, or a full suit.
(Please: No slippers. They can’t pass for dress shoes. Even if they’re suede.)
All of these small details add up to someone who looks clean, handsome, and put-together.