What to Wear

Almost every client asks what they should wear to their portrait session.  This is an important question because your clothing will reflect “you” and set the mood of the photo.  I don’t mean to suggest that you have to go buy all new clothes, {unless you want to and then feel free to tell your husband that it is all my fault} but putting some time and thought into your wardrobe can make a big difference in your photos.  You want to be yourself, but there is nothing wrong with being your best self!

Newborn sessions- your baby doesn’t need any clothing.  Even the smallest newborn clothing swallows them and fails to show off their sweet freshness.  If you plan to be in some family shots, black for the family is flattering and makes the baby the center of attention.  I recommend moms and sisters in solid black or white/beige/tan/nude tank tops or soft shirts or dresses.  I prefer young brothers with jeans and no shirt.  But if they aren’t comfortable with that they can dress like Dad- a neutral or black (to coordinate with you) solid colored snug t-shirt is best. Please try to avoid button-up dress shirts.  This shoot is really all about the baby, and your clothing will hardly show.   Your newborn session prep guide will give you more details.

Maternity sessions- You must wear something form fitting to show off that bump… that IS the point after all. By this I mean something that clings to the underside of your belly as well as the top. If you want more coverage, a kimono is very flattering over a snug dress or outfit.  Also, I highly recommend dressing feminine. A low skirt with a snug top is a great choice, or a slim form fitting dress. Fun accessories, scarves, and cute shoes add a nice touch.  If you choose to show the bare skin of your belly, pre-pregnancy jeans look great unbuttoned and folded down below the belly.  (but forgive yourself if they don’t fit!!) Try to avoid the maternity pants with panels if you plan to show some belly skin.   I also have beautiful maternity gowns with sheer fabric that you are welcome to use… you might want some nude colored panties to go with them plus a tube top/bandeau.   Make sure whatever you choose doesn’t make you one giant blob from boob to butt… you want your shirt to be tight below your chest so that you can tell where breasts stop and belly begins.  I also highly recommend something fitted over the whole belly, otherwise we spend a lot of time trying to show the curves of your bump through all the fabric. Trust me on this!

For all sessions in general..

My Top 10 Suggestions

1. Don’t be afraid to try bold colors! I love color.  But NO NEON… it reflects on your skin. This includes hot pink.  Gold/mustard and navy photograph really well and look great together. Please try to avoid solid white or solid black items.

2. Accessories are your friend! Chunky necklaces, colored or textured scarves, statement shoes (or no shoes!) are all great ideas.  Shoes matter! Big white sneakers are eye sores. Hats can be wonderful props as long as they don’t hide your face.

3. Choose between trendy or timeless.  Trendy reflects who you are NOW, classic will always look lovely without looking dated.  Neither one is wrong, but stick with one or the other.

4. Thin layers and assorted textures look spectacular in photographs.  Think cardigans with a flower on it, a coat with unique details, a cool scarf, funky leggings, a tank with a sheer blouse on top, etc.

5. Coordinate a family, don’t match.  This is important!  You want to flow together, not look like you are trying to wear a family uniform.  Pick a few colors and have different people use them in different places. Don’t mix too many patterns. (see my suggestion photos below)

6. Kiddos- Little girls are only little for a little while… let them be girly! tutus, ruffle rompers, funky leggings, bright headbands, chunky pearls, etc!  (I have SO MUCH of this in my studio for your use)  Matilda Jane, Persnickity, Zara, Lacey Lane, and Joyfolie are really popular brands for girl’s portraiture. Janie & Jack, Zara, J Crew, and Gap are good for boys. I also have gorgeous dresses in sizes 6 months to girls 8.  I think little boys are adorable in a long-sleeve button-up, a funky t-shirt over it, and a beanie. I also have a soft spot for little cowboys. Let them be unique and show some personality!  (plus if they like what they are wearing they are likely to be much happier)

7. Ladies, be feminine! Looking girly is ALWAYS more flattering in photos… especially for seniors and moms-to-be. Skirts, dresses, and feminine blouses give you a soft appearance and affect the way you carry yourself.  False eyelashes make your eyes pop but too much makeup just looks heavy, so be wary of that. But whatever my advice, you should still be yourself… if you never wear heels, don’t wear 6 inch pumps!

8. Coordinate baby with your family… but for shots of baby alone, I almost always ask to strip them down to a diaper.  Baby fresh skin and chubby thighs can’t be beat. I’ve got cool props for them, too.

9.  Don’t wear logos, characters, or brand names across your shirt.  I don’t recommend all wearing jeans/khakis and the same color shirt…I know it is popular, but a bit boring.  I prefer you avoid white shirts.

10. Consider your setting.  If we are outdoors in a wooded area, dark green might blend in.  If we are using my garnet sofa for a family shoot, red  probably won’t look very good. You don’t want your kids to be cold/hot, so be prepared for the weather. Also, I often shoot on a ranch… wear shoes you can walk in, or at least bring some.

Remember, these are not hard and fast rules. Just good suggestions that should sometimes be broken.  Feel free to ask me about anything you have in mind.

Below are a few family coordinated suggestions.




Here are even more tips and examples that you won’t want to miss!




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