Style Guide

Need some ideas about what to wear for your photo session? My main recommendation is easy:  Wear what you feel good in.  My goal is to capture you being YOU, so dressing up as someone you’re not doesn’t really work.  If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it will show in the photos.

If you don’t need specific tips and you just want some wardrobe inspiration, check out my wardrobe style boards!

If you do want some tips about choosing an outfit(s) for your session, read on:

  • Pick one outfit or signature piece that you really like, and then build the rest of your family’s outfits around it.
  • Save your bold prints and patterns for skirts and pants, not shirts or tops.  A big pattern on top can overwhelm your face in photos.
  • Go easy on greens if we’re photographing in a park or other grassy or wooded place.  You don’t want to blend into the background.
  • If you, like me, are a child of the 80s who is inexplicably drawn to fluorescent colors, don’t give in!  Fluorescent and other really bright colors cast onto faces, necks and hair, giving you glow-in-the-dark highlights and skin tones.  Not a great look for photos.
  • Don’t match, coordinate!  You most likely don’t wear matchy-matchy clothing in your normal life, so don’t get photos of your entire family in white shirts and denim (plus, white isn’t flattering on many people — it washes them out).  The important thing is to coordinate colors:  Pick two or three main colors and throw in some accent pops of color.  Try to stay in the same tone family (jewel, warm, cool, bold, vibrant, muted, pastel, etc.) and feel free to mix patterns and styles.  And remember: Not every person in the photo needs to wear all of the main colors. Split them up to make the photo more playful and dynamic.
  • Layer!  Layers add dimension and depth, plus they give you more options for different looks in the same session.  Add scarves, pendant necklaces, belts, cardigans, blazers, tights, bowties, hats, etc (depending on the weather, of course).
  • Dress for the environment.  If we’re shooting in a field of flowers, a cocktail dress and heels might not be the best choice.  Be sure that what you are wearing makes sense for where we are shooting — unless we are intentionally going for an edgy or discordant look.
  • Remember your shoes!  I don’t mean just remember to bring them with you, but think about what shoes you are pairing with your outfits.  Babies and smaller kids might be held in their parents’ arms to bring them up to eye level with their parents, which also brings their shoes right into the center of the photo.  Since shoes will make it into at least a few shots, be intentional about which shoes everyone is wearing.
  • Play to your strengths.  We all know what we like about our bodies and what we’re not quite as fond of.  Know your body type and work with styles that will flatter your figure and show of your favorite parts.

If you’d like some ideas for coordinating outfits for every season and occasion, check out the style boards.  I’ll be updating these periodically, so stop by to see what’s new!

Styling Note:  Newborn, maternity or baby sessions are special.  For these, I like to keep things very simple and minimal.  We want to showcase that gorgeous baby (or belly), so I recommend sticking to black, white or grey for the adults.  Older siblings look great in soft colors that add some lightness without overpowering the baby, but bright colors are fine if that really expresses big brother’s or sister’s personality.  Also, since newborns will be wearing minimal to no clothing for the session, I keep the room very warm.  This means that everyone else should be dressed appropriately — light clothing with lots of skin showing for skin-on-skin contact with the little one.