What to Wear to Your Photo Shoot

So, you’re getting your photo taken by a professional photographer, and you’re not sure what to wear!  Or, maybe you and your family are getting a yearly portrait taken, and you’re overwhelmed at the idea of picking out clothes for everyone.  Don’t worry!  A lot of people have these concerns about clothing.

I’ve complied a few suggestions for what to wear.  Now this isn’t all inclusive, but it’s a start!  I’ve also included some photos to help demonstrate what I’m talking about.

1) The photo is about you and not your clothes.

Whether we’re talking about an individual portrait or a family photo, it’s best to stay away from graphic tees and neon colors!  While that Darth Vader sugar skull t-shirt is super awesome, it takes everyone eyes off your face.  Same goes for the neon colored shirt/pants/hat/you name it!

Distracting clothes for photo session

Look at these cute kids!  Oh wait, I can’t.  I’m distracted by the tee and blinded by the neon!

2) Families and couples – coordinate and compliment!

If you’re in a photo with someone else, try to either coordinate your colors or make sure they compliment.  That doesn’t mean you have to go all 1990s everyone wearing matching black turtlenecks.  Instead, go with similar colors or even complimentary colors.  If you don’t remember art class in elementary, complimentary colors are red-green, orange-blue, and yellow-purple.


In this example, our lovely models demonstrate similar colors: black and gray.  And we even got a little bit of Star Wars in there with a Death Star polo! Afterall, having well coordinated outfits doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or show personality.

3) Patterns are cool!  Just don’t go overboard.

Patterns are great!  Go for it!  Just remember that if the pattern is too much or too loud visually, it’s going to take over the picture.  So, limit the number of people wearing the pattern!  Remember we’re not going back to the ’90s turtlenecks – unless you want a tongue-in-cheek holiday card – if so, contact me;)


Looks like these two are in love, right?  He’s actually holding his hair in place with my head!

4) One light/bright, one dark!

Here’s an interesting one I came across on the internet.  If you have someone in a bright shirt, have the other person in a darker color.  It can work for families, too.  Have some of the members in a brighter color and others in a a darker color.


Ooo look, not only is one person in a bright color but they also have a pattern!  And here’s another example.


And I know what you may be thinking.  But you never changed pants!  Well, that’s part of our personality.  Ross is more of a cargo shorts kind of person, and I’m more jeans.  And, that brings me to my last point.

5) Ultimately, the photos are for you.  (Or maybe your parents – if you’re a kid).

And, if your favorite photo is the one with the Dark Vader sugar skull tee and your spouse in a neon shirt, then that’s great!  Clothing choices shouldn’t be overwhelming, they should just compliment you and your personality.

Hope this helps and happy posing!