When deciding on clothing for your session, please remember you want your clothes to accent you, not the other way around. Solid colors and simple prints work well. Avoid fluorescent colors, sleeveless shirts (for studio photos), horizontal stripes, distracting patterns, baggy or too tightly fitting clothing, or shirts with writing or large logos. Khakis, jeans, tee-shirts, polo shirts, button-down shirts, and dresses are great choices. Keep in mind that wearing skirts or dresses that are too short can limit what you will be able to do when posing for photos. In addition, layering clothing can also look very nice (i.e. a button-down shirt with shirt underneath).
Coordinating colors work well and look great in family photos. Choosing outfits with a few coordinating colors can be a nice way to tie everyone in the picture together. This is often preferred to photos where everyone is wearing a matching outfit. To help make this task less overwhelming, consider choosing a color palette of a few coordinating colors. See image below for some examples of color palettes. Place the outfits side by side on your bed and see how they look together. If any one outfit or article of clothing stands out, it will also stand out in your portrait.
Darker clothing can be a slimming, flattering choice, especially for studio photos. For outdoor photo shoots, consider wearing a solid color or clothing with a pop of color on it to add to the contrast in your photos. Avoid wearing white, as it doesn't photograph well outdoors and typically isn't the most flattering color on people. If you do want to wear white, consider ivory which will photograph better than white. Consider what colors you or your child(ren) feel you look best wearing. What colors bring out your eye or hair color? Beautiful blue eyes? Perhaps a pretty blue colored shirt would be a good choice.
Another thing to consider when choosing colors is where you will be displaying your portraits. Look at your home decor and wall colors and think about what colors you may want to avoid or choose so your portraits look amazing on your walls. If you would like black and white photos, I recommend choosing lighter and/or darker colors, as colors in between don't photograph as well for black and white photos (they will end up being shades of grey in your portraits).
If you have any areas of your body you're not comfortable with, select clothes to minimize these areas. Self-conscious about your arms? Avoid sleeveless clothing and consider a darker top. Worried about your weight? Choose darker colored clothing that fits well and isn't too tight. If desired, you can also let me know about these areas before your session and I will do my best to take photos that you will be happy with, either avoiding these areas or posing you in a way that will decrease the appearance/focus of these areas in your portraits. In addition, if requested, I can adjust these areas during the retouching process and work some “magic” for you. My girlfriend is a big fan of the “magic” I can do with her photos after they are taken!
If you wish to change your clothes during your session, please note that for outdoor sessions you may be limited to changing in your car if there isn't a place for you to change on site. For these situations, layering clothing or considering clothes that can more easily be changed in your car may be helpful. Layered clothing can also look very nice in portraits (i.e. a button-down shirt with shirt underneath).
If you're planning on changing outfits during your session, consider coordinating your outfit choices so that if you decide to display your final portraits together they will look nice next to each other. In addition, don't forget to bring matching shoes for each outfit you plan to wear, as these can be easy to forget! Boots can be a great choice for many outfits, especially for outdoor fall photoshoots.
Please wear appropriate undergarments to ensure they do not show through your clothing (i.e. don't wear a dark colored bra under a lighter colored shirt) or allow for visible straps (i.e. bra straps that show when wearing a sleeveless dress). Consider pinning bra straps to clothing to keep them in place. Also, for lighter colored clothing, a nude colored bra will be less visible than a white bra.
Accessories such as earrings, necklaces, ties, leggings or tights, belts, vests, bandanas, jackets, hats, scarves, etc. can be a great addition to your photos. Please don't wear your hat to your session to avoid “hat head”! Accessories can add texture and warmth to your photos. Just remember that while they can be a great addition to your photos, you don't want them to be too distracting.
In addition to your clothing and accessory choices, props can be a fun and unique addition to your photos. Consider props that have meaning to you. These may include a saddle and/or bridle, sports equipment and/or uniforms, trophies/medals, class rings, musical instruments/equipment, helmets, dance shoes, military uniforms/items, paint brushes, books, a skateboard, or books. These can be especially fun for senior portraits! For children this may include a favorite stuffed animal, toy, or blanket.
