What to Wear to Your Photo Session

Alright my dudes, you’ve booked your photo session–SO stoked! Since you’ve invested in these fresh new portraits, let’s make sure you are looking fresh, too! Whether you’re choosing outfits for your whole family, or for a couple’s session–I’ll leave a few tips here. The main goal is to feel like yourself & look cohesive but not *too* matchy-matchy, ya know? Keep on reading for outfit ideas & pics of some of my fave combos from this year so far! And of course, if you’re a client of mine, you know you can always send me photos if you need help brainstorming!

A few basic things to keep in mind when choosing outfits for your session: 

Color: Where are these photos going to be used? If you’re putting large prints on the walls of your home, think about the colors in your house. What will match best with your decor? Earth-tones, pastels, blues? I personally love me a good neutral vibe, but if color floats your boat, go for it! Below, see some examples of both neutral & colorful family looks that I am a fan of: 

What’s the vibe? Dressing just a bit fancier than you usually would can really elevate your portraits. Odds are, you probably won’t even need to shop for new clothes (but if you love a good shopping trip, then treat-yo-self!) Or perhaps you’re feeling casual–like bathing suits & bare feet & maybe we will jump in the ocean at the end of your session? I’m down! Simply deciding on a vibe for your session will go a long way in creating a cohesive look between everyone.  

Props, accessories, & pets can add personality & fun to a session. Hats, sunglasses, bikes, picnics, drinks, footballs, guitars, etc.  Let me photograph you doing your real-life things! Check out this cutie family below to see how they used props to capture all their favorite memories of their family vacation. 

Color Value: After you pick your color scheme, the next step is to look at color value. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. Especially with large groups, it’s ideal to stick to either a light or dark color scheme so that no one stands out more than the rest of the group. If you’re having trouble figuring out if the values match, use this little trick I learned in art school: place all of your outfit options next to each other, take a photo, and put a black-and-white filter on it. If one article of clothing looks out of place, then you might want to choose something more cohesive.

Here’s a few more go-to outfit tips:

Neutrals: Mix in some neutrals with your chosen color scheme. Rather than having everyone in color, break it up with khaki, whites, browns. For family photos, I’ll often have mom & dad standing next to each-other with kids surrounding, so try not to wear a color super similar to your spouse.

Patterns: I love fun, bold patterns! Try to limit patterns to 1/3 of your group so that the main focus can be on your pretty faces! Consider mixing up textures to add interest. Sequins, pleated dresses…the more movement the better!

SHOES!! Guys! I have to emphasize this one… I die a little bit inside when I see everyone’s outfits come together perfectly, and then BAM. The dudes are in crocks & sketchers. Such a tragedy. Guys’ shoes are the most often overlooked item…but trust me, you will not be overlooking them when the photos are hanging in your home for years to come. If you’re wearing dress clothes, I’d highly recommend you either throw on a pair of dress shoes, or just go barefoot. Let’s build those calluses!

Accessories are an awesome way to add pops of color to more earth-toned outfits. For hats, however, I’d recommend neutrals so they don’t reflect bright colors on your skin-tone.

Hair & Makeup: Use this session as an excuse to get all dolled up! Maybe even go on a lil’ date afterwards? I can recommend some awesome hair & makeup artists locally, or just do it yourself! Either way, wearing extra makeup & styling your hair makes you look polished and often times, more comfortable in-front of the camera. If you plan on hopping in the ocean/ river at the end of your session, wear waterproof mascara & bring towels!.

Last but NOT LEAST: Flowy dresses! They are romantic. They are flattering. The way the wind hits them is MAGIC. They make you want to dance. They are the best thing. Literally the perfect occasion to whip out your flowy dress. When in doubt, wear a flowy dress. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

I hope this post gave you some inspo for your session! And to my client friends, you can always call me if you need help choosing what to wear! Stoked to make some magic with you soon!

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