One of the most common questions I get as clients and I work together to plan for their photo session is: What do I wear?  This is a simple but really important question and the more thought and preparation that can go into this before the shoot, the better your images will look and the happier you’ll be. And that’s all I really want at the end of the day. Happy You. 🙂

So what DO you wear? The question might be simple, but the answer is not so much.

As a starting point, I say: What is your style – be true to it, but take it up a notch. If you’re a jeans and cowboy boots kinda gal, be sure to polish those boots (or use this as an excuse to splurge on those ones you’ve been eyeing for the last year) and wear jeans that flatter your figure. I think a photo session is a great excuse to freshen up your wardrobe – with accessories if nothing else. And consider your session the chance to be playful with your style and have fun. If you dream about wearing a big poufy dress with the guys in your family all wearing tuxes and top hats, do it! That’s awesome (and call me immediately if you haven’t already – I want to be the one to shoot this).

Next: What is your intention with your photographs? Will they hang in your formal living room on the mantle of your fireplace? Or will they be in your child’s brightly colored room? Thinking about the location you’ll be displaying your images can help set the tone for the level of dress as well as get you thinking about colors you might like to incorporate.

What to avoid: Matching! Avoid matching! No more family matching! Shall I elaborate? I get the idea that you’re all family, but you don’t need to look like a single solid object with your matching color tops and bottoms. You’re coming to me and I am a creative person. You’re a human being and human beings are creative beings. That’s why any of us are here. I’m going to be very annoyed if your whole family shows up in matching outfits. Consider this your warning… 😉 (I’m serious)**

What to remember: The details. Don’t forget jewelry, scarves, belts and other accessories you use, but might forget as you plan your outfits. Accessories are also a great way to bring in pops of color and to bring everyone’s look all together.

I also have a couple of sources I recommend to provide inspiration. One is Pinterest. You can check out my boards HERE. Another great source is the Style Your Life blog. Jennifer is a constant font of creative outfit ideas and she has pieces that are very affordable and provides links to show you exactly where to buy them. She keeps it simple, fun and good-lookin. Check it out and be inspired.

And finally, check out some of the pics from past sessions below. I’ll give my quick comments on why the outfits work.


Sisters – both in natural fiber dresses. The dresses are very different colors, but the silhouettes are similar and the fact that these two look like the sisters they are helps pull it all together.

Sisters, again. Again, they don’t match, but their fabrics are similar and lightweight and Ariel’s patterned shirt pulls the same pink as Derrien’s.

Family with four young children. They pull this together with warm textures and warm and neutral tones. Four young children and no matching — amazing – hats off, BRAVO!

Purples and orange sit on almost opposite sides of the color wheel, which means they actually look good together. Opposites attract. And I love all the textures here.

The Brown Family chose to use more jewel tones for their holiday portraits. They pull the look together with both their great genetics and great scarves.

I love the difference in mother and daughter in this shot. The warm tones in contrast with the crisp white. I can’t tell you why it works, but it does.

And the McLeman family really pulled this together amazingly. They imported most of the people in this picture from across the Pond and they all look clean and crisp, with just a few pops of color on the little ladies that make the image complete.

And then these two… Not sure they come cuter than this. Mom worked very hard on organizing outfits for this shoot and I think her hard work paid off perfectly.

These colors and patterns were perfect for her young girls and when you see the full family shot next…

…you’ll see how it worked so well with Mom and Dad’s more neutral tones.

Please leave your feedback and other great styling tips and ideas below! See ya!


**Urgh** Of course, as soon as I

About the Author katymosesphotos

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