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What to Wear Tips to coordinate colors for portraits


One of the many things my clients wonder after scheduling a session is now “what to wear”.  Styling has never been a strong suit of mine. That is more of my sister’s area of expertise. However, I have learned quite a bit in recent years so that I am better able to serve my clients. I still don’t claim to be a fashion guru but here are some quick tips I’ve discovered to help plan your outfit choices next time you schedule portraits. First, find a color palette that you love and choose outfits that compliment each other without looking too matchy-matchy. If you aren’t sure where to start I suggest begin with the woman’s outfit! Find something that you love and feel great in!! This way you know you will feel amazing and confident in your pictures. Confidence is beautiful no matter what you’re wearing!

Find a color palette that you love!

From this point choose coordinating color combinations so that everyone else will have a unique look without clashing in the photo. A great idea is to choose neutrals with a few pops of color or a softer palette that has different ranges in tone of the same shades.

If you have a patterned outfit you would like to use, try and limit it to one person in the group. Smaller patterns are best: gingham, or tight one colored plaid for boys and men or small floral for girls and women. That way they will stand out but still coordinate with everyone else. Multiple patterns can look busy, and this way they won’t be competing with one another. For a real statement Large floral pattern for girls or women works well too but then keep others in the solid range. This patterned outfit can also become the foundation of your color palette! For Example if the Mother or Daughter has a beautiful floral dress using the colors within her dress can now be your guide to dressing everyone else.

Another suggestion would be to add dimension and interest to your outfits by adding or mixing up textures of the clothing you choose. Add a vest or jacket to create interest and allow for layering options. This also allows you to easily get multiple looks out of one outfit without having to take the time to change! Just drop the coat and bam new look! This provides a great variety for your gallery!

Add dimension and interest by mixing up the texture of the clothing material and accents.

Let’s talk pants for a moment! As anyone can tell you I love a good pair of jeans! But when it comes to photos sometimes it’s a good idea to step it up a little! If you choose jeans a dark solid wash is a great option but slacks of grey and navy really do photograph best! *Side note if the look you’re going for is casual everyday like this friendship session I did. Then by all means break out the awesome everyday jeans that’s what we did in this quick family session! Make sure you pay attention to how great these teens did with coordinating their color palette and adding texture with layering! They really were pros at their session!

Last but not least accessories!! Don’t forget the details! Men, pull out those nice watches and great shoes you never wear and don’t forget an awesome belt. Guys a jacket or sports coat goes a long way to creating multiple looks; and yes a great sports coat still looks great with jeans! Ladies the list for you is never ending but here are just a few ideas. Scarves, vest, statement jewels, hats, headbands, and always a great pair of shoes!

“I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit”

– Michael Kors

One more thing – Here are a few things to try and avoid. Large logos, large text of any kind, neon colors, all black or all white, and large mulit-colored plaids or too many different patterns in the group. Simplicity allows for you to keep your eyes focused on what matters! Your family, not the crazy outfit choices made.