I think that the question I am asked most frequently is probably, "What should I wear for my photo session?" Typically, when someone asks me this, I simply share a link to my Pinterest board with ideas. But I thought it might be helpful to dive a little deeper into it. Remember, I want you to be comfortable. I also understand that no 2 people are built the same, or have the same style. I am sharing this simply to provide some inspiration and some guidance.
First things first. Let me share what NOT to wear.
- No matchy-matchy. Everyone wearing jeans and a white shirt is cute but shows none of your personality and when you all stand together it just looks like one veeerrrryyy loooong pair of jeans wearing a veeerrryyyy loooong white shirt.
- No shirts with text or characters on them. Stick to solid colors or even stripes or plaids.
- Avoid sneakers if possible. Sandals, boots, loafers, flats can all work with a variety of outfits. Of course, with kiddos I understand the need for flexibility here. My daughter likes to wear her rubber boots with EVERYTHING. And that can be cute too!
- Remember to be comfortable. Don't wear clothes you can't breathe in. Don't wear shoes you can't walk in. Don't wear anything you hate.
What time of year is it?
I think it goes without saying that your outfits will vary depending on the weather. It is unlikely that I will photograph someone in the middle of winter wearing a strapless summer dress or, in the summer, wearing a wool sweater. What might be less obvious, however, is choosing the right COLOR(S) for your session.
Here are a few very basic color palettes that I would start with for Fall:
Since we are entering the fall season here shortly, I thought I would start here. With autumn comes not only a change in temperature but also a complete change in the colors in the environment around us. So many golds, reds, and browns in the trees and fields. Because of this, outfit selection would typically be based on warm, deep, somewhat muted tones like the ones above. You can see looking at these sample colors that they all compliment each other in some way and would help to create a depth to your photos. Of course, a pop of bright colors thrown in here and there add interest as well. I would just suggest using those as accents and not as a base for the outfits. Remember that bright colors like pinks and greens could reflect on the skin of anyone near them. So use them sparingly.
Winter colors will be similar to Fall. I have more in depth examples of color palettes and complimentary colors to help you build your outfits HERE.
So now that we've discussed color, I will walk you through my process for putting it all together. Typically, I will select ONE outfit on which everything else is based. For example, let's say I am helping to style a family of 4 (a service that I might just offer soon - stay tuned!). Let's say we have mom, dad, young boy, young girl. (For illustrative purposes only, I cater to families of all kinds, it's all about love here folks!)
Using that scenario, I would choose mom's outfit first.
Tips for dressing ladies: keep it loose and long. If I were styling a fall family session, I would suggest a long maxi dress or Boho styled dress or skirt like these: (all images of clothing from Amazon. Click on item to follow link to the outfit)
Remember, these are merely suggestions to inspire you. Wearing something loose and flowy allows for more movement and softness to your images. They create a classic and relaxed look. I know not everyone wants to wear a dress so maybe a long skirt would work for you, or maybe it's jeans with a loose sweater or long tunic. I also suggest that my subjects keep their hair down. Softness and movement. Touching flowing clothes and hair also give you something to do with your hands during your session which will keep your images relaxed and not stiff and awkward.
So, let's put together an outfit.
Starting with mom's dress, we added this adorable yellow dress with red accents (to match mom's dress). Then we add juniors denim set with gold suspenders (ties in the gold tones and adds the coolness of blues). Add dad's outfit with a navy sweater and khakis (a khaki colored sweater with denim jeans would also work). You don't want to have anyone wearing the same colored tops because when grouped together they kind of disappear into each other. Make sense?
I hope this will show you that you can have fun with color while still keeping your outfits cohesive and appropriate to the season. And no need to break the bank, most of these outfits are from Amazon, Walmart, or Target! I will include links at the end of this post. Remember that color can be brought in through accessories like scarves, shoes, jewelry, hats, etc. so have fun with it!
Check out even more ideas and color combos here on my Pinterest board!
Links to outfits!