What to wear?

I am always asked by clients what they should wear to their family sessions. Choosing your outfits can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! While every session is different, there are a few tried and true tips that I want to share with you.

I hope the information here helps. Please keep in mind that I’m available to answer questions or even give you some inspiration.

Here is a quick guide of some "do’s and don'ts" for your session.

01 Always feel comfortable

The most important thing to remember is that your clothing should reflect your own personal style - you should feel comfortable and wear something that makes you feel genuinely confident and happy. If you feel good, you will look good! Choose clothing that gives you freedom of movement and won’t require a lot of maintenance throughout your session.

02 Consider your home decor

When you are picking a color scheme, please bear in mind that these colors will be the colors displaying on your wall, so be aware of how these images would match with the interior of your home.

03 Consider your location

Always keep your session location in mind when choosing your outfit. You don’t want to blend in with your background. If you want natural looking, relaxed images, dress in a way that’s appropriate for your location. For example, if you’re shooting your family photos down by the beach, then light summery clothes and bare feel will perfect.

04 Choose classic over trendy

Think about choosing neutral, pastel colors and avoiding trends. Go for classic, timeless looks that will stand the test of time. The last thing you want is to look at your photos 10-20 years from now and question your fashion choices. I recommend staying away from logos, characters, or other selections that could date your portraits.

05 Keep makeup natural

You will want to avoid using very heavy makeup, but a bit of color on your lips, eyes, and cheeks will help bring you to life in photos. Be sure to bring some lip gloss and powder with you as well for touch-ups.

06 Pick the colors first

I recommend that you start by selecting a base of 2-3 colors and carry those through the outfits so that everything goes together, but doesn’t match. Keep in mind that the colors you choose for each family member do not have to match, but they should look nice together. You don’t want everyone looking the same. Mix neutrals with some accent colors. Neutral colors create a soft and elegant style and will give your images a timeless feel.

07 Layers, patterns, and textures

Layers are one of the best ways to add a pop of color or variety to your outfit. Consider throwing on a cardigan or jacket over a dress, add a scarf, or throw on a belt. For the boys think blazers, hats, bows, etc. Don’t be scared of patterns and prints - they can work great in moderation. Patterns can make your wardrobe look less boring and add some interest. When choosing patterns, look for small simple patterns in soft or neutral colors. Stay away from loud patterns, excessive stripes, and character or logo t-shirts. Textures are wonderful too! Think lace, ribbons, ruffles, crochet, and embroidery...the possibilities are endless!

08 The little details count

You are investing time and money into a custom portrait session, so take the time to ensure everything looks its best.

  • Shoes are a very important part of a wardrobe and they make the whole look cohesive. Choose colors and styles that coordinate with the choice of your outfit. Steer clear of runners/sneakers or shoes that are too worn out.
  • Check for neatly groomed fingernails, and remove any chipped nail polish.
  • If you are wearing sandals, make sure to check your toenails too.
  • Remember to iron the outfit.

09 Plan ahead

Make sure you have given yourself enough time to think about all of the details of your session. Plan ahead so that:

  1. You can truly think about your photos and everything you want out of the session.
  2. You aren’t rushing and stressing out right before your session.
  3. If you have decided to go for a new look for your session and someone gets a bad haircut, you still have time to fix things if you need to.