Preparing for Your Portrait

Family portrait at Heather Meadows in the winter

When you have a professional family or senior portrait made it’s a big occasion. If you’re like most people, a professional portrait isn’t something you do very often so you want to think carefully about your appearance.

Your family, senior, or children’s portrait freezes a moment in time. You’ll want everyone to look their very best. That includes selecting the right clothing to wear, taking care of your skin, getting haircuts, and deciding what to do about eyeglasses.

How casual or formal are you and your family? Jeans and t-shirts or suit and tie? What colors work best?

Here are a few hints to help you prepare. I’ve prepared a booklet, Putting Your Best Face Forward, that covers all the details. I’ll give you a copy when we meet to chat before your portrait session.

Child portrait at home


Get a good night’s sleep the night before your session. You’ll look better if you are well rested.


Choose clothing you’re comfortable in. The clothes you wear help set the mood for the portrait, and should complement the location you choose, as well as the décor of your home where your portrait will be displayed.

Your face should be most important in your portrait, not your clothing.


Avoid sunburn or over-tanning before your portrait session. You want your complexion to look natural. It’s almost impossible to retouch sunburn to look natural. Spray tans can easily look fake, too.

Sunburn is a no-no

Hair and Makeup

You want to look your best, so pay a little extra attention to your hair and makeup before your portrait session. If you need a fresh haircut, have it done about a week ahead.


If you normally wear glasses, they should be part of your portrait. We control the reflections to the best of our ability by adjusting your pose, but sometimes it’s impossible to completely eliminate glasses glare. Transitions lenses that darken in the sunshine are a definite no-no for portraits.

You may request a free PDF copy of Putting Your Best Face Forward if you just can’t wait until your portrait planning session. Complete the form and we’ll send your copy by e-mail.

Please include your phone number and best time to call so we can discuss your portrait session by phone. Thanks.

What’s Next?

Call 360-671-6851 to schedule a no-obligation, free in-home consultation, or pick a time for your consultation online.

Click to learn about Family Portraits.

or …

Click to learn about Senior Portraits.