Portrait Session Styling Tips

Tips to consider when choosing your wardrobe

Start With a Color Palette

Ladies, I recommend starting with your outfit first! Pick something you love & feel great, like a beautiful dress or statement piece (Rent the Runway is always a fun option for something new). Then, choose the other outfits in colors that coordinate with yours. Neutral color palettes are my first choice for a few reasons -- they avoid any color tones being cast onto the skin, photograph well in all locations, and stand the test of time. Neutrals are whites, creams and beige and can include lighter blues and blush, too. I recommending choosing two to three main colors and adding in coordinating shades and patterns for interest.

Consider Location 

Regarding color - if we're photographing at a location with lots of trees, I recommend bright neutrals like cream and white. This will ensure that you pop against the background (so avoid black, navy, and dark denim here). On the other hand, if our location is brighter or offers lots of negative space (like the DIA, a bright modern interior, or the beach), you can either go with with lighter colors for a monochromatic look, or contrast with the background and wear darker shades.

 

Pattern Play

Adding one or two patterns creates dynamic. Try laying everyone's outfits out to see how they work together; a couple subtle patterns in your color palette round out the look and add interest. I recommend at least one pattern for families of 2-3. Any two patterns don't need to be alike, either - mixing patterns is good!

Texture & Movement

Knits, satin and lace look great on camera. They help to add interest when everyone is wearing similar colors. Varying materials will keep your look interesting, too; for example, if dad's wearing jeans, maybe mom wears a flowing skirt and the boys wear khakis. For women, I always recommend long skirts or dresses when possible because they are flattering and photograph beautifully; they flow when you walk, still look great when you sit, and don't bunch or pull on your legs like pants often do.

Feel Free to Get Fancy -- or Not!

Feel free to go casual, or dress to the nines; evening gowns look beautiful in outdoor settings. Most importantly, wear what you feel your best in.

Dressing Toddlers & Babies

For infants, I love the look of a plain onesie (especially white) or a knit one-piece outfit (like this one). You can accessorize with a coordinating bonnet or stockings, too. I also love knotted sleep dresses for newborns (like this one by Solly Baby). For children under two, I suggest a onesie/bodysuit as opposed to a t-shirt, as they are quite active and t-shirts can often bunch or ride up over the belly.