I always suggest that the woman (especially mom if it’s a family session) choose an outfit she feels confident and beautiful in. Then plan the colour palette and everyone else’s outfits from there. Loose, flowy items like dresses, maxis with a sinch/tie at the waist, maxi skirts or loose fitting dressy tops with pants underneath work great.
I don’t recommend leggings because they could vary with the length of the top, plus often times clients choose black and that could actually draw attention to the waist and legs. For that same reason, I also suggest avoiding jeans with holes or rips, or two tones (like white wash down the middle).
For men, khakis or dress pants with a button down or collared shirt always has a classy look. Jeans on men can be tricky – so it’s better to avoid wearing them, and a nice pair of dress shoes can always tie in the look.
In the end – the idea is to wear something you enjoy and that you FEEL good wearing. The more relaxed that you feel in your clothes, the more you will be at the session and it will shine through your portraits.
COLORS THAT PHOTOGRAPH WELL
I suggest sticking to light, neutral or pastel colors – but that’s mostly because bright colors (like yellow, pink, orange, red, burgundy, Lilly Pulitzer, etc.) are reflective in sunlight and will show on your skin in the photos. My favorites are blue (navy and pastel), grey, khaki, white, blush, etc. Blue is the most flattering color for photographs.
It’s fun the see clients color coordinate as well, but not in duplication. Instead, I suggest choosing 1-3 colors and utilize them throughout everyones’ outfits.
HOW TO UTILIZE PATTERNS
If you have a fun patterened outfit you would like to use, limit it to one person. That way they will pop and still coordinate with everyone else. Multiple patterns can look busy, and this way they won’t be competing with one another. Add dimension and interest by mixing up the texture of the clothing material and accents. Feel free to bring cute little accessories such as scarves, hats, belts and basically anything with a fabulous texture. Accessories can pull together an outfit and make it look complete. Plus by switching up accessories and layers, you can get multiple looks without having to do complete outfit changes. Try to avoid large logos, large text, and neon colours. Be aware of any tan lines and how those will look in your chosen outfit
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many outfits do you recommend?
I suggest at least two outfits per person for photo sessions, but no more than three – the more time spent changing clothes, the less time for optimal portrait lighting. For your second outfit, bring along something easy to change into that has a different style from the clothes that you showed up with.
What types of colors clash?
When finding matching colors, it’s important to stick to the tones that your first choice resides in. As in, warm tones, cool tones, etc. Different shades of the same color work well. White, tan and blue also match most colors.
Does it matter what shoes we wear?
It does! You want to wear a style of shoe that not only matches your outfit, but the style of the location as well. You wouldn’t want to wear a pair of worn sneakers with a formal gown – but you also wouldn’t want to wear tall heels while walking on the beach or in a field, also.
WHERE DO YOU SUGGEST SHOPPING FOR OUTFITS?
Here are some of my favorite companies for style:
Zara, Old Navy or Gap
Wren & Ivory
Briar Handmade Bonnets
STYLES I LOVE
(*Note – due to store inventory differences, some of these links may be broken or items may no longer be available. I try to update this section as often as possible!)
1. BHLDN Ginny Dress (on sale hurry!) https://www.bhldn.com/sale-view-all/ginny-dress-oyster/productoptionids/a7468505-d6db-4ac6-b442-05c2dce5b309
2. BHLDN Blair Wrap Dress https://www.bhldn.com/shop-new-dresses/blair-wrap-dress/productoptionids/13cd8209-d698-468e-80ee-3c891bb13161
4. Free People Embroidered Fable Mini ( antique peach) This tends to run large and is a super forgiving, fits many dress! https://www.freepeople.com/shop/embroidered-fable-midi-dress/?category=back-in-stock-dresses&color=066&quantity=1&type=regular
5. Anthropologie Tunic Laced Dress (white – really more of an ivory) https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/tunic-laced-dress?category=little-white-dresses&color=010
