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What to wear for your photo shoot

What to wear for your photo shoot

Are you wondering what to wear for your photo shoot? I’m here to help!  Your wardrobe and hair/make up choices can make or break a photo session.  Outfits and accessories have the power to show off your personality and set the tone of your photo shoot.  For a timeless look, color and texture are usually the way to go. 

Color choices

Colors on opposites sides of the color wheel are complementary: blue and orange, red and green, purple and yellow.  You can also shift a bit to either side of the true opposite and it will still work: purple with gold for example.  Try not to vary too much from the complementary colors though to maintain that timeless look you want.  The color chart below will help you to decide the best pieces from your closet.

Another way to go is with cool versus warm looks.  The wheel below will show you which are the warm and which are the cool colors.  Have the family all dress is shades of blue and green for a fantastic beach scene or don shades of red for a playful playground shoot. 


Color wheel


Style is very individualized.  Whatever your style choices are, stick to them, don’t experiment for this session.  The images should reflect who you are as a person right now.  You want to be comfortable in what you wear and how you look.

Some timeless style choices are: khaki pants, beige, blue or pastel colors, simple dresses, basic button-down or polo shirts.


Avoid extreme outfit differences such as one person in a sweater and another in a summer dress.  It just doesn’t look right.  Extreme contrasts, such as black and white, can be too stark unless it is done intentionally and carefully.

Dark and light or bright clothing

Darker colors will make you seem smaller, so adults posing with kids should opt for darker colors.  Kids should wear lighter/brighter clothes to help them stand out in the images.


Where you decide to hold your photo shoot can have a big impact on what you choose to wear.  If you’re headed to a park with a lot of shrubs and trees, you won’t want to wear green or you’ll end up blending into the background.  Same thing for wearing bright patterns in front of a graffiti wall.  Choose clothing that will allow you to stand out from your background and keep the focus on you. 

Weather/Time of year

This is pretty obvious, but there is one thing to keep in mind, especially for here in Washington: options.  We all know that Washington weather can turn on a dime most days, so be sure to have back up options for your outfit choices should the weather decide to do something other than what the weatherman has predicted.

Your best you

Here are a few tips for looking your best:

  • Lighter clothing tends to make you look bright and fresh.
  • Dark clothing can make you appear more slender/smaller.
  • Overly bright colors can overwhelm the image.
  • Avoid logos, that can really date your images.
  • Avoid loud patterns and prints or too many accessories: the images are about you, not what you are wearing.
  • Avoid trying out a new clothing or hair style.
  • Make sure to groom: hair, eyebrows, nails, etc.

Remember, the photo shoot is all about YOU.  Make clothing and style choices that emphasize your natural beauty and style. What to wear for a photo shoot.

Here are a couple of articles that will help you look your best:  Advising Clients What to Wear for a Photo Shoot & What to wear to a photo shoot

Refer to my Maternity Session Guide on tips for what to wear for your maternity photo shoot with me.  For your newborn session, find tips on my Newborn Session Guide.