The last thing you need is to to be stressed over which outfits to wear for your portrait session. But the question of what to wear won't go away on its own ... enter Pinterest. Now all you have to do is scroll, and scroll, and scroll some more. Ok, I love Pinterest just as much as the next guy but sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming!
So, I decided to put together this little (stress free!) guide to help inspire your wardrobe selections! The best part is all of these tips work whether you’re doing portraits for a special anniversary, your yearly family portraits, entire extended family, senior pictures, or your engagement session!
Patterns can be fun, however, on camera, patterns can clash not only with each other, but also with the environment around you. Keeping patterns small and neutral will ensure all the attention is on your smiling faces!
Sophisticated neutrals like mauve, gray, cream, dusty blue and leather brown always look amazing on camera. Not only that, they coordinate with nearly every environment, and they look great on just about every skin tone.
Classic styles and flattering silhouettes are hands down THE best wardrobe choices! Style trends come and go, and many often fall short of appropriate. I want you to love your photos forever, not of cringe when you see the trendy choice you made back in the day!
A dress with a defined waist is always my number one choice for women. Why? Because dresses are designed to flatter a woman's body! Whether a casual sundress with boots, cute cocktail dress with pumps or floor-length formal gown, the classic silhouette of a dress will give you added confidence in front of the camera and a beautiful element of sophistication for your images.
In my experience, every woman, regardless of her shape, has an area of her body that she is self-conscious about. Choosing the right silhouette will help reduce your concerns. For instance, if you're self-conscious about your arms, an outfit with elbow length or 3/4 sleeves will minimize your arms whereas a sleeveless option will accentuate them. Selecting flattering silhouettes and colors that compliment your favorite features is the best way to ensure you will love the way you look in your photos.
She is clothed in strength and dignity - Proverbs 31:25
First and foremost, a collard shirt is a must, I'm all for jeans and t-shirts but for photos, a collard shirt looks best. My best tip for men is to dress in layers. Why? Whether blazers, vests or sweaters, layers always provide an elevated level of sophistication. Layering will also add some visual interest and allow for easy coordination with her outfit(s). And, jackets give an excellent masculine look for men.
If you want to really dress it up, men look most striking in a well tailored suit, there is simply no substitute! Finally, leather dress shoes are a great finishing touch to almost every men’s look.
I think perhaps ZZ Top said it best ... every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man!
Act like men, be strong - 1 Corinthians 16:13
The best advice I have for kids is advanced preparation. Setting expectations and offering a reward for good behavior goes a long way. (Ice cream anyone?) It helps if they are well rested and have full tummies, too!
Ok, on to wardrobe ideas … I recommend dressier than average options even for the littlest of littles. Why? This season in life will only happen once, it's worth dressing up to capture it beautifully!
Kids’ outfits provide an excellent tie-in between mom and dad’s outfits. For instance: if mom is in a mauve dress and dad is in jeans, a button down shirt and a tan blazer, daughter could be in a white dress with mauve flowers and a navy bow in her hair, and a son could wear tan slacks, a white shirt, and green striped bowtie.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6
Bold colors and multiple patterns can totally go together if it’s done right! A great example of this is Christmas photos! A fun plaid print paired with stripes and a pop of red or green to tie it all together can make for some really cute Christmas cards! The only thing I suggest is to keep pattern styles to a minimum. If you have a family of five and everyone is in bold stripes, dots, plaid and florals it may translate to looking pretty chaotic on camera.
This is where Pinterest will be your best friend! I created
this inspiration board for some ideas!
Bonus tip: Texture, like lace or a chunky cable knit sweater, is a GREAT option to add some visual interest to your images without adding another pattern.
At the end of the day, the outfits you choose won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. My biggest goal is for you to enjoy your experience and love your images. I want your session to be a time for you to be yourselves, have fun together and laugh a lot! I'll take care of the rest.
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