What to wear for your photo session

The most frequently asked question before a photo session is what the best clothing choices are for beautiful family portraits.

Here are a few simple guidelines to follow when deciding what to wear to your session:

1. Avoid patterns and logos that distract from the person in the photo. Plaids, stripes and small patterns are just too “busy” and compete with the face for attention. Avoid characters of any kind, words, etc. Layers!  Layers in fall and winter sessions make for more interesting photos. Look for complimenting colors and textures. During the winter, knits and wool photograph especially well and flowy summer dresses and colorful polo shirts and button downs work well in the spring and summer. Coordinate the same outfit style for each child to be photographed together. Long sleeves and pants/dresses are best, as bare arms and legs compete with the face for attention.

2. Try not to wear identical outfits (except for small children and twins, of course). You don’t normally dress identically to everyone else in your family so why take the cookie cutter approach that some other photographers recommend?  We love to see rich vibrant colors. Earth tones are great for outdoor sessions. Browns, tans, reds and  greens work well. Layering with solids, textures and adding subtle patterns in scarves, jewelry and wraps add depth and interest as well.   It may take a bit more time to work out a wardrobe plan that coordinates, but your pictures will be so much better because of it.

3. Mix and match. Come up with unusual combinations that compliment and contrast.  Try fabrics other than cotton or polyester. Tweeds, silks, wool knits, linen etc.

4. Accessorize. Beautiful jewelery and coordinated bags,  scarfs, hats (highly recommended) favorite toys, blankets, etc.  Those little details create a memorable, uniquely you portrait.

5. The most important thing to wear is a smile. Being relaxed, laid back, having fun (or even pretending to, if things aren’t going as you hoped) will show more in the portraits than the finest of clothing. Laugh, joke, jump around, be silly and have FUN. Those things are what we want to capture and the rest will work itself out naturally.