1. Nordstrom Blue Floral Wrap Dress – https://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/wayf-the-natasha-floral-wrap-maxi-dress/4924215
2. Moon Walking Maxi FP Ivory https://www.freepeople.com/shop/moon-walkin-maxi-dress/?category=maxi-dresses&color=011&quantity=1&type=REGULAR
3. Temecula Maxi Dress Ivory https://www.freepeople.com/shop/temecula-maxi-dress/?category=maxi-dresses&color=011
4. BHLDN Tati Dress https://www.bhldn.com/sale-view-all/tati-dress-ivory/productoptionids/fbcaeb8b-b90b-4e9a-9313-32da085940dd
5. BHLDN Napa Dress https://www.bhldn.com/shop-new-dresses/napa-dress/productoptionids/fbcaeb8b-b90b-4e9a-9313-32da085940dd
1. Anthro Eden Tunic dress https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/eden-tunic-dress?category=dresses&color=006
For The Kids
1. Jamie Kay rose dress https://jamiekay.com/collections/child/products/poppy-dress-rose-smoke
2. Nordstrom boys gray shirt https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/z-a-k-brand-rancho-long-sleeve-shirt-little-boys/4971791?origin=category-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=home%2fkids%2fboys%2fboys%20%28sizes%202t-7%29%2fcasual%20button-down%20shirts&color=grey
4. Zara knit overalls https://www.zara.com/us/en/knit-overall-shorts-p06458590.html?v1=6453414&v2=1077424
5. Zara girls blue and white striped dress https://www.zara.com/us/en/striped-dress-p03172552.html?v1=6450710&v2=1077965
6. Zara boys white shirt https://www.zara.com/us/en/structured-shirt-p08574573.html?v1=6449002&v2=1079028
7. Zara boys pants https://www.zara.com/us/en/natural-pants-p06651561.html?v1=6454048&v2=1079016
1. Sanna Seville top https://sannababyandchild.com/products/the-saville-blouse
2. Sana Gemma Blouse https://sannababyandchild.com/collections/tops/products/gemma-blouse-caramel
3. Rylee and Cru legging https://ryleeandcru.com/collections/all/products/knit-legging-flower-field
4. Rylee and Cru dress https://ryleeandcru.com/collections/all/products/finn-dress-fox-land
5. Zara baby boy pants https://www.zara.com/us/en/corduroy-pants-with-pockets-p05854591.html?v1=6454549&v2=1079016
1. Tia Dress https://www.bhldn.com/sale-occasion-event-dresses/tia-dress/productoptionids/fbcaeb8b-b90b-4e9a-9313-32da085940dd
3. sweater https://www.zara.com/us/en/jacquard-sweater-p06458594.html?v1=6449379&v2=1077424
4. striped romper https://www.zara.com/us/en/striped-romper-p05350569.html?v1=6888052&v2=1077424
5. sweater with wrap collar https://www.zara.com/us/en/sweater-with-wrap-collar-p02209761.html?v1=6453684&v2=1077866
1. J.Crew Delave Irish Linen in Flax https://www.jcrew.com/p/mens_category/shirts/irishlinen/dlav-irish-linen-shirt/a2297?color_name=flax
2. J.Crew slub henley in light gray https://www.jcrew.com/p/mens_category/polostees/henleys/garmentdyed-slub-cotton-shortsleeve-henley/j1853?color_name=light-grey
3. Banana Republic Raw edge crew neck light grey https://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1014853&pcid=1014757&vid=1&pid=320845012
4. Target Goodfellow & Co. white henley https://www.target.com/p/men-s-standard-fit-short-sleeve-henley-shirt-goodfellow-co-153/-/a-52989535?preselect=52935724#lnk=sametab
5. Target Goodfellow & Co. light grey henley https://www.target.com/p/men-s-standard-fit-short-sleeve-henley-t-shirt-goodfellow-co-153/-/a-52556378
1. AF Henley https://www.abercrombie.com/shop/us/p/-11305820?categoryId=167230&seq=01&faceout=model
2. AF henley light https://www.abercrombie.com/shop/us/p/-11305819?categoryId=167230&seq=01&faceout=model
3. AF Icon textured sweater https://www.abercrombie.com/shop/us/p/-11901569?categoryId=93206&seq=01&faceout=model
4. AF Cashmere henley sweater (3 great colors) https://www.abercrombie.com/shop/us/p/cashmere-henley-sweater-9376221?categoryId=93206&seq=01&faceout=model
1. beach thermal striped https://www.jcrew.com/p/J6956?color_name=hthr-grey
2. raglen sleeve henley https://www.jcrew.com/p/J6958?color_name=hthr-grey
3. oatmeal crew https://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=85695&pcid=80117&vid=1&pid=257226262
4. waffle knit https://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1109562&pcid=80117&vid=1&pid=362242002
For families that don’t have time to find the right outfit – allow me to do the work for you! I offer a selection of dresses, shirts and outfits for small children that you are more than welcome to wear during your session.
For more information on this and some insight into exactly what you are looking for, send me an email and I can share with you what I have on hand.