What to Wear

So often, when I have a portrait session (engagement session, senior portraits or a family session), I get asked what people should wear for the shoot. Over time, I’ve gathered these tips for what looks the best in photographs.

– Solid colors tend to work best. We want all the attention to be on your beautiful face, not on the pattern that distracts from it.
– Limit patterned clothing, if they must be worn, to just one piece. That reduces visual clutter.
– Small checked plaids and highly contrasted skinny stripes can create odd patterns when photographed. (Moire patterns.) Don’t wear them.
– If there is more than one person in the photo, you don’t need to wear identical clothing unless that is the look you really want. No one dresses that way normally, so I think that it takes away some of your personality. However, it works well with large group family photos.
– I think women look wonderful in fun, sassy, colorful dresses. Especially at engagement sessions! Paired with some cute heels, this will help us get some great, fun poses! (No worries if you’re not the dress type though. We want to capture the real you!)
– For engagement sessions, think of what you would wear if you were going out for a nice dinner.
– Make sure you’re dressed in the same “season” – for example, if one of you is wearing a winter-weight sweater, the other shouldn’t wear shorts and a light-weight t-shirt.
– You don’t need to wear identical, matching shirts, but make sure the colors you are wearing do coordinate well together. Turquoise blue and Navy blue look good together. Avocado green and Lime green do not.
– Think layers! The easiest way to have several looks from your shoot is to add and remove items.
– Accessorize! Bring bags, scarves, necklaces, earrings – whatever is unique to you and something you love. It is fun to include those things too!
– A special tip for women – if you wear a tank top under your outfit, it makes it really easy to change without having to find a public restroom, or doing acrobatic moves in the backseat of the car to switch outfits.
– Colors to avoid: green if we’ll be photographing in a park setting, as it blends in too much, and cherry red (bordering on coral red) as the sensors in digital cameras seem to have a difficult time reading this color and it often looks “hot” in the photos.

Ultimately, the biggest thing I want to connect with is the authentic YOU. So this is really just a guideline on what to wear. If you have a hard time narrowing down your options and want advice, bring a few different outfits with you and I can help you pick something out – or you could always send me photos in advance!