What To Wear To Your Portrait Session

So you've booked a professional portrait session and the inevitable question comes up of "but what do I wear?" As spring approaches and portrait sessions are being booked, I find that it's always in the top 5 questions that I receive. So I'm here to help because if there is one thing I love as a photographer is you loving your photographs!

First and foremost, I believe that rules are meant to be broken. If you have doubts about what you plan on wearing to your session, just ask and I will be happy to help! We have all heard opinions on what you should and should not wear according to your body type but if you're a curvy girl like I am and you want to wear stripes, rock it out with stripes! Wear what you feel confident in and you will shine in your photographs. There is an infinite number of articles about what you should wear for your body type and as much as we all hate them, they are helpful when making your clothing choices for your session. 


Make sure that your clothes fit well. If they are too snug, you won't be comfortable and it will show but too loose and you will look messy. Make sure you are as comfortable as possible so that you feel great during your shoot.

Layered looks ALWAYS win! Ladies, jackets are not just for the boys. An amazing top paired with the perfect jacket and your favorite jeans is always a sure thing. It's classy, relaxed and fun. It also allows you to have a variety of looks without much effort.

Bring 2-3 looks for your session so that we have plenty of options!

Matching colors with your partner is a great idea as long as it's subtle. If one of you is wearing a purple shirt or dress, perhaps the other could wear a matching tie, jewelry, sunglasses, shoes, etc. It's also a nice way to accent your outfit with pops of color. Be creative and let your personalities show in your choices!

Dark solid colors are always the most flattering but small patterns can also be a really nice accent. Avoid any large print or logos on your clothing as they can be distracting.

Consider your location when choosing your outfits. If you are going for portraits in the city, dressing up or brighter colors work really well against a gritty background. If you are choosing a more outdoorsy location, maybe natural/neutral colors with color accents would be more suitable for you. As a side note, no matter the terrain, make sure you bring a comfy pair of flats or walking shoes for all of the walking in between shots.

Hair and Make-Up:

Having your hair and make-up done professionally for a portrait session is never a bad idea! Make-up artists know what colors you should be wearing, what is camera friendly and how to bring out your best features. If you would like to do your hair and make-up yourself, here are some basic rules to follow:

1. Make-up tends to be toned down in photographs so go slightly heavier than you would normally allow. 

2. Matte finished make-ups are the best choice for your photographs. Shimmery make up reflects light and may make you look oily.

3. Bring a compact with you to make sure that you can touch up and your make-up continues to stay matte.


Props can be a really fun addition to your sessions. Whether it's for an engagement photographs, senior portraits or a children's session, it's a nice way to show off interests and make your photographs unique. An example of items you could bring are:

  • Instruments you play.
  • Balloons or one gigantic balloon (see: http://bigloveball.com) 
  • Personalized signs for a Save the Date, Thank You or a birth announcement. 
  • Furniture such as couches, chairs, etc. 
  • Any other item that is special or significant to you or your relationship. 


I know, I know, so many guidelines to follow! But remember, the most important thing is that you are comfortable and having fun in your session so that we capture the most genuine portraits of you. If you are still having doubts about your clothing choices for your session, feel free to ask away. That's what we are here for!