10 Tips on What to Wear (to any portrait session)


The number one question from any portrait session is WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR? The answer to this is as unique as the individuals in the pictures. Unfortunately I can't see inside of your closet, and I don't know your individual style well enough. So start here; use this guide, then send me some pictures of your ideas.


  1. Coordinating doesn’t mean matching colors perfectly. It looks nicer to wear the same color in different shades, like navy blue and baby blue.

  2. Color pallets can help guide your color choices, try a quick internet search, there are billions of combinations. Pick colors to match your style, a particular room, or the season. However you are always safe going with neutrals.

  3. Mix it up. Don’t have everyone in a white shirt button up shirt and khakis, throw in a dress or overalls. It's better to have each person look like an individual, repetitive outfits can look too uniform.

  4. Big patterns or no patterns are best. Sometimes tiny patterns cause bits of color (called chromatic aberration), so bigger is better. Also, spread the patterns around, putting more than one pattern on a person can get busy. Personally, I’m a big fan of layered solids.

  5. Flowing fabrics not only look feminine and romantic, they do an amazing job of showing movement in an image.

  6. Makeup makes a big difference, even if it is just a tiny bit of mascara or eye liner.

  7. Layers and accessories. This is the perfect time to add a necklace, scarf, or cardigan. Layering clothes add more color, interest, and depth. BUT leave the baseball caps, sunglasses, and hair ties at home. Accessories also help spread colors around so each person isn't one solid color or two tones.

  8. Wear something you feel confident in, your confidence will be visible. If you are uncomfortable in your clothes, you’ll look like you’re uncomfortable. The camera picks up minute facial expressions. Make sure your outfit compliments your body and skin tone as well, for example I look pale and sick in yellow and I have broad shoulders, I probably shouldn't wear a sleeveless yellow sundress.

  9. If you wear glasses and contacts, go for contacts for your session, coated glasses especially can end up with a colored glare over your eyes. Please don't wear transition lensed glasses at all, no amount of editing can fix sunglasses.

  10. Don't overthink it. Simple can be perfect. Like a bride in an understated satin dress, compared to a bride in an embellished princess dress. Both are beautiful, it all depends on your personal style.


Bonus: check out sites like Rent the Runway* and Rent the Runway Kids* if you'd like to wear something for the session but don't need to keep it, just give yourself enough time to decide if you like it or not. Also check out Joyflie* for some amazing dresses with flowing fabric and a lot of gorgeous movement.












*I have no affiliation with these companies, however they are amazing companies I have used personally and can reccomend.

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Elegant photography for the timeless bride, loving family, and adventurous spirit, based in Wintergreen, VA.

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