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Black and White traditional portraits are making come back. At least I see this in my studio. The reason for this is quiet simple, public is getting bored of white background photos, yes they are nice, but the problem is that everything is photographed on white background these days, school photos, family photos and all rest of it.

In my studio increasing popularity is gaining black and white timeless portraits now. They are very simple and I would always do couple of these even if I would photograph mainly on the white. 90% of my clients would pick black and white portrait for their wall over the the high key white background portrait. I think traditional posed images will slowly start to come back and take over white background images eventually. I have even noticed that painted portraits are slowly emerging too. Not so much here in UK, but definitely in states. 

Let’s talk about what to wear for family portraits as I get asked this question a lot.


I will go trough black and white portrait ideas.

For the beautiful portraits, dress like your going to nice restaurant. Short sleeves are ok but we suggest wearing long sleeves are more flattering.

Avoid busy patterns, stripes, and mixing darks and lights. If using darker colors, we suggest black, royal blue, burgundy, or hunter green. Should you go to a casual theme, long sleeve black tops and jeans work well together. Bring black socks as images will be with no shoes done.

For Men

What to wear for black and white portraits for men

Men look great dark shirts or shirt with dark jacket with open neck shirts or turtle necks will do as well. You are most welcome to wear dark jeans as well. Remember that colour is not that important as long as you are not planning to have these photos in colour. More importantly is that tonality is not too bright.


Woman can wear nice long sleeve tops or blouses and long pants. Again jeans is ok as long as they are not white. You can also wear nice plain colour dress. Again avoid stripes across body. These can ruin your portrait. Stripes across the body make you wider.

Short sleeves tops. If you are not comfortable with bare arms, please wear long sleeves. Choice is yours.

What to wear for black and white portraits woman


Kids wear simple clothing as well. It can be challenging to find something plain, I know. Everything these days have some sort of pattern, some shopping around will be required. Girls can have a nice dress on as long as it is not with glitter. Boys are fine with nice shirt or long sleeves top and jeans. It all depends what rest of the family members are wearing and how it will fit all together in photo. Feel free to bring few changes, just in case if something goes wrong :)

black and white children portraits 2 black and white children portraits 1

Avoid wearing clothing with words, logos or pictures on them. A better way to go is to pick a color scheme and keep it consistant all the way through each member. Black on black always looks classic and timeless. If you wear a tie, be sure to bring a jacket as it photographs much better.

Dark colors make you look thinner. If you choose to go with bare feet, make sure to trim and clean those toenails. Ladies should also take a last minute look at finger nails for fingernail polish. Chipped polish will show up in the portrait if the hands are showing. If your bringing young children or wearing formal clothing, arrive a little early and change at the studio.

If you get a haircut, do it week before the session. Hair should not be blocking the eyes so bring a hair clip to keep it from falling down into the eyes. Bangs should also allow both eyes to show.

Get everything laid out and ready the night before to save stress and be on time. Be sure everyone has enough time to shower. Men should shave an hour or earlier before the portrait.


Eye shadow should be applied lightly and with care as the center point of interest in a fine portrait are the eyes.  Apply two coats of mascara on both upper and lower lashes.  Wear your other make-up as usual. Bring all your make-up with you, in case any minor modification is required. Bring some powder to knock down shine.

Here is few examples of our black and white portraits

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Would you agree that these portraits will look beautiful even after 50 years, I would say so.

I think this gives you a good idea of what to expect when you come for your family portraits and I look forward to meet with you.

Best regards,