What to Wear Guide

Tips and Tricks for Dressing for Photos

What to Wear Guide – Behind beautiful images, planning is key. It requires time to select clothing options that will not only compliment the person wearing them, but also fit the environment. In addition, the combination of each person’s wardrobe pieces put together collectively help create potential for breathtaking photos. Things to consider include comfort, fit, weather conditions, and personal preferences. Read more for detailed ideas on dressing your family for a photo session.

Coordinating Colors, Not Matching Pick a couple of colors and choose clothes that will fit in this color scheme. Usually focus on three colors that compliment each other. Try to alternate tops and bottoms. For example, avoid everyone wearing a blue shirt. Perhaps one person wears a blue shirt, while another is wearing blue pants.

Simple Patterns Limit patterns to one person. Everyone else can wear a solid color. For example, if someone wears a plaid shirt, others can wear solid colors. If mom wears a floral dress, the rest of the family can wear clothing with minimal patterns.

Clothing Collections Try shopping for the family at one store. Many stores have clothing that coordinates from section to section. For instance boy, girl, men, and women options in the same store may have similar hues.

Accessories Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, ties, hats, scarves, belts, watches, headbands, and rings add interest to the outfit. One person should not wear ALL of these accessories of course.

Textures Different types of materials create texture in an image. Items such as scarves, sweaters, denim, vests, lace, crochet, linen, and more add great visual texture to an image. Linen, gauze, and flowy material photographs well. Avoid clingy material.

Consider your Surroundings If you will be at a lush park, then avoid wearing green. If the background is white and simple, consider adding a pop of color. The main idea is to NOT blend in with the environment. We don’t want to camouflage ourselves.

Footwear Shoes should match the style of clothing. Women can wear sandals, heels, or boots depending on the season. Men should wear loafers, dress shoes, or casual athleisure shoes. Never ever wear sneakers. Watch the socks. They should match the pants and shoes. We don’t want white socks appearing between dark colored pants and shoes.

Keep it Classic Try to wear classic clothing styles that last the test of time. Portrait sessions are generally not the time to wear the super trendy outfit or hair style. In a short time, the photo will appear out of date. Classic outfits keep the image timeless. Ladies, consider length of skirts and ease of movement. Too short or too tight make it challenging to photograph well.

Grooming Do a quick check on hair, nails, beards, etc. Remove or freshen up nail polish. Clean shaven or a groomed beard will look great!

Hair and Makeup Do invest in a hair and makeup artist. They specialize in makeup application that will photograph well. In person, the makeup may appear heavier than one usually would wear every day, however, it will photograph nicely. An artist will choose tones and techniques that compliment your features. I have several artists I work with regularly. They are active in the photography industry.

Shopping Suggestions

AVOID Matchy match outfits are not in style. Do not wear neon clothing. The color WILL reflect neon colors on skin. Photo day is not the day to wear “My dog ate my homework” shirts. Avoid clothing with pictures, phrases, and large logos. It is wise to avoid tiny plaid and small designs. It will create a strange effect on the lens. Please leave the Nikes at home as well. Also, remove chipped nail polish. Make sure to properly groom before photos. Also check children’s noses and teeth for bits of food and what ever else ends up on kids faces.

While it is not necessary to buy new clothes for everyone, here are some of my favorite places to shop for photo worthy clothing.

Babies & Toddlers

Girls & Women

Boys & Men

The Whole Family

  • Old Navy
  • Nordstrom
  • Zara

Couture Gowns

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