What to Wear to Studio Sessions?

First, decide whether you want to go for a lighter, dark, or more neutral look. Then, choose which backdrop you'd like from the three studio choices below. I will need to know what backdrop you are choosing prior to your session. From there, you can decide on your outfits.

STEP 1. CHOOSE A BACKDROP PALETTE

Light


OUTFITS:

Light, neutral, pastels tone outfits

White or cream is best

Oatmeal, light gray, tan, blush also work well

Medium


OUTFITS:

Neutral, warm tone outfits

Avoid pastels/gemtones

Dark


OUTFITS:

Dark neutral tones or gem tone outfits

Black or dark gray is best

White can also work


STEP 2. CHOOSE YOUR OUTFIT COLOR PALETTE

LIGHT COLORS


White is a very popular choice for family photography and can look absolutely stunning in images if done correctly. Sometimes off-white, cream, or ivory can soften the image and create a more delicate look. Do be aware that your eye will go to the lightest area in a picture, so white jeans will draw the eye and might make you look larger than you are.

DARK COLORS


Black can be a bit dark for family photography so blue or gray would be a better choice as it’s a bit softer. Certainly don’t dress half the family in black and half in white as that will create harsh contrast problems in your images.

NEUTRALS


Neutral, coordinating colors. Mix neutral earth tones that go well together but are not exactly the same. Variations and different shades of black, white, ivory, cream, and gray. Some colors have neutral-like characteristics, such as earth tones like sage and olive greens, burnt orange, sand, and shades of blue including navy and denim.

Pastels/GEMtones


Adding in subtle splashes of pastels or gemtones can also be a great way to bring some color into your photos.

Styling Tips

Solids are best

Large patterns take over the photo. Solids are best. Some prints can work when layered with solids over the top. For example, a medium sized floral print under a solid sweater or jacket can be very flattering and add some visual interest to your photo. Avoid really tight patterns or tight prints, like tight pinstripe or polka dots.
Steer clear of busy patterns, bright colors, or logos and consider bringing along several different clothing changes. Adding or removing a jacket or scarf, changing into different shoes, or putting on a different shirt can change your outfit just enough to make it appear that you are wearing an entirely different wardrobe. Also be sure that your clothing is clean and free of wrinkles.

Black and White can work!

Most photographers will tell you not to wear all black or all white. I really love all black for black and white portraits, and if white is in your color palette, a white button up can be a clean, classic look (wear a no-show white cami underneath).

Choose Moderately Open Necklines

The best necklines for photos are modest V necks, boat or crew necklines.
Avoid turtlenecks or scarves that can't be loosened around your neck. Turtlenecks make you look like you have no neck, and in photos, can make you look out of proportion.
Avoid really low necklines that you'll be tugging on.
Avoid buttoned shirts that are too tight around your neck. If you wear a buttoned shirt, it should fit without causing bulging.

Avoid Tight Patterns or Tight Textures

No tweed (synthetic print or real) or tight patterns. All of these textures and patterns can create a moire effect in photos viewed online. This effect looks like wavy lines that dance around on clothing on a screen but not in real life.
Avoid small polkadots, pinstripes, small checks and tight patterns of any kind.

Wear Long Sleeve or 3/4 Length Sleeves

Long sleeves or three-quarter sleeves look more professional. Because I typically have you turned at an angle to the camera, your arms will be the most camera-forward part of you. Unless you absolutely love your arms, you will want longer sleeves.
If you decide on a tank top or sleeveless top, bring a sweater along too for a few shots.

Wear Layers

Layers work well for portraits, but be strategic about fit and color. Lighter colors should be underneath, with darker colors over the top in suit jackets and blazers.
If you don't love your midsection, pick a jacket, sweater or blazer that can be buttoned.

Make sure it fits properly

Clothing should be well-tailored and fitted.
Avoid baggy or loose clothing, as it will make you look larger in photos.
Avoid fabrics that are clingy or shiny, especially thin, stretchy polyester or velvet. These fabrics highlight every bump and crease. Do not wear silver or shimmery gold.
Avoid wearing something that is too tight, as this can lead to bulging.
Longer shirts are best if you plan to be untucked. They elongate your torso and hide mid-section insecurities.
Avoid shoulder pads in jackets and suits. Shoulder pads make you look boxy, wide and can convey tension rather than relaxation.

Clean and Tidy

Arrive with clothing pressed and lint-free. If you are wearing a shirt that wrinkles easily, hang it up and put it on right before photos to avoid it getting wrinkly in the car.
Wear the right bra for the shirt you will wear. Make sure the color won't show through. Watch for lines and seams from bras that might show through shirts. If you are going strapless or with a tank top, wear a strapless bra (but again, I generally don't recommend sleeveless or short sleeves for headshots).
Avoid logos of any kind, unless they are your company logo.

Keep Jewelry to a Minimum

I love jewelry, but try to keep it somewhat subtle so it doesn't distract from your face.
Try to avoid anything super flashy, shiny or sparkly to avoid it catching light and becoming a distraction.

Hair Suggestions

Only use products that enhance shine. Don't use mattifying products (be careful with dry shampoos on this front!).
Do your hair in a style you typically wear. Photo day is not the day to try a new style.
Do not wear your hair in a bun or ponytail. It can look like you don't have hair, or if your head is turned, like you have a big bump on one side.
Bring a comb or brush and some hairspray with you.
Wear facial hair the way you normally would. If you're normally clean-shaven, use an electric razor to avoid redness.

Still need assistance?

As always, I am happy to help you with your outfits. Just send me a message and we can discuss your options!