Tops & Bottoms
The same way that a dress is the most flattering silhouette for the female body, a blazer, sport coat or jacket has the same flattering effect for men. You can’t go wrong with a dress shirt, slacks and a blazer.Long sleeves are more flattering than short sleeves on men, so we’d recommend steering clear of t-shirts or polos, and instead opting for a long-sleeve button-down. The other benefit to long sleeves is we can roll the sleeves up for a slightly more casual look, which gives you two looks with one shirt.
For colors, I recommend neutrals and soft. When selecting your pieces, I recommend choosing a different “weight” for the pants and coat. So for example, navy pants (darker) and a heather gray blazer (lighter). Or gray pants (darker) with a soft powder blue shirt (lighter).
When selecting an outfit for photos, the most important part isn’t the price. It’s the fit. For men, it’s important to have a jacket that fits snugly (but not too tight), and pants that are the correct length and don’t have too many breaks. Just like high heels make women look taller than they are, bunched up fabric stacked on top of a man’s shoes makes him look physically shorter than he really is.
Solid colors will help keep the attention where it belongs, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye, so stay away from too strong of prints, avoid logos and opt for solids instead.
The next time you walk by a store like J. Crew or Banana Republic, you’ll notice the male mannequins and models are always wearing several layers at once. Layers on men look great on camera, so even when it’s hot outside, it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you a lifetime. Adding extra layers will bring additional dimension and visual interest to your photos. If the temperature permits, you could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath, or bringing a leather or denim jacket with you. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!
It’s All in the Details
Long pants with closed-toed shoes is the most sophisticated and masculine look for a man. They draw attention away from your legs and feet, and place it where you want it: on your face! So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts and sandals at home. Dress pants, colored pants or nice dark-washed jeans work best. Brown leather dress shoes complement almost every look, whether you’re wearing slacks, colored pants or dark-washed jeans. As opposed to athletic shoes, dress shoes, help elevate your photos and will give them a more editorial look.
How to Prep Your Man
Even though taking photos might not be his favorite thing… YOU ARE! Most men aren’t overly excited to take photos for two hours, mostly because they don’t have an expectation of what’s to come and why it’s so important to you, which is why I recommend sitting down together for fifteen minutes to educate and empower your man. Tell him why you chose me and my style of photography. Show him your three favorite sessions that I’ve done, explain why you love the photos so much and express to him how much this session means to you. Trust me, if he loves you, he’ll bring his A-game and light up the camera for you! The most common thing I hear from guys before portrait sessions is this: because of a bad experience in the past, they don’t like taking photos or don’t feel like they’ll be good at it. By the time the session is over, though, most guys can’t believe how fast it went and just how much fun they had!