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What Should I Wear to my Photo Session? Plus 5 things to Avoid.

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

You've booked your session and can finally start sorting out what each member of your family should wear. You look through each of the closets in your household to find that you are drowning in a sea of possibilities. What colors, textures and styles should I wear? Should we all wear matching outfits? Here's a "What Should I Wear to my Photo Session" style guide.

  • Match Your Outfit with your Home Decor: A good starting point might be what colors and styles tend to decorate your house with? Matching your decor in your home will make it easy to coordinate a spot for that family photo on the wall! Do you tend to prefer more bold colors or do you prefer softer more pastel colors and tones? Dare to be bold (if that's your style) but do try to avoid neon colors if possible. Do you tend to decorate in a modern style, or do you prefer more rustic decor? If you can, factor that style in a bit too!

  • Think About the Seasons: If its cold outside and little Suzie is wearing a summer dress and thin tights her level of discomfort is going to show in your images. Layers work great in cooler months and also make coordinating everyone's outfits together a bit easier. For warmer days switch to short sleeve button up shirts and summer dresses.

  • Dress Up: It's not everyday you spend the money to have professional photos done. Make it count. Wear a little make up to show off those gorgeous features! If you tend to dress casual add some fun accessories or jewelry. Adding accessories keeps you comfortable and true to yourself, while elevating your look a bit for the occasion. Consider, button up shirts, sweaters, jackets, leggings, scarves, accessories, headbands, bows and even shoes when trying to assemble that perfect outfit! Try to make it so everyone's pants (or skirts) are a different color or texture to add some individuality to your session. I find sessions are most successful when everyone coordinates but doesn't necessarily match. Wearing long flowy dresses will make your session feel more dreamy and fluid.

  • Discover a Theme you would like with your images and coordinate everyone to it! This could be a specific style, era or even just colors you'd like to stick to. If you love the color yellow, tie a little yellow into everyone's outfits. Below Mom chose Navy Blue and Yellow as her theme colors. She wore a gorgeous striped white top. She then strung along the navy color with the husbands shirt, and the little girls headband and the outfits. The two girls matched patterns and colors, but she varied the outfits by having the one in a romper and the other with yellow shorts. These yellow shorts made her match her brothers.This great color scheme makes it so each family member matches in the group shots. They also match grouped in pairs and their outfits look amazing all on their own! I love the variety of patterns here.

  • Stylize with Textures and Simple Patterns: Texture shows up beautifully in images! Patterns are great for adding personality and style, just make sure they aren't to busy and that they don't clash with anyone else in your session!

  • Dress Your Best, but also be Comfortable! Your comfort level and confidence will show in your images!

  • Plan Family Outfits around Mom's Outfit Choice: If mom is happy and confident, everyone else will most likely also be happy and confident.

  • Change the Baby or Young Toddler On Site: I know this isn't a what to wear tip, but I promise you'll thank me for this one later. A lot can happen with a baby or a toddler on the drive to the location. 😂

Here are a few tips on what to avoid when planning your outfit choices:

  • Neon Colors- Small splashes of color in accessories will probably be ok, but to much Neon is distracting. Neon Colors also create harsh color reflections on skin tones.

  • Avoid to high of heels or Uncomfortable Shoes. Depending on what location you end up at, you may have to walk some rougher terrain. If you feel uncomfortable, your pictures will show it.

  • Avoid Hats & Sunglasses: Dad, this one's for you. Hats create lines of shadows in the center of the face. I promise your hat will be there waiting for you as soon as you get home. Some eye wear will darken in the sun. If you have an alternate pair of glasses those may be better to bring for your session.

  • Remove Pony Tails from Wrists

  • Remove Phones from Pockets

This cute family did a gorgeous burgundy theme! I love when family's tie season colors into their outfits! I love how Courtney chose to wear a dress and a small heel- one that she could walk well in. She added a cute necklace to dress for an accessory and a bow for the baby! Also, Courtney planned for it to be a bit chilly and had jackets planned into her outfit selection for this! A comfortable baby is a happy one!

Here's a great example of coordinating outfits! This cute family went with more earthy color choices. Christie wore a pretty green dress and coordinated the boys in brown pants. Notice how the shades of pants differed a little -this allows for some individuality. Notice though, she did keep the tones earthy to match her dress and each other. She dressed the husband in a nice button up blue shirt. Her makeup makes her features pop and is applied beautifully.

Themes can be a fun way to change it up a bit. Here we chose to style this cute little duo a bit vintage. It was a fun and unique session! Sometimes dressing a bit out of the norm will lead to photos that you love and cherish the most! If you tend to decorate with more of a vintage style something like this could be right up your alley!

What comes Included in the Riley Photograph? Check it out!

-Mandi with Riley Photography

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