For the Imperial Portrait, dress as if you are dining at a fine restaurant.  Short sleeves are fine, but we suggest that long sleeves are more flattering.  Men always look great in tuxedos or dark suits.  If you plan on wearing a tie, be sure to bring a jacket as it photographs much better. However, if you choose not to wear a tie, a dark jacket with an open neck shirt or turtleneck is a great choice.  Women can wear formal gowns or dresses - we recommend dresses that fall below the knee – or long pants, which are more flattering than shorts. Avoid busy patterns, stripes, mixing dark and light colors, and clothing with words, logos or pictures.  

If you plan on darker colors, black, royal blue, burgundy, or hunter green are optimal choices.  Women can wear a scarf for a splash of color. Should you choose a casual theme, long sleeve black tops and jeans always work well.  Bring black socks if you do not have dark shoes. Dark colors tend to make you look slimmer, but should you decide on a lighter theme, white with khakis work seamlessly with a lighter background. When you select an outfit for a family portrait, be sure to think of how it will coordinate with other family members.  Even if your favorite color is green, it will not photograph well next to your daughter’s favorite pink dress or your son’s blue and white sweater.  A better way to go is to pick a color scheme, and keep it consistent through each family member’s outfit.  

Black on black always looks classic and timeless. At times, your feet will show in the portrait.  If you choose to go with bare feet, make sure toenails are trimmed and clean.  Similarly, ladies should also take a last minute look at fingernail polish; chipped polish will show if the hands are visible. For women, eye shadow should be applied lightly and with care, as the focal point of a fine portrait is the eyes.  Apply two coats of mascara on both upper and lower lashes.  Wear other make-up as usual, and bring your make-up, including powder to reduce shine, in the event that minor modifications are required. If you plan on cutting your hair, do it the week before the session.  Hair should not block the eyes, so a hair clip may be necessary.  Bangs should be short enough to allow both eyes to be seen. Be sure to allow enough time for everyone to shower.  Men should shave an hour earlier than the scheduled session time.

Props are recommended if they are an integral part of your lifestyle, such as:

  • Musical Instruments
  • Leather Jackets
  • Hats
  • Pets (must be scheduled with advance notice)

Everything should be laid out and ready the night before the session to save on stress and time. Plan on arriving a little early, and change at the studio if you are bringing young children or wearing formal clothing.