Try on your clothing in the days prior to your session to make sure it fits well, looks great, and is comfortable. Make sure your clothes are clean and don't forget to iron out those wrinkles! Unfortunately, wrinkles are not something that can be easily fixed during the editing process. Realizing at the last minute that your clothes have a stain on them, don't fit, or are a wrinkled as you're getting ready for your session can be stressful, but fortunately are all avoidable if you leave yourself plenty of time to plan and prepare your outfit(s) prior to your session date.
Preparing your clothing and accessory choices ahead of time will help keep you relaxed and worry-free for your photo shoot. If you can't decide what to wear, feel free to email me photos of your options. I??™d love to help you decide what to wear! In addition, if you're still undecided the day of your session, let me know and I can help you when you arrive to your session. In this case, please let me know ahead of time and remember to arrive early and bring a variety of options to choose from. Most importantly, choose clothing that you feel comfortable in that reflects your own personal style.
If you would like a list of recommendations for places to shop, please let me know. I can email you a helpful list of places to shop to help you find what you're looking for.
For kids - For parents having photos taken of just their babies or young children, please arrive to the session wearing clothes that will match your child's clothing and with your hair and nails photo ready just incase your child does not want to be put down during their session. This way I can still take some great photos of your baby while you are holding him/her that either also have you in them or have just parts of you in them (i.e. your shoulder/hair).
There are several stores that carry coordinating colored clothing for both kids and adults that may make shopping for the perfect clothes easier. Also, for kids, there are stores that offer outfits for various ages of children with coordinating colors that look great together and make shopping for your session a breeze! Clothes for kids don't need to consist of identical outfits, but rather outfits that go well together. For example, consider a boy wearing a multicolored plaid button-down shirt and khakis and his sister wearing a solid-colored sundress that matches one of the colors in his shirt.
Consider a diaper cover or solid white diaper for baby photo sessions (if they won't be wearing clothes). This will look much better than the typical cartoon characters covering most disposable diapers! Also, solid white underwear or bloomers for young girls wearing skirts or dresses is recommended so if they end up in a photo they won't stand out (i.e. of your child sitting on the grass).
Children may be barefoot for all or part of their session. This can be fun for them and help create fun portraits. Running around barefoot is a great part of being a carefree kid! If you plan on changing your child's clothing during the session, please don't forget matching shoes for each outfit (if they will be wearing shoes).
Hats are an adorable accessory for kids. Specifically, knitted hats on babies and young children look great in pictures! If you decide to bring a hat, please don't put it on until after we take photos without it (due to “hat head”) before putting it on. Feel free to bring a special blanket, toy, or stuffed animal to your photo session. You may want to hide these from your child initially, if you want photos without the items as well, incase they decide they don't want to let them go once they have them.
For seniors - Senior sessions include two outfit changes (if desired). This will allow for a total of three outfits including the outfit you arrive wearing to your session. Consider including a casual outfit as well as a more dressy outfit. Don't forget to bring matching shoes for each outfit. Extra shoes are easy to forget! Feel free to bring your prom dress or favorite t-shirt and jeans! Always wearing hoodies? Let's get a picture of you wearing one! Have a class ring? Bring it! You can also be photographed in your cap and gown. This is especially helpful for seniors who weren't happy with the photos taken by their school's photographer. For studio sessions you will be able to choose from a variety of backgrounds to create a unique portrait.
Feel free to bring accessories to help remember this time in your life. These may include cell phones, purses, bags, or headphones. Don't forget to bring props, if desired, too (see examples above). Your session should be fun and all about you! My goal is to capture who you are and what has meaning to you during this incredibly special time in your life. For anyone considering applying to college, consider applications that request or allow for the submission of a photo. Seniors, consult with your parents to make sure they approve of your choices..