Why the wardrobe you choose can make you love or hate your pictures!

You have probably searched at least 30-50 different photographers. Dissecting their portfolios and packages. For some, it all comes down to pricing and availability. Others, may choose a photographer based on their style of photography. Nonetheless, you’ve booked your session and now you’re done.


But you aren't! Now the real fun begins! Now you need to decide what kind of final image you want and then coordinate you and your family’s outfits. Have no fear because now, with the many posts on Pinterest, you can find everything you ever wanted to know on the subject. In an effort to take this one step further, here is some of my advice in the world of wardrobe guidance for family photos you will absolutely cherish!



1. First, lets focus on the positives! If you were to ask me I would say YESSSS to these timeless and classic pieces:

  • flowy dresses

  • button downs

  • wrap dresses

  • pea coats

  • cardigans

  • ballet flats

  • knee high boots

  • scarves

  • blazers

  • fedoras

  • Sun hats

  • Suspenders

  • Tam

➳Trendy is good but remember to keep trendy to the added accent pieces. However, try to keep them timeless and memorable.


Take the time to coordinate with a color scheme. Sticking within the same color tones will let the colors flow in your family portrait. Don't be afraid to use a pop of color to add a little personality to your session. It will break up the color scheme a bit without overpowering the image.

  • This really goes without saying, but I'm saying it for a reason! Wear clothes that fit you, are ironed and clean! Also, keep in mind photoshopping wrinkles out of clothing is very time consuming for the photographer and can incur additional costs to the client. I know! You may be saying...."Really Renee? Duh, hello!" But you would be surprised what some people find "adequate" to wear! So, I am going to leave that here and move on!


Take into consideration your plans for your photos once you receive them. You put so much time and effort into planning, you’ll want to make the most of of your images. Will they be in the form of wall portraits or canvases? Will you be creating a beautiful album to store your fun photoshoot memories? You’ll surely will want more than just to order holiday cards from your portrait session. This is why you’ll want to ensure your wardrobe is timeless.

  • If Holiday themed cards are part of your wanted outcome from your shoot, communicate that to your photographer and a wardrobe change may be able to be included for that purpose. Perhaps start with a classic look and then end with more of a holiday look specifically for the cards.



2. And now for the "What not to do's"! These are not meant to be negative, but some of these can really turn a picture into a NO! There aren't many, but they are important to follow.


Just say No - to the following.....


Clothing logos - No sports logos like "Nike" or "Adidas"; No brand logos like “Old Navy” or “POLO”, No splashed huge letters across a shirt or down the sleeve, etc. Fun to wear while hanging with friends but sorry, this is never okay for professional photos. While shopping for your wardrobe, just stay away from this trend all together and you will never have this issue.


Matchy - Matchy - It's important to coordinate but be careful to not be that family! You know from like 1990's. A group of people in all the exact same outfit is boring and strange.....and a candidate for funny board games like The Awkward Family Photos Game! It also lacks personality and color. Personalities should shine through with individual outfits.


Busy Patterns - This is kind of a big one! Patterns should be kept to a minimum. The eye should go to the faces in the portrait, not what the subjects are wearing. If you have no choice, try to make sure only one person is wearing the pattern, make sure it’s subtle and pull colors of off the pattern for the rest of the wardrobe pallet.


Let's talk shoes! Specifically tennis shoes! How about a-NO! Personally, I don't think tennis shoes belong in any photo! I photograph at the beach a lot, so in those circumstances, I am a big proponent of no shoes. In my opinion, they don’t look right at the beach. Who hangs out at the beach with shoes on? But shoes in other photography settings can really elevate a story and be an important part of the photo session wardrobe. Patterned or colorful rain boots for a rainy day, cowboy boots paired with a flowy dress for that awesome country girl look, motorcycle or combat boots can amp up that street casual look, boating or dress shoes to lend that extra dose of style, Fancy heels to lend a more elegant, sexy vibe… the possibilities are endless!


3. AND FINALLY!! How Accessories can spruce up your images OR bog them down!

Accessories give your photographs that much needed punch! They lend pops of color, personality, and interest......and they work everyone.


Some of my favorites include:

Hats: From framing the face, to shading the eyes and preventing squinting in the sun, to just overall fun, fun, fun! Perfect props for beach scenes! Hats also strengthen and assist in telling your story better, or even separates the subject from the background and gives the photo some depth.

Scarves and Jewelry: These things are good for giving pops of color, and help to complete an outfit. They can be unexpected bits of fun, too. Shiny necklaces give a little sparkle and can be used as a prop when someone doesn’t know what to do with their hands.

Glasses: Whether sunglasses, reading glasses, movie glasses, retro 80's glasses...whatever glasses, they can be so fun to work with. Novelty glasses, like oversized sunglasses, can have a fun and playful atmosphere on a little one. Reading glasses can enhance a library story or be the perfect thing to pair with a school day theme shoot.



You don’t have to be a fashionista or buy the most expensive outfits. You definitely don’t need go into debt wither, but you do need to put some time and thought and care into your styling. Taking this time will take your photos from gloom to BOOM!


Contact me and let's chat about creating some wall art for you with your timeless moments!


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