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What To Wear For My Professional Portrait Session


Color Schemes for Photo Session
Color Schemes for Photo Session

The most important thing that can make or break your photoshoot is clothing. I have so many clients asking my advice on outfits for their photography sessions, from brides and grooms to families with kids. So, to kick things off and simplify the process, here are some sample clothing boards and color palettes to jump-start you as you plan your family’s clothing. For fall, I’m loving warm tones like blush, burnt orange, and mustard! Keep scrolling for more general clothing tips below the boards.


Add a pop of color

Senior with a gorgeous yellow sweater
Senior with a gorgeous yellow sweater

“Don’t be afraid of a little color! You don’t have to go overboard, but picking up bold colors from a more subtle outfit for a pop of color can look amazing. For example, if dad is wearing a plaid shirt, draw one color from it and have one child wear a pop of that color.”


Don’t match. Coordinate.

Ideal Family Portrait Outfit Color Scheme
Ideal Family Portrait Outfit Color Scheme

“I tell my clients they need to coordinate, not match, when they are deciding what to wear for photos. I tell them to start with the youngest and pull colors from their outfit to dress and layer everyone else. Layering can make a huge difference in tying in all the colors. If they still need help, I will put together a fashion board of outfit examples and let them know where to find the items.”


Keep Clothing Simple

Gorgeous Senior against brick background
Gorgeous Senior against brick background

“Clothes can make or break an image. Choosing outfits in simple, bright colors can help the subject pop against a neutral background. I always strive for colors and textures that are going to complement our location. Pick the clothes that will let you run freely and be blissfully carefree! ”


Fit your style to your location

Portrait Session of Female wearing Pink, with pink floral tree
Portrait Session of Female wearing Pink, with pink floral tree

"Always keep your session location in mind when choosing your outfit. If your session is happening in a city setting, dress up a bit with a pair of cute heels and a fancier dress than you’d normally wear to match the bustling vibe of the city. If you’ve selected a more natural environment, choose something a bit more casual such as a maxi dress and opt for casual footwear like flat sandals or boots."


Things To Keep In Mind

Senior posing on stairs at Smale Park
Senior posing on stairs at Smale Park

Comfort: you want everyone to be comfy at your session. We'll be moving around on our adventure, so make sure you put yourself and the kids in something that moves with you and isn't itchy or too tight. You'll be hearing about it all session, trust me.

Accessorize it: hats, scarves, jewellery, blankets, headbands, suspenders, etc. All these things are a great way to add another layer of your style into your session.

Patterns: I love fun patterns, but my favourite is floral! Mixing patterns is a great way to add interest to your photos.

Textures & layers: Layers add texture and textures add interest. Denim, chunky knits, lace, cords, etc. I love the way a chunky cardigan looks. Or a denim shirt tied at the waist. These are all great ways to incorporate your style.

Color: make sure the colours you choose complement each other. Colours that will stand out best are muted, earthy tones. Some examples are: mustard yellow, mauve pink, browns or khaki, dark blue, hunter green, dark reds/oranges

MAKE IT YOUR OWN: this session is about you! And it's so important to make sure that your family's personality shines through in every aspect.

Senior Session on Bridge with Photo Bombers
Senior Session on Bridge with Photo Bombers

Things To Avoid

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Giant logos: shirts that have giant logos on them can distract from your beautiful faces. Just say no.

Neon Colors: just say no to hot pink and lime green

Colors/Patterns: Having different colours, patterns, textures, etc. is super important to create interest and diversity in your family's images.


At this point you should have some idea of what to wear to a photoshoot, but you may still be wondering what my reasoning is for all of these pieces of advice. All of these suggestions are given for the same reason... to draw attention to your faces and not your clothing. The best clothing choices are the ones that don’t draw attention away from your face. These aren’t guidelines to make your life harder or micromanage how you choose to appear. However, they are safe bets if you want your portraits to represent you or your family across time. Trust me, your portraits will be beautiful even if your clothes bore you.



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