What to Wear: Portrait Outfit Tips | Baton Rouge Family Portrait Photographer

What to wear, what to wear?  I feel like I'm constantly standing in my closet staring blankly and completely overwhelmed with the idea of selecting one outfit.  Now take that thought and multiply it by five.  

That's how I feel when it comes time for me to get my family dressed for special events.  Family portraits fall into that category.

I actually think when I'm not the one in the pictures it is much easier to know what someone should wear.  In fact, it's why I offer it as part of my pre-session consult for all my sessions.

Seriously, snap pictures of what you want to wear, I'll say "yay" or "nay."  Trying to decide between two color schemes, let me know.  I'll give you my honest, professional opinion.  Want to know if it all goes together, I'll swing by and help you go through options.

Okay, but still, what are my typical guidelines I tell my clients?  Well you are in luck, here are my ten tips for selecting the perfect outfit(s) for your next portrait session.


One - Consider what you intend to do with your portraits and where you want to display them in your room. Your images should be displayed in your home (that's entirely another topic I'll touch upon on another day) and where they are matters.  If you're living room is blue and white you may not want a family picture of everyone in teal and pink.  

Two - Do not match.  I repeat, do not match.  Gone are the days of everyone in a white shirt and blue jeans.  (My family totally has one of these.)  Instead, coordinate outfits across family members.  Pick one or two main colors, and spread them out among family members.  That way they complement and not match each other.

Three - Add neutrals in.  As boring as it sounds beige, grey, cream, are great options to add into a color scheme.  Also, blue jeans are great for family portraits!

Four - Add some accessories and patterns.  These are great ways to bring a little texture in.  However, just don't add too many patterns and accessories that it is distracting.

Five - No graphics.  Just don't do it.  

Six - No sneakers.  If at all possible, avoid sneakers.

Seven - Probably the most important.  Shop your closet.  You don't need to break the bank getting outfits for portraits.  They should reflect, well, you.  So dig through that closet and see what you have before you buy a thing.

Eight - Dress for comfort.  You're going to be in your clothes for a bit, and moving around.  So wear something that allows for that.  Especially for kids.  The last thing you want is a kid that wants to be naked for a family portrait.

Nine - Don't go too trendy.  Consider that you may not want to look back on these like you do those glamor shots you got in the mall. 

Ten - Empty your pockets.  This is mainly for the guys.  No cell phones, wallets, keys etc in your pockets.  It is very distracting and a pain to edit out.

At the end of the day, as your photographer, I want my clients to enjoy their sessions and not stress over them.  

If you want some more inspiration, check out my Pinterest board dedicated to the topic.

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