How to style your family for a portrait session

My clients often ask what they should wear for a session. Here are some of my best tips on wardrobe, hair and makeup.


IMO, it is better to coordinate than to match. Any way you can complement one another (in style or color) can help create a beautiful portrait. 

Soft or deep solid colors photograph well. Busy patterns, graphic tees and logos generally do not.

It is so important for you to be comfortable. Choose an outfit that gives you confidence (and range of motion if you have small children). If you feel good, you are more likely to give natural expressions (this goes for children as well).

Don’t be afraid to accessorize. Hats, scarves, kimonos, floral crowns, a killer pair of shoes or boots and (let’s be honest) Kendra Scott are a great way to add more personality!

Make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. Clothes should be clean, pressed and hanging up in a safe place the night before. That makes for one less thing to worry about the day-of.

Details, people. Details. Shoes. Those are the details I am talking about. I mentioned them before and I will mention them again. Go with a pair that is well-kept and clean. Shoes are an important part of your wardrobe. And there is nothing worse than a wow outfit ruined by a pair of tattered, scuffed up shoes.

Hair & Makeup

Keep it natural. Your portrait session is not the golden opportunity for you to try out that new eyeshadow trend you saw on Instagram (unless you are Lady Gaga). Choose natural makeup that makes you feel beautiful and add a layer of powder to reduce shine.

If you feel the need for golden goddess vibes but haven’t had a chance to make it to the fabulous beaches of Tahiti, an airbrush tan never hurt anyone (Svana is your girl). 

Keep it clean, boys. Clean shaven is best, but if you have always rocked a beard or that Bradley Cooper stubble, I am not going to be responsible for taking that away from you! Haircuts should take place about a week before the shoot (kids, too). 

All of that said, there really is no such thing as a bad wardrobe choice if you absolutely love it. Own your style! Ask yourself this question (and then let me know what you come up with): What do you want to do with these pictures? I encourage all of my clients to order archival quality prints or canvas gallery wraps. I want you to picture how these photos will look in your home for years to come. 

I want all of my clients to have a wonderful experience. I do my best to make sure everyone is relaxed and has a good time. I promise I am silly enough to make you laugh (try me). It really is all about the sweet moments between you and your family. No amount of bad clothing, hair or makeup is going to stop me from capturing that… even if you are wearing neon bodysuits.

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