"What should I wear?" is perhaps the most common question clients send my way.  This guide will help you think through your clothing selection, although I'm always happy to answer questions before your photo session!

Step One: Think in Print

What is the use for your photos?  Don't say "to post on Facebook," even if that's what has you most excited.  Will they be your holiday card?  Engagement or graduation announcement?  Guest book?  Added to pages in a family memory book?  Displayed in your home?

For holiday cards, think about what sort of card you send.  Are you a traditionalist?  The purple and yellow my family chose a few years ago worked perfectly with our bright "MERRY" card, but greens and reds would be more traditional.  For graduation announcements or wedding save the dates, are there other colors that will be included automatically, such as school colors or wedding colors?  If so, you don't need to match those perfectly but make sure you don't clash.


Senior Portraits

Blue and silver are her school colors. The backdrop provides the blue, and her dress works with the earthy tones of the wall.


When planning for photos which will be displayed in home, consider the room.  My living room features blues, so we recently wore blues, greens, and whites to a session to compliment the decor.  A pale pink nursery may call for pale grey or blue tones in photos.  Heads up: Pinks or greens or reds right by your face can cause a color cast.

Step Two: Think Location

Consider clothing that will compliment the backdrop.  Bold backdrops go well with solid and simple clothing.  Simple brick backdrops look great with patterns or bright colors.  Red brick photographs differently than fall leaves.



Bright backdrop

A simple dress style with a pattern goes well with a bright but solid backdrop.

But what if it's not just me?

Step three: Family and Groups

What happens when you need to coordinate more than one person?  The easy answer seems to be matching, but the truth is, complimentary without matching perfectly often works best.  Think about the color wheel - yellow with purple or orange with blue are strict complimentary colors, but consider branching off slightly.  Mustard with maroon, or navy with an orange or even a hint of pink.  Analogous colors are those that are next to each other and also work well - red/orange/yellow for example.  


Family of Four

Color scheme of analogous colors in blues and greens stand out beautifully against pink and red roses.

If you're not sure about which colors compliment each other, check out the color wheel!  Trust me, I'm not afraid to google when I need help.

Step four: Who are you?

You want to be comfortable and look like yourself for photos.  Now, I'm not saying yoga pants are your best bet, but a family that loves to be casual can wear jeans instead of suits or dresses.  If you love to dress up, go for it!  Grab something that makes YOU feel handsome or beautiful with a cut and color that reflect you, your style, and compliments your body.  Show off your favorite features!  Yes, even if you just had a baby.  For newborn photos, wear something that makes you feel beautiful.  The family below wore jeans, a button down for dad and a cute top for mom, and of course the baby could've worn anything to be adorable (and had quite a selection of adorable outfits!)  She matches her room, which is where photos will hang.



You probably aren't going to rock a formal gown with a newborn. Be beautiful in jeans or a maxi dress!

Step five: Finishing touches

"Hi, my name is Megan, and I own too many accessories."  Wait, you can NEVER own too many!  Statement earrings, a bold necklace, or a delicate bracelet are the final touches on a photo ready outfit.  Check for hair ties on your wrist or my own personal downfall, always wearing a running watch.  Much like with clothing and backdrops - simple clothes with bold jewelry or scarves, or bold clothes with simple accessories.



A patterned dress with layered long necklaces and a pretty set of bracelets.

Step six: HAVE FUN

Guess what?  You will look great if you reflect joy and love.