What should I wear?! | Tips for Portraits

I am so happy that my clients are as wonderful as they are.  I am also happy that they ask all the right questions when it comes to their portrait session.  Where should we shoot? What time is best? and of course, What should I/we wear?

I've put together some examples and tips to help you answer that question.  Ultimately, it depends a lot on your own personality.  Keep reading and you'll see why :).


Now that you've settled on a great location for your session it's time to start searching for the perfect outfit.  There are many different ideas behind wardrobe, many photographers will tell you that you should match the background/location.  Others will give you basic guidelines and tell you what not to wear - large prints, too many busy colors, etc.  But I'm going to make it super easy for you to figure this out.  Here are two important questions to ask before putting it all together:

  • Do you want to be colorful and really stand out from the background?
  • What kind of feeling do you want to have in your portraits?

These two questions will help you determine what to wear depending on the location.  I know it's not a detailed, however, this will help you determine what kind of color scheme you should wear. If you want to stand out from the background, perhaps loud and bright colors are for you. If you want more of a calm feeling, then perhaps some neutrals.  And if you want serious and formal, then add in some grey and black to mix. 



Ok, now that you have the location set and the feeling you are going for, it's time to consider another important factor: Season.  During the summer, you want to stay cool.  Especially if you live in an area where temps can reach the triple digits at 8pm.  *Hi California!*  

For example, if you're shooting in the summer try light or bold colors with a little added fun and keep it lively.  If you are having your fall portraits, think boots, scarves, and hats.  This way you don't look out of place with the background during the season you are having your session in.  


Your personality is the number one important factor in a portrait session.  I make it a point to capture my client's' personality during the session.  This is great because no one wants stale photos that look like the family before hand.  I try to mix it with a few fun personality photos and a few classic photos.

This is where your personal style comes shining through and sets your photos apart from anyone else.  How you feel comfortable in your favorite outfit is so important and creates fun, natural, and YOU photographs.  Don't wear something that you wouldn't normally wear or something that makes you feel uncomfortable.  It always shows in the photos. 


The type of session that you are going to have can determine the wardrobe.  Of course we want your personal style to shine through, however, if you're having a maternity session, maybe we can play with some fabric to create more ethereal and serene photos.  

Family session?  Here we can play with each member's' personal style and add to the overall look of the family! It's especially important to allow kids to shine and have a lot of fun! 

Each session is different and so it's important to discuss this with your photographer and get ideas of how your session can be more fun and really let you shine!


I probably say this more often and it is such a huge help.  Usually my clients look at me like, "really Jackie, just whatever I want?"  

Yes!  I'm totally serious when I say to bring all of the outfits you love and feel great in.  Load up your car with your closet.  I say this because it is such a horrible feeling to have wanted to bring an outfit but didn't and now, you wish you had.  So bring it all.  I love being able to sort through the outfits and help my clients choose the best outfits for their session.  It's like being a stylist and knowing what will look best!

That is my job, after all, to make you look your absolute best!

I hope these tips help you at your next portrait session.  Speaking of which, I'm so excited for the fall mini sessions we'll be having in October!  Can't wait to have lots of fun creating unique photos for some awesome people! Yay! 

If you liked these tips and found them useful, please share them with your friends! I'm sure they have the same questions when it comes to their photo sessions :).  

Until next time, Happy Thursday!