What To Wear For Pictures


March 8, 2013

So, you’re about to have your portrait session with me and you’re wondering what you should wear.  Well, my resounding answer is whatever you feel comfortable and beautiful and most-like-YOU in.  But if you’re anything like me, maybe you need a little more help than that.  Because I feel comfortable in all twenty five of my cardigans, but I can’t make up my mind about which one to wear when I’m getting my picture taken.  What? Did I just admit to my cardigan obsession?


A QUICK SIDE NOTE ESPECIALLY FOR ENGAGEMENT PHOTO SESSIONS: If youre getting ready for your engagement session, it’s always fun to bring along props if you want to do something like that. So feel free to bring things along that really reflect your fantastic personalities. For instance, I’ve had a couple bring along a picnic set up because they met at a picnic. Another couple bought cotton candy and had fun eating it together.  Another couple had maps and suitcases and paper airplanes, so they brought them along because they’re both really into traveling. The list is endless! Suggestions: Bikes, polaroid camera, a favorite journal,magazines you like reading. Anything! 🙂 Don’t hesitate to bring anything that truly reflects you individually or as a couple.  Along with props, its also a great idea to choose two different outfits for your session.  Perhaps a more formal or dressy outfit to begin with, and then once you’ve both warmed up to being in front of a camera a little bit more, you can change into a more casual outfit.  This is also a great way to be able to incorporate two different color schemes if you’d like.  Also, often times brides-to-be will have their practice run regarding hair and makeup for the engagement shoot.  If you’re working with a professional to do your hair or makeup for your wedding, often times the hairstylists and makeup artist will offer a trial run to try things out and make sure everything is the way you want it for your wedding.  And and engagement shoot is an awesome time to do this trial run!  This can help you feel a little more ‘done-up’ for the shoot and can even boost your confidence. Now let me be clear, I’m not saying you need do this AT ALL! Professionally done hair and makeup is certainly not a requirement for a beautiful portrait session. But I love to mention this idea, because I personally didn’t think of doing this until our photographer mentioned it to me for or engagement shoot, and I was so glad that she did.

END TRANSMISSION OF SIDE NOTE. So, when choosing color palette(s) and outfits for your portrait session, think about what you are planning on using your images for.  Are they going in your brightly colored family room? Or maybe your neutral colored hallway?  Are you going to be using them on your yellow-themed wedding invitations? Anyway, I’ve put together some different color schemes below so you can get an idea and really make it your own from there. Please don’t feel like you need to go out and find these exact outfits or else your portrait session is ruined.  Im just putting these out here to spark your imagination and give you some ideas.  I find that these outfits go well with each other, without being too matchy matchy.

I love a pastel color palette for engagement sessions.  This muted set of colors works well in any season, but especially in the Winter and Spring.  Pastels bring out the romantic sweet and tenderness of the couple.  Mixing pastels with deep rich browns also adds a nice vintage nautical feel to your outfit.

An exceedingly popular color which looks beautiful in almost any setting. Outfits with blue elements create a sense of calm and quiet – perfect for a more introverted couple or natural backdrops. Blue can be dressed up or down to fit your tastes, and can be used either as a main color or accenting in your outfits.

Yellow is a wonderful color to wear in outdoor, buttery natural-light shoots, or down by the docks, and looks amazing on camera! Although yellow can be difficult for some to wear because of its tendency to wash out skin tones, patterns with yellow or a single yellow garment in an otherwise neutral palette adds wonders to your images. Adding yellow florals, jewelry, or accents also helps to make your photos go “POP!”.

Green looks beautiful combined with earth tones, and therefore makes a wonderful choice for outdoor shoots and backdrops of wood and stone. Even small accents of green, such as jewelry, scarves, or shoes, look wonderful with whites and tans.

Strong, joyful, and happy, adding orange to your engagement session is always a hit on camera. Couples with a more extroverted nature might enjoy orange-themed outfits. Orange also looks wonderful in urban settings, such as against concrete, brick, and stone.

A symbol of power, passion, blood, and love, red is a bold and striking color for your engagement session. Since red is truly a brilliant, attention-grabbing color, we recommend peppering your outfit with red accents instead of making red the main color for all garments.

A violet-themed engagement outfit exudes playful sophistication and looks great on camera! Small accents of purple, such as scarves and accessories, can also liven up an otherwise muted palette.


And take a look at some of our real-life clients to see how they put together sets of outfits that went really well together without being too matchy matchy!


  1. Vicky M says:

    Those outfit ideas are awesome! I love the purple one. Do you have a pug that can be borrowed for the pastel palette?

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