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But, What do I Wear?

Don't know what to wear to your photography shoot? You are not alone! If you booked a photography session, you've already invested in your time & money. Photoshoots are luxury, but that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune on clothes. Don't make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to choose what you're wearing for your special day. Before you walk out the door, you should say to yourself, "DANG! WE LOOK GOOOOOOOD!" We will delve into what to wear for different occasions, seasons, ages and flattering looks. I will also include where to purchase some of these clothes, and what to avoid. 

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Jackets on the Hanger Bar

Colors, Patterns & Textures

Although most of these suggestions are focusing on Family Sessions, the same methods apply to all kinds of subject matter.

 

Don't match-coordinate. Start by picking 2 or 3 colors that compliment each other. Three colors should be the maximum amount of colors in your Photoshoot. One out of the 3 colors should definitely be a neutral like Brown, Tan, White, Black or Gray. A full scheme of Neutrals, also works. Next, break those colors down into solids & patterns. The majority of the group should wear solids, with a mix of complimentary patterns. Texture can be accomplished thorough accessories and fabrics. 

This first subject here may look complicated, but hopefully you already have at least one color in mind to start with. There's no need to read through ALL of them. I have each color categorized into seasons and their complimentary colors. 

Colors 

1. RED

1. Red

For all colors, it's best to stick to MUTED VERSIONS of them-Especially our first color here. If you're choosing Red as one of your colors, make sure it's complimenting your complexion number one. Also, sometimes Red can be problematic by creating a reflection onto your face. Be mindful of how close the color is to your face, i.e. the neckline of a shirt or dress. Because it's so bold, the individuals wearing Red will stand out the most too. 

 

*The best seasons for Red are Winter, Autumn or sometimes Summer.

WHAT TO WEAR IN A PHOTOSHOOT

Shades of Red work well with

(Broken down into Seasons)

SPRING

-Red is not the best color to wear in the Spring. 

SUMMER

Summer 

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Mustard Yellow, Butter & Honey
-Navy Blue

-Light Gray

-Patriotic Red, White & Blue

AUTUMN

Autumn:

-Mustard Yellow & Honey

-Burnt Sienna, Honey, Yam, & Amber. 

-Warm Browns, Coffee

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Black 

WINTER

Winter:

-Forest Green 

-Black 

-Medium or Light Gray

-Warm Browns, Coffee

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Silver

-Gold

-Warm whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Jeweled Blues

2. Orange

2. Orange

Stay away from Bright Pumpkin or Neon range all together. You'll want to stick to Orange variations such as Burnt Sienna, Honey, Yam, & Amber. 

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Shades of Orange work well with

(Broken down into Seasons)

SPRING

-Orange is not the best color to wear in the Spring 

SUMMER

Summer 

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Mustard Yellow, Butter & Honey
-Navy Blue

-Light Gray

-Patriotic Red, White & Blue

AUTUMN

Autumn:

-Mustard Yellow & Honey

-Burnt Sienna, Honey, Yam, & Amber. 

-Warm Browns, Coffee

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Black 

WINTER

Winter:

-Forest Green 

-Black 

-Medium or Light Gray

-Warm Browns, Coffee

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Silver

-Gold

-Warm whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Jeweled Blues

 

 

 

 

4.Green

This color is tricky and has a HUGE scale of shades. Avoid Kelly, Neon, Lime or Yellowish-Greens. Choose greens such as: Forest Green, Mint, Olive, Army Green, Pine, Teal, Moss, Emerald. 

*Green works for any season. Shades of Green work well with (Broken down into Seasons):

 

Spring & Summer 

Mint, Teal & other Cooler Greens:

-Rose, Baby Pink, & other Pale, Pastel Pinks

-Lavender & Lilac 

-Warm whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Light Gray

-Jeweled Blues

Autumn:

Olive, Forrest Green & Jeweled Greens:

-Mustard Yellow & Honey

-Burnt Sienna, Honey, Yam, & Amber. 

-Warm Browns

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

Winter:

Muted & Jeweled Greens:

-Dark & Muted  Reds (Holiday)

-Black 

-Light or Medium Grays

-Warm Browns

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Silver

-Gold

5. Blue

Now, I've read that Blue is statistically the World's favorite color. It's no surprise that many of my clients dress in all different kinds of Blues for all seasons. Blue is so fantastic that it's cool to even do a monochrome color scheme of itself. (Just make sure to throw in at least one or two neutrals).

