Express yourself! (How to DRESS for portraits) {Fredericksburg VA family photographer}

Hands down the question that I get asked the most is how to dress for photographs.  It can be so daunting when you know that you are making a big investment and you are going to be looking at these photos for a long while to figure out how to dress so that you are both timeless and fashionable. Tough balance, but it is easy with a few pointers.

1. Please don’t match.  Please don’t wear white shirts and jeans/khakis.  Please don’t think that everyone should be wearing exactly the same thing for your portrait to be cohesive.  In fact, matching makes everyone appear to blend together and you have to really look at the face to figure who is who.  The magical word is coordinate. And the easiest way to do that is to look at a color wheel. Colors that are opposite of one another coordinate and will be beautiful when combined in various ways in your portraits.

2. For an outdoor session, white should be avoided.  It is unflattering for most skin tones and can become really washed out in direct sun. All rules can be bent or broken, though, so if you are planning on white in your portrait wardrobe, we can discuss the do’s and don’ts during our consultation.

3. Generally, bold colors are more flattering to portrait subjects.  Also, large patterns can be distracting and small patterns typically photograph strangely.  I recommend solid, bold colors. In studio, I do like basic colors- black/white/beige/grey- but I recommend wearing textures such as knits, lace, etc.

4.  Accessorize! A fun scarf and fun jewelry can add punch to the basics.  Bring a hat if you like.  Same for the kids! Just avoid overly trendy items because in a year’s time you want to still enjoy the images.

5. Give some thought to the room/rooms that you will have your images in.  I don”t recommend matching the room but do make sure that your clothing choices coordinate.

6. I think it is a good idea to dress Mom first.  Then the teenage girls.  Then the rest of the family.  These are the members that will most likely feel the most self-conscious, so a great outfit that makes them feel fabulous can give the base for building the rest of the family’s choices.

7. Don’t forget your feet! They will likely show in many pictures, so make sure no one is wearing footwear that doesn’t match!


See you on picture day 🙂

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