Amanda McClure Photography | What (not) to wear.... for your portraits

What (not) to wear.... for your portraits

September 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I get asked this all of the time; what should I wear for my session?  While I know each person and family is different, there are a few rules to consider when planning your outfit for your portrait session.  I've put together a list to help y'all out.

Let's start with what NOT to wear.

  1. Don't wear shirts with writing on them.  Why?  Well because when photographed, some of the words may get cut off.  So a shirt that says something like "Do Me A Favor And Stop Talking" may photograph and only show the words "Do Me".  You see the problem there?
  2. Don't wear clothing with large logos on them.  Why?  In part for the same reason as number one.  But also because large logos that are popular today, may not be in 10 years.  Your portraits are something that people will look back on for years to come.  Logos can date the photos.  We all remember the 1990's obsession with large Nike logos right.... lets not do that for your portraits, ok.
  3. Don't wear busy or bold patterns.  Why?  Well the short version is that they just don't photograph well.  The longer version is that they distract from you as the center of the portrait and suddenly the pattern becomes the focal point of the photo.  That's not what we want... people want to see a portrait of you, not your crazy patterned dress or shirt.


But then what should you wear you ask.... 

  1. Think about the colors in your home.  Choose outfits that coordinate with the colors already in your home.  If you decorate your home in blues and greys, then don't wear reds in your photos.  Why?  Well ideally, your portraits will hang somewhere in your home so if you hate red hanging on the wall, then you won't want your family portrait hanging in your home if everyone is wearing red.
  2. Coordinate but don't match!  This is SO IMPORTANT!  Your family should dress in one color pallet.  But you should not all go out and buy the same shirt, dress or pair of pants.  Its best if each of you have a completely different outfit, but within one color family.  For example, if you choose denim and black/grey then all of your family can choose pieces in either denim or black.  Dad can wear jeans and a black button down, mom can wear a cute black dress with a grey scarf, Jr. can wear jeans and a grey button down, baby girl can wear a cute black headband with jeans and a black sweater.  Get the idea?  Everyone coordinates, no one matches.  Now-- you can break the rule a little.  If mom or sister wants to throw a splash of color in there with a necklace or hairbow then have at it.  But remember rule #1-- make sure you will coordinate with your home... because that is where these photos will most likely be displayed.
  3. Wear clothes that fit!  It seems obvious but if your clothes are too tight or too baggy, then you won't look your best.  Tight clothes cause bumps, bulges and muffin top.  Baggy clothes make you look bigger and sloppy.  Wear something that fits comfortably in any position.  Not only will you look better, but when you are comfortable, you photograph better too!


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