Choosing what to wear can be one of the toughest things when it comes to planning your Portrait Session. We never want our clients to feel stressed about planning their portraits, so we thought to share a few tips about what to wear for your time with our team! These portraits will last a lifetime – we’re here to help you create images you love forever.
Want to check out what we have available for you in our studio? Our studio wardrobe is available to you at no extra charge. If you see something you like, just let us know ahead of time so we can prepare for you session:
Bring the Personality!
Accessories are a perfect way to add a pop of personality (think a bold necklace, a scarf with your favorite colors, bows, shoes & even hats). Texture and layers keep things interesting (fabric choices like denim, eyelet, and lace photograph beautifully) and can add some personality to your portraits. Let everyone show off their style during your session!
Try to go without matching. You’re looking to capture yourselves as you are, holding onto the memories of each other at this moment in time. Your fashion choices can be more casual or formal based on who you are – and let everyone participating wear a style that really represents who they are. Try a more bold color or a great pattern if that’s what they want to wear. If everyone’s comfortable in what they’re wearing, your smiles and joy will be much more natural and genuine!! (Yes, that includes you too, Mom!!).
Choose colors that compliment each other, not compete with one another. For example, maybe someone is wearing a blue and white gingham dress. Someone else can wear a solid blue shirt that pulls from the colors in the dress. Others could wear another solid complimentary color and then use your accessories to add some pops of color! Details matter… your accessories should still follow whatever color palette you choose. We encourage you to think about where these images will be hung and use that as inspiration for what color to wear…Want to find some great color schemes for this year?
Check out the Pantone Color of the Year!
A few quick rules we follow when it comes to colors… Avoid bright whites – they tend to wash everyone out. If you’re hoping for that clean look, go for creams or ivories! Men look better in solid colors, in our experience. Try to avoid numbers, characters, and words on your outfit pieces whenever possible.
Not sure how your outfits will look together? Try laying them out on your bed – if something immediately draws your eye there, then you know it will during your session too! Pull it out of the rotation and try something else.
Fabulous and Fun!
Find something that fits, flatters, and makes you feel fabulous! Your session should be fun – and feeling good is going to allow you to really focus on the memories you’re making with your family… not what itches, feels too tight, or worrying about how your outfit looks.
We encourage ladies to have their hair and makeup done, but keep it simple! Wear your hair like you would if you were going to wear your outfit on a normal (non-portrait session) night. Often that hair and makeup piece makes you feel even more fabulous than before!
Moms out there, this one is for you! Don’t put yourself last for your session. We know how hard it is to make sure Mom is in a photo at all, so make sure you feel awesome in whatever you pick for your session! In fact, try choosing your outfit first and then building everyone else’s clothing around yours! We highly encourage long, flowing dresses that will move in the wind! They look great on all body types and who doesn’t love wearing a fun dress?
Remember that being in the same portrait doesn’t mean you have to wear the same thing! Let everyone find their style. Whether you dress up, dress down, or get totally funky, it is important that every family member feels comfortable and like themselves. Does your daughter prefer pants instead of dresses? Does your son like to wear button down shirts over an untucked T-shirt? Ride that wave and find something that works for everyone!
Make sure your styles match. Matching one another in terms of formality, season and style means dad shouldn’t show up in a tie and jacket while the kids wear jeans and T-shirts. Since kids have a lot of fun in sessions where they are allowed to wear something that they’ve picked out, feel free to include them in the process of selecting their clothes and accessories.
Believe us, we understand how getting these family photos taken can be stressful, so try to relax. If you relax, everyone else will, too, and the photos will feel all the more natural (and genuine). We don’t judge! Totally bribe the kids with something fun or yummy to look forward to afterwards. Encourage your husband to be involved as well and try not to be grumpy! Plan a night out afterwards to grab ice cream or go somewhere fun – and just enjoy your session! Trust in your photographer and let them do their thing!
Whether you’re planning an engagement session, anniversary session, or “just because” session, think about what outfits you’d like to wear! Just like a full family session, work to coordinate your colors and styles without matching. Try to avoid big patterns and noisy outfits. You want the focus to be on the two of you!
Think about where you’ve chosen to have your portraits. If you’re in the city, maybe something more stylish and chic would be better than if you’re in a park. And don’t forget – don’t blend into your backdrops (basically: don’t wear forest green to the park!).
Ladies, consider professional hair and makeup! Especially for engagement sessions – you don’t want stubby dry nailbeds in your ring photos, do you? Treat yourself to a nice manicure! And hey, when you’re done, don’t waste the beautiful outfit you’ve picked! Plan a great date night!! Oh, and we’re all about a long, flowing dress for your outfit pick!
A Few Last Tips:
Wear something that allows the focus to be on the main subjects.
Find something that fits, flatters, and makes you feel fabulous!
Think about your own personal style and look at your home decor.
If you have a group, pick a color palette and stick to it.
Use accessories, without over-accessorizing (This adds color and personality and depth and texture and dimension). Layer! Hats, scarves, pocketbooks, umbrellas, sunglasses…all CUTE add-ons that we can play with!
Dress for the weather and be flexible.
Dress for the situation and location you’ve chosen. Consider the background you’ll be using.
Stay away from fads. Think classic.
Sometimes it’s best to allow teenagers to express themselves (even if it’s just for a few of the pictures).
Try not to wait until the last minute to plan your outfits out.
The Low Down
In case you don’t have a lot of time, here’s the short version of everything we just said:
Let your personalities shine through.
Matching is out. Coordinating is IN!
Remember classic will always outlast a fad fashion choice.
Feel comfortable and look fabulous!
Relax, smile, and enjoy yourself!
Your images are keepsakes to hang up and post and share and love for generations. What you wear is almost as important as the lighting, location and posing. We hope that these tips make it a bit easier for you to find the perfect outfit choices for your entire group! We’re always happy to help you decide the best options for your session if you’re stuck or worried about how something will look!
Need some ideas on where to shop? Here’s a few of our favorites:
And don’t forget to ask us if you need help!
Some of our favorite Amazon options for the entire family – they come in all sorts of colors so check them out!