It's important to prepare for your portrait. It will be your avatar and it will be making first impressions on your behalf in social media (Linkedin, Facebook, Tinder, etc) . While you could just show up, I always recommend putting some thought and preparation into this. After all, it does not take much time.

Here's a few tips to prepare if you're going to have your portrait taken (by me or by anyone else). Please do share your comments, feedback and suggestions on how I can improve at the bottom of this page. Thank you! DGT

A great portrait takes preparation. What, you think all this is an accident?

A great portrait takes preparation. What, you think all this is an accident?


  • Stay hydrated and get a good night's rest

  • Come wearing what you feel most comfortable and authentic in

  • Accessories are great! Bring whatever you wear frequently to accent your portrait -- pocket squares, spectacles, shades, rings, sports bands, ties, hats, socks, your favorite umbrella, etc -- these will add texture and color to your portrait

  • Meaningful items -- e.g. a favorite book, your Kindle

  • Wear a good pair of shoes which can affect your posture

  • Bring all of these in a convenient duffel / overnight bag

  • It might get hot, so do bring along water and handkerchief

  • Share (in advance) any shots that you particularly liked from my portfolio or from the web that you liked and why to help me calibrate your portrait

  • You could ask the photographer permission to bring a friend who can chat with you and help you relax and be your true self

  • Feel free to consult me on colors or anything else!

Mixing and matching can have interesting results...

Mixing and matching can have interesting results...


I always insist on dressing in something that you are comfortable in and that you wear all the time for authenticity, but in the instances you are sartorially flexible or want to present your best self for a press image, here are a few guidelines:

  • Bring a professional and business / smart casual ensemble

  • A guide from Esquire on wearing business casual here

  • Several guides on smart casual here from Grana, The Idle Man, D-Marge and Esquire

  • I personally like a well-cut solid-colored single-colored shirt, khakis, brown shoes (moccasins or loafers, maybe sneakers even) and a navy blue jacket with a conservative white pocket square (perhaps with a knit tie)

  • If you plan to tailor a suit for your portrait, here are a few options tailors -- In Personam Custom Clothiers (Samuel Ng offers good value hand-stitched suits), Dylan from Dylan & Son along Telok Ayer and for a more value and affordable option, Sze Sze Tailor (affordable and value, located at #02-12, 531 Upper Cross St)

  • My default recommendation for a a jacket -- 2-buttons, notched lapel, side vents, besom pockets, functioning cuffs and lapel buttom-hole

  • You might want to think about what you bring with you, for example your seasoned leather briefcase can add a nice authentic touch

  • See slideshow below to give you a few ideas

Authenticity is the recommended accessory. Wear something comfortable and "you".

Authenticity is the recommended accessory. Wear something comfortable and "you".


  • Modest and basic amount of makeup is great -- Photoshop can do wonders but good source material makes the final product much better!

  • Optional — I have contacts with really good makeup artists in the industry whom I can have join for an additional cost.

  • Heels can affect your posture even if your portrait is focused on your upper-body, so you might want to bring a good pair

  • You might want several looks with your hair (tied and let down), it's recommended to start with your hair let down before you tie it up so it's not mussed up (but if you plan to go to the hairdressers before the shoot, we will do it the other way around)

  • Color -- you can go two ways 1) conservative and muted colors with an accent of a strong color (like red), or 2) a dress in an eye-catching and strong color; both work great

  • Bring a great handbag! We will likely use it as an accessory and add movement to your photo (I might ask you to walk with it)

  • See slideshow below to give you a few ideas



Let me know! If you have suggestions on how I can better improve this list, just fill in your thoughts below and hit "Suggest". :)