As you plan your outfits for the session, there is one rule to keep in mind:
COMPLEMENT AND COORDINATE BUT DON’T GET TOO MATCHY
It’s as simple as that! Gone are the days of putting everyone in black T-shirts and jeans. How will people’s styles and personalities show through that way?
Instead, find a color palette that you love and choose outfits that complement each other without looking too matchy-matchy. Everyone will have a unique look without clashing in the photos. You can choose to do neutrals with a few pops of color or a softer palette that has different ranges in tone of the same shade.
I always suggest that women (especially moms, if it’s a family session) choose an outfit they feel confident and beautiful in. Then plan the color palette and everyone else’s outfits from there.If you have a fun patterned outfit you would like to use, limit the pattern to one person. That way they will pop and still coordinate with everyone else. Multiple patterns can look busy, and may clash with competing patterns.
Still unsure? Try laying out each option one at a time and take a quick photo of the outfit, then share it with your friends and family for a second opinion!
Don’t be afraid to layer your clothing as this can add dimension to your clothing. This can be a belt, scarf, cardigan, etc.
Accessories can pull together an outfit and make it look complete. Plus by switching up accessories and layers, you can get multiple looks without having to do complete outfit changes. They can also be as a prop to interact with in the photos.
Add dimension and interest by mixing up the texture of the clothing material and accents. This is especially important for black and white images to give interest to the eye.
Keep accessories on babies and toddlers to a minimum as it can overwhelm them in the photo.
Do: Arrange your outfits ahead of time. Lay them out and plan your accessories.
Do: Make sure all clothes are clean, pressed, and ready to go on hangers before your session.
Do: Be aware of any tan lines and how those will look in different outfits.
Don’t: Put everyone in all black or white shirts.
Don’t: Wear any small patterns, neon colors, tube socks, or overly formal clothes.
Don’t: Get a spray tan prior to your session. The color will appear more orange on camera.
Ladies – Use this as an opportunity to pamper yourself by getting your hair styled and make-up done before the session. Make-up should be natural but slightly heavier than normal. Any waxing should be done 3-5 days before your session.
Men – Don’t get your hair cut the day before a session. Instead, plan to have it done a week before. Don’t have a hot shave done the day of your session (or wedding day). If you’ve never had one before it can cause skin redness and irritation.