*Blue works for any season. Shades of Blue work well with (Broken down into Seasons):

Spring 

Cool & Light Blues:

-Rose, Baby Pink, & other Pale, Pastel Pinks

-Lavender & Lilac 

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Light Gray

-Butter & other Pale Yellows 

-Mint, Teal, Turquoise

Summer 

Cool, Light, Jeweled & Dark Blues:

-Rose, Baby Pink, & other Pale, Pastel Pinks

-Lavender & Lilac 

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Light Gray

-Butter & other Pale Yellows 

-Patriotic Red, White & Blue

-Mint, Teal, Turquoise

Autumn:

Dark or Jeweled Blues:

-Mustard Yellow & Honey 

-Burnt Sienna, Honey, Yam, & Amber. 

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Warm Browns (Choose either Lighter Brown with Darker Blue or Darker Brown with Lighter Blue)

Winter:

Dark & Jeweled Blues:

-Dark & Muted  Reds

-Black 

-Light or Medium Grays

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Silver

-Gold

 

6. Purple

Purple can range from Burgundy to cooler Pastels. Think cool in the Summer & Spring, and more jeweled like Burgundy and Amethyst in Autumn & Winter.

*Purple works for any season. Shades of Purple work well with (Broken down into Seasons):

Spring & Summer:

Lavender, Lilac & other Pastel Purples:

-Rose, Baby Pink, & other Pale, Pastel Pinks

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Light Gray

-Light & Pastel Blues

-Mint or other Pastel Greens

Autumn:

Burgundy, Maroon & other Jeweled Purples:

-Mustard Yellow & Honey 

-Burnt Sienna, Honey, Yam, & Amber. 

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Warm Lighter Browns

-Black 

Winter:

Burgundy, Maroon & other Jeweled Purples:

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Black 

-Light or Medium Grays

-Silver

-Gold

7. Pink

Pink is fantastic for Spring, especially when those cherry blossoms are in full swing. Pair pink with other pastels or neutrals for an light & airy look for Spring or Summer. 

*Shades of Pink are for Spring & Summer:

Spring & Summer:

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Light Gray

-Light & Pastel Blues

-Mint or other Pastel Greens

-Lavender & Lilac 

8. Neutrals

We are talking Whites, Browns, Grays & Blacks. Neutrals can either accent a more vivid color, or be worn together. The only thing I would not recommend is a very, very dark brown with Black. You're not going to get that "pop" in your images, with the lack of contrast of both colors being so dark. If you're going to go all neutral, make sure to get your variety from textures, layers and accessories.  

Patterns 

ALRIGHTY! That was the most complicated part! Phew! So, you picked your color scheme. You're either deciding to do solids, where you'll get your variety through textures, or you're going to bring in some patterns. Pick one or two "staple pieces" with patterns. Mix & match where those patterns are being worn too. Which patterns should you do? Stick to smaller patterns. 

-If you're going casual & masculine, some really cool tiny patterns can include cactuses, dinosaurs, fish, arrows, polka dots, geometric shapes, flowers or checkers. 

-Feminine patterns include FLOWERS, geometric shapes, boho designs, lemons, strawberries, stripes (stick to vertical for adults), polka dots. 

 

-Plaid is a category of its own and is one of the most popular patterns for Autumn & Winter. If you have multiple people in your photoshoot, be sure to stick to that rule of mixing it with solids. This pattern can become overwhelming with multiple family members. More people should be wearing solids, than the people who are wearing plaid. I guess that would be the most simplified way to put it.  

 

 

-Wording: Stay away from wording, unless it is specific to the theme. These are usually for younger kids' occasions such as: "Big Brother"/"Little Sister" shirts; Birthday shirts for Milestone photos; Newborn singles shoot (but only for a few). Also, remember that if you do choose wording, it's inevitable that you will NOT see the wording in every pose. 

-Graphic tees: Listen, I love the every day "Rocker" look. I myself tend to dress in that style outside of my professional life. Incorporating graphic tees or wording really depends on what the photos are for. I would advise elevating that sort of look, if that's what you truly want. You can do this with accessories like jewelry, boots, hats, flannels, hair accessories, etc. You can even do one casual look, and bring another outfit for a more formal look. Senior Portraits  

Absolute No-Go's for patterns:

  • Tie-dye 

  • Large Logos (A tiny one on a polo shirt should be okay)

  • Large patterns

  • One large picture or shape

  • Faces (Unless it's a tribute to someone)

  • Cartoons 

  • Animal Prints 

  • Designer names

  • Horizontal stripes on adults

Textures 

Texture is going to be used through the material of your clothing and or accessories. Cotton, Denim, Leather and Suede are the most common fabrics to work with. 

Texture is going to give the Seasonal vibe. In warmer weather, your clothing should feel more flowy, light, airy, comfortable or casual. You want to go with Cotton, Denim, Lace, Silk or Linen. Just think of the feel you're going for. Do a small mix of the materials in your group or your own look. If you feel you need more texture, add a hat, earing, necklace or light jacket. 

