What to Wear to Your Portrait Session

by  photographer Lauren Garrison of Lauren Garrison Photography

PORTRAIT SESSIONS – WHAT TO WEAR

If you’re like most people, you don’t take professional photos very often. Seniors – you haven’t taken senior photos before. Engaged couples – you haven’t taken engagement photos before. To save you an afternoon of Googling and ripping apart your closet, I’ve created a list of tips to make sure you’re prepared and confident before your portrait session.
BE YOURSELF

Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself. This is the most important rule. It’s so easy to get lost in Pinterest boards and Instagram posts and end up forgetting what your style actually is. Go look at the clothes you already own. You probably bought them for a reason, so start there! Stick to:

 CLOTHES THAT HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVORITES FOR A LONG TIME OR

 

NEW CLOTHES THAT YOU LOVED AS SOON AS YOU SAW THEM. DON’T TRY TO TALK YOURSELF INTO A NEW STYLE.

 

MATCHING VS. COMPLIMENTING


Wear colors and patterns that compliment each other (or your partner) without exactly matching. Don’t worry about matching exact colors across your outfits. Just watch out for colors, shades, or patterns that clash. For example, a striped shirt with a polka dot skirt would clash, and a red dress next to your fiancé’s orange shirt would most likely clash. An interesting pattern should not be paired with another pattern. Stick to a solid item that compliments its colors.

HEELS, FLATS, WEDGES, BOOTS?

Girls – even if you don’t wear heels on a regular basis, you’d be surprised how great they look on everyone in photos. Heels and wedges can elongate a woman’s legs in a very flattering way. Boots can also add a stylish touch to your photos.

DRESS TO IMPRESS

Wearing clothes that make you feel special is definitely recommended! Even if you rarely dress up, this is the perfect time to do so.
Having a hard time deciding if you want to wear formal dress or a more casual outfit? Wear both! Again, remember to dress for the location. If your portrait session starts downtown and ends in a wildflower field, you have the chance to show off two very different looks.

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS “TOO DRESSED UP”

When it comes to couples portrait sessions, you won’t regret dressing up a little. Have you always wanted to wear a flowy tulle skirt, sequined gown or flower crown, but haven’t had a reason to? Now is the time!

Guys – Long pants and closed-toed shoes look the most sophisticated and masculine on men. So for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts and sandals at home. Suit pants and colored pants with leather dress shoes look fashionable and photograph well.

ACCESSORIES

Add-ons like watches, earrings, necklaces, and scarves can be used to add style to your outfit and show off your personality. Just make sure they don’t distract from your overall outfit or are so large that they’ll be the focus of the photos. Layers like cardigans and sweaters can also add dimension to your photos.
Seniors – feel free to bring your class ring, letter jacket, and cap and gown.
For engagement sessions, don’t forget your engagement ring! If you met in college, a photo of her engagement ring with your class ring is a great idea.

WEAR SOMETHING BOLD, BUT NOT DISTRACTING

Bright or neon colors or graphic patterns can distract from what really matters in your photos…you!

HAIR AND MAKEUP

For engagement sessions, I recommend that girls get their hair and makeup professionally done. You’re probably still shopping around for hair and makeup vendors, and this can be a great time to test out your top contender. You’ll find that it’s definitely worth the money. A good makeup artist can really make your best features pop. Just make sure to keep it natural and use soft colors that will compliment your outfits and a variety of backgrounds.
Seniors – feel free to go all out and get your hair and makeup professionally done as well. It’s a special occasion after all!

BE YOU (NOT A BRAND)


Avoid large logos, brand markings, or wording on clothing.

EMPTY YOUR POCKETS

Having a phone, keys or wallet in your pocket will create unattractive lumps and bumps.

BRING SOME EXTRAS

It may be helpful to bring along a hairbrush, makeup for touchups, extra bobby pins/hair ties, and a small towel (for sessions during the summer). Throw these extras in a just-in-case bag and leave it in your car during your session.

WEAR WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD

Enough said.

Still, need more help? We have a What-toWear  Pinterest Board that shows modern and beautiful clothing collections for families and couples. Click HERE to be inspired!