What to Wear for Portrait Sessions
I think I will give the title of this post a subtitle as well:
I get the question all the time of “What should I wear for pictures?!” The thing is, sometimes it’s hard to explain it to people. So I thought I’d do a post and give you some visuals. Bottom line? Please, for the LOVE, do whatever you need to do so you don’t end up on awkwardfamilyphotos.com. Unless that’s an amtition of yours for some reason. And then you might want to go with a different photographer. He-he.
I’m not a stylist expert by any means, but the following are Three Rules in Dressing for Portrait Sessions that I wrote and hopefully you will find helpful.
RULE #1: Please Be Comfortable.
If you’re uncomfortable, it SO shows in your pictures. I’m all about cute shoes, however if they’re not comfortable for walking, just bring a comfy pair to slip into when you’re not being photographed.
RULE #2: Learn the art of Matching Without Matching.
Basically, don’t clash. There are hundreds of options that allow you each display your personality, and still coordinate with each other without being matchy-matchy. That right there is what will make your photographer do the Happy Dance.
RULE #3: Special It Up.
There are too many horror stories about people absolutely dreading photos. You can do yourself a favor by making a day of it. Ladies can Special It Up by getting hair and makeup done just for fun. Guys could get a new hat and some funky socks. If you have kids, let the kids pick their own socks, and then build your outfits around what they picked — that would be awesome! Do whatever you need to do to help feel good about yourselves and eachother, and get the kids excited.
Special It Up also applies to: PROPS! I am a huge fan of props. No, not the cheesy fake pillars and silk plants. I mean things you love. Bubbles, balloons, dress-up clothes, picnics, your hat+bowtie collection — it is all inspiration. THIS couple brought some sweet antique books and fishing supplies. The more of your personality you bring with you to your session, the more inspired your photographer will be.
So now I’ll leave you with some awesome images that I think really display good use the the Three Rules.
Below: This photo is by Amelia Lyon. It’s all about the accessories! She is totally being herself, with the vintage flair in her headband, and the gentleman in a relaxed suit that isn’t the same color as his lady’s dress, but coordinates awesomely.
Below: a photo by The Image is Found, of the photographer Amelia Lyon and her family. I think this is another awesome example of Matching without Matching. Amelia’s earings pick up the yellow in her husband’s tie, and then their all tied together with a blue/green theme, yet all the patterns are different.
Below: another great series by Amelia Lyon, and the same Matching without Matching rule applies.
Below [by Amelia]: here, the photographer family of Image is Found is using the same blue/green/yellow theme, but all dressed completely according to their own styles and personalities. And I love the punch of Nate’s red shoe laces and Grace’s little purple shoes.
Below: The images here are by the fabulous Sloan Photographers who did an engagement session with this awesome couple. You get a perfect sense of who they are, and they blend together so well, without being dressed alike at all.
A stripe in his plad brings out the solid color of her blouse. . .
Here they stuck so the same basic hues, and played with different patterns: the thin plaid in his shirt, and the tiny polka-dots in her tights. Rad.
Okay, I hope that helps a little bit to give a sense of what I mean when I say “Be comfortable, match but don’t match, and special it up!”