For many, deciding what to wear to their portrait session can be confusing, frustrating and to put it simply a pain in the ass. It is one of the main questions I get asked. Here are some hassle free pointers on what to wear!
The biggest tip is to find something you feel beautiful in. When we don't feel comfortable or self- conscious it absolutely will show in your photos. Start with one piece or item you love, shoes, jewelry, a dress or even a funky pair of pants! whether is plain or patterned, use this piece as the stepping stone to coordinate the outfit for your partner and or the rest of your family!
Picture your image gallery on the wall of your home and what would reflect your decor, color scheme, your families personality while also remaining timeless.
When I select the outfits for my own family I often start with my daughter and build off of her. I love putting her in a print! I naturally gravitate towards floral/greenery for her. Floral patterns typically have several colors within the pattern giving a wide range to choose from for the rest of the family! Next, I select for my son. I love him in complimentary patterns i.e. thick stripes, polka dots, geometric. It is a great way to still have interest but not over powering with prints. Then, my husband. He loves flannel, so I try to keep him in that as much as I can. Haha! When not in flannel he also loves a good polo! I mix and match him a bunch! Last is me! I always select for myself last because I am very comfortable with the silhouettes like. I love being in a texture. I prefer to be in a longer flowy dress no matter the season but may change it up in the summer! Both My husband and I have tattoos and we love to wear outfits that accentuate them. My rule of thumb is two patterns and two texture to balance everyone out!
Colors and Patterns
You can never go wrong with muted and neutral tone! Typically in a range of shades and soft patterns. It is very important to take into account the environment that we will be shooting in. i.e. beach, city, field or even at home can all have lots of colors and wearing bright colors can clash as well as cast that color onto other family members in the session. Browns, mustard, yellows, dusty pinks and blues, burnt orange/rust, earthy greens, cremes, beige, white and black all look amazing!
Textures and Movement
Layering different textures is a great way to tie all of your outfits together. Think linens, waffle material, lace, chunky knits and anything that flows! Movement always photographs beautifully like on those beautiful windy days.
Things to Avoid Wearing
Branded/ Slogan and licensed clothing
We know your kiddos love their Disney and Superheroes however, they are distracting and aren't very timeless. If you would like timeless art for your walls I would suggest steering clear of these type of clothes for your session.
Matchy matchy outfits- Basically everyone in all black or white shirts with jeans
Ask any professional photographer what the most common mistake they have seen a client wear and I bet they will say the matchy-matchy outfits! This look has been done for many years and it did have it's time to shine it is time we out it to bed. We want you to look timeless and a little less cliché. Come up with a fresh look that reflects your family-style more.
Thin Stipes- continuous patterns
Please, please, please steer clear of continuous patterns such as squares, thin stripes/pin stripes these patterns cause a warping effect and make your final image look bad.
I'm a country girl, I love a barefoot session, especially if we are by water, mud or at home. I always suggest leaving shoes off as this suits these environments very well! If we are in a field or an outdoor setting where bare feet aren't as suitable please wear footwear that works well with your outfits but also easy to walk and move around in (ditch the heals and opt for flats or cowboy boots!)
It's your day!
Listen, at the end of the day, it's your session so just have fun with it! Wear what reflects your personality and what will make you happy every time you walk past that big beautiful family picture mounted on your wall! These photographs will be treasured for a long time so it is important they capture who you are.
My favorite stores to source outfits from
Spell, Baltic Born, Reclamation, Old Navy, Walmart, Amazon, Rue 21