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What to Wear for Photos

Updated: Feb 7

Choosing outfits for your photoshoot shouldn't be stressful! We've put together some tips that we've learned over the years to help make the process easy and fun. Then we'll go over some basic color theory and show you sample color palettes. Keep in mind all of the advice in this post reflects our preferences and you don't have to follow it exactly!


If you have specific questions or concerns please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly for more advice! You can always send photos of your outfit ideas to us so we can give input. The most important advice we can give is to make sure that whatever you choose to wear is comfortable, appropriate for the weather and reflects your personal style!


Our Tips


  • We don't advise wearing neon. Most of the time any neon (even a tiny bit on the soles of shoes or socks) can be distracting and doesn't fit the aesthetic.


  • If you need to bring your sunglasses, phones or wallets with you it's a great idea to bring a bag to put everything in for the photos. Bulges in pockets don't look good.


  • We also aren't fans of logos or words since even small ones can be distracting.


  • Be careful when you choose to wear hats with a cap or wide brim. They can cover and make a shadow over your eyes. I personally love hats so what I recommend if you want to wear a hat is that you bring it and put it on half way through the session so you don't have to deal with hat hair or a red mark on your forehead if you decide to take it off. For winter sessions we do recommend wearing warm hats to help keep hair out of your eyes in the wind and to help keep ears warm.


  • We don't recommend wearing athletic shoes or really casual shoes (like flip flops or crocs). Your shoes will be in the photos quite a bit. For this reason we usually recommend wearing neutral colors like brown, beige, grey, black or other earth tones. In the winter and spring it's a great idea to wear nice boots for walking in snow. In the summer and fall it might be a good idea to wear hiking shoes that you can change out of if the location you choose involves a hike to the view for pictures.


  • We typically don't recommend wearing all white, all black or all dark navy. White reflects light, black and navy absorb it. Although these are great for pants, skirts, shirts or accents they aren't always the best option for your entire outfit.


  • Most of the time we don't recommend perfectly matching outfits. When things get too match-y it can become difficult to distinguish between different people. There are exceptions like siblings but for the most part we recommend a variety of shades of the colors in your palette, with most people in solid colors or neutrals and a few in patterns.


  • We also like to recommend that you use caution with patterns. We love a nice floral dress or plaid shirt, but with patterns it's very important that they fit within the color palette and add a nice accent, rather than a distraction. For couples it's usually best if 1 person wears a pattern, for small families 1-2 people, and for large groups we usually don't recommend more than 3 people wear patterns.


  • Wearing all the exact same color is another type of matching that we don't recommend. If you choose just one color then it can be stunning if you incorporate varying shades of that color along with your neutrals (we discuss this in the monochromatic section below.)


  • We don't recommend wearing super thin stripes, really tiny dots or very small plaid. It often creates a strange effect in camera.


  • Clothes that don't fit or need to be adjusted constantly are also best to avoid. If you'll be wearing a short dress we recommend sitting in front of a mirror and moving a bit to ensure you're comfortable in it. We also don't recommend clothing that shows bra straps. Our sessions typically involve lots of movement (like lifting up the baby in the air, or for couples carrying your partner) so it's always a good idea to try lifting your arms above your head to see if your shirt fits properly before your session.


  • Please don't underdress for the weather! Especially children. If your session is in the winter months or even fall and spring we highly recommend thermal under-layers and bringing warm hats and mittens in neutral or matching colors to put on if needed. When kids are freezing cold they don't usually smile. We want genuine, happy photos so it's a great idea to prioritize warmth when putting together their outfits! Even in the spring, summer and fall it can be chilly in the evenings so consider a light jacket or sweater for sessions from May-November.


Phew! Now that the tips are over let's get onto the fun part- colors! Color relationships add beautiful depth to a photo. The right scheme can take pretty photos and make them even better! The colors on the wheel below are pretty bright- for your session you'll often want to choose muted versions of these colors. If you have one color in mind but are having a hard time choosing the accents or other pops just shoot us an email with the color you'd like to incorporate and we'll create customized palettes for you!



Color relationships help create an artistic sense of order. When choosing your main color or colors you can consider a few things


  1. What colors do you like? Since you probably have lots of options in your wardrobe with your favorite colors it can make choosing your outfits easy if you incorporate clothes you already have.

  2. Are large centerpiece prints an end goal of your session? If so, considering your space and the current color scheme can ensure the final prints will fit right into your home without clashing!

  3. How do you want your photos to feel? Color invokes feelings so when you choose your pops of color it’s important to choose based on how those colors feel to you. Cool colors are usually considered to be calm and relaxing and warm colors are viewed as vibrant and energetic.


Here are some color relationships that work great for photos! If you're on the mobile version you may have to swipe a bit on each palette to see every color!


Monochromatic

This is the same color in different shades and is a classy and simple option! For a fully monochromatic color scheme you would wear only the varying shades of one color and then your neutrals. You can always mix it up by using mostly monochromatic colors with a complementary or analogous accent color too if you'd like. If you choose a monochromatic color scheme its a good idea to use lots of neutrals alongside it!



 

Analogous

These are colors right next to each other on the color wheel. It can be a simple option that gives more variety than monochromatic. This muted orange and yellow palette is an example of analogous.


Or take a look at the cool blue and green outfits in this photo for another example of analogous colors.



Triadic

By making a triangle on the color wheel you can find three colors that look really nice together. Pink, light baby blue and light yellow have a triadic relationship. For this palette I'd recommend choosing one of the colors as an accent for a bow or scarf and the other two as main colors. As always, mixing your color scheme with lots of neutrals is a great idea!


The olive green, light purple and orange in this photo help create a triadic look!


Tetradic

A rectangle on the color wheel can also create some beautiful combos! For couples or smaller families it can be difficult to incorporate four colors, but it can be achieved well if you use 1-3 of the colors as accents by wearing a scarf, jewelry or pattern with those colors.




Complimentary

Opposite colors on the wheel can look beautiful together and make a nice statement in your photos! We love the way this light turquoise and rusty red-orange compliment each other.

The complimentary bright red and olive green in her dress in the photo below really make the image pop!



Neutrals

Some families choose to wear only neutrals to ensure they don't clash. This can be a nice option in the summer or fall since there is so much color in the scenery to help bring the image to life! If you choose all neutrals for your outfit and then realize you want to incorporate some color it is super easy to add one color into the mix!



Every outfit should include quite a lot of neutrals! As stated above we recommend neutrals for the shoes and we especially love earth tones. Charcoals, greys, browns, tans and beiges are all great neutrals to include in your outfits.


If you're coordinating outfits with your extended family it's a great idea to share this link with them, too! That way, everyone is on the same page and you don't have to constantly relay lengthy messages. Anyone who will be at the photoshoot is welcome to email us with questions if they need help, too! When in doubt, keep it simple and if you want extra input or advice we would love to create some customized palettes for you. We are so excited to meet you and feel truly honored you chose us to capture your priceless memories.





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