Autumn is the season of all seasons for texture. Layers, layers, layers! We have denim, tweed, suede, leather/faux leather, wool jackets; etc. Scarfs, sweaters, boots, hats, the list goes on. (And a fan favorite-plaid flannel.) Dress comfortable with those chunky, cozy materials. 

 

In the Winter you can even push this further with fur/faux fur, ear muffs, mittens, gloves, peacoats or other formal coats. Is this the season of all seasons instead? Maybe, hmm...

Dress to Flatter

This is mainly for the adults. Trust me, I am the WORST at shopping and picking out clothes for myself. I know how difficult this is, especially for the women. There are so many different body shapes, so one style does not flatter all. Think of what you like to accentuate, and what you want to lessen. 

Sleeves

For most adults, I highly recommend avoiding clothing that has spaghetti straps, thin straps, very short sleeves, or sleeveless. 

 

Neckline

 

Dress or Skirt Length 

It's best to stay longer or mid-drift. If you want to go shorter, make sure  

Kids

Holidays 

Shopping

  • Flattering Looks

  • Mind neck lines

  • Find the best neckline for your bust, if ya got em'

  • No short dresses or skirts for girls three and under. Babies should wear bloomers or diaper covers under their dress or skirt. Pick out some cute ones with ruffles, accenting color or small pattern. Toddlers are going to be on the move. We usually only have a small window to shoot, and wouldn't want to waste that time on adjusting things.  

 

 

 

What to wear

  • Incorporate textures and layers with jackets, scarves, coats, vests, sweaters or gloves

  • Accessories like hats, earrings, and necklaces if you want to add some flare

  • Think “Timeless”

  • The classic button-down; Plain tee-shirts & jeans if you’re going for a casual look

  • Tunic dresses & leggings ; Sweaters & jeans or casual dresses are also great

  • Sundresses, especially in the Summer & Spring!

  • Consider your home décor

  • Make sure you're comfortable!

  • A hat or sunglasses always make for a few fun shots

  • It's adorable when the babies have bow ties, suspenders, headbands, bows, or hats 

 

 

 

What NOT  to wear:

  • Busy patterns like stripes or tie dye (tiny patterns like little flowers or little polka-dots are okay)

  • Unless specific to a theme, I would also suggest staying away from cartoon characters and/or wording

  • Large logos

  • Short skirts or short dresses

  • Bright neon colors like lime green, orange or hot pink

  • Dressing the whole family in the same outfits. Some matching outfits for siblings are cute depending on the ages. I would recommend matching by keeping the same color scheme or theme instead.   

  • Completely contrasting colors such as one sibling in a full white outfit and one in a full black outfit; One in green, one in red (holidays), etc. 

  • Fluffy dresses or suits for newborns 

 

*The best seasons for Orange are Autumn & Summer

Shades of Orange work well with (Broken down into Seasons):

 

Summer 

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Mustard Yellow, Butter & Honey
-Navy & Jeweled Blues

-Pinks

-Teal, Turquoise

Autumn:

-Mustard Yellow & Honey

-Warm Browns, Coffee

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Black 

-Darker Blues, Navy

-Purples & Burgundy 

-Teal, Turquoise & other Jeweled Blues

-Black (Make sure to especially use the right Orange with Black. That combination would create a Halloween look-unless that's the specific theme!)

3. Yellow

Avoid Neon or Greenish Yellows. The shades of Yellow that I adore are: Mustard Yellow, Butterscotch, Gold & Butter. 

*The best seasons for Yellow are Spring, Summer & Autumn

Spring

Pale & Pastel Yellows:

-Rose, Baby Pink, & other Pale, Pastel Pinks

-Lavender & Lilac 

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Light Gray

-Light & Pastel Blues

-Mint or other Pastel Greens

Summer 

Warmer or Pastel Yellows:

-Rose, Baby Pink, & other Pale, Pastel Pinks

-Lavender & Lilac 

-Jeweled Purples

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige 

-Light Gray

-Pastel & Light, Muted Oranges

-Jeweled Blues 

-Navy or Darker Blues

-Pastel Blues

-Mint, Olive 

Autumn:

Warm Yellows, Mustard Yellow, etc.:

-Burgundy (1,000%!) My favorite combination!

-Purples, Maroon

-Burnt Sienna, Honey, Yam, & Amber. 

-Warm Browns

-Warm Whites, Cream, Ivory, Off-White

-Tan, Khaki, Beige

-Jeweled Blues & Navy

-Black (but make sure no one looks like a bumble bee)