Mark W. Peacock

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Tips for Great Portraits


Styles…Solid colors look best in photos –- patterns are often distracting from the main focus of the portrait…you! Long sleeves are generally preferred, just as jeans and khakis are better than shorts. The idea is that we don’t want to distract from your face. Remember to pick clothes with classic styles that will stand the test of time and not look outdated in a year!

Colors…Muted shades of blue, green, burgundy, rust and earth tone colors work well for outdoor shots. Avoid bright reds, oranges or yellows that tend to compete with your face and make you look pale. Wearing white or black shirts can make a strong statement.

For senior portraits…bring two or three changes of clothes of various styles. Remember to bring at least one outfit your parents like! If you have a special prop (ex. football, instrument, sports uniform, motorcycle, etc.) please bring it!

For engagement and family portraits…dress similarly -- wearing khakis or jeans and tops that match or are complimentary (similar in style and tone).


I often have clients say they want their portraits taken in front of a spectacular waterfall. Actually, this may not be the best location for a portrait. The idea of a portrait is to capture you. Your eyes. Your smile. Your heart. Your essence. While the waterfall idea is nice, in practice, such a stunning background might actually distract from the real star of the show. I have some favorite locations of my own, but if you have a location that is particularly meaningful or cherished for you, please let me know!


You might be surprised to learn that cloudy, overcast days work best for outdoor photography. If it’s raining we’ll reschedule. If it’s bright sunshine, we’ll head for the shade. The best time of day for outdoor portraits is when we can capture the warm light of late afternoon or early evening. This time varies, of course, from season to season. As a general rule, outdoor portraits should not be taken between 10 am to 4 pm.


If you have specific poses you’d like to have, let me know! My goal is always to capture the real you –- and while I’ll have my own ideas for posing you, I will be eager to try out the poses you suggest.

Most importantly, be ready to have fun!


All images © Mark W. Peacock  |  PO Box 741, Milligan, TN 37682  |