One of the most powerful things that a photo can do is convey connections and relationships between people. Styling and clothing choice can either inhibit or enhance this visual. Your outfit certainly won’t make or break your photos, but I’m going to offer some helpful advice for you to consider when putting together your ensemble.

Complement, don't match!

One of the most common mistakes I see is when families and couples show up for their photos in matching outfits. It’s great to have coordinating outfits, but we definitely don’t want people looking exactly the same. If everyone is in jeans and a white shirt, it’s going to look unnatural, because it is! It can be just as dangerous to both show up in similar patterns. If you both want to wear plaid, make sure the patterns are different enough that you don’t blend together into one person.

Everyone in this family is wearing grey, but they're all wearing it in different ways and making sure to not match the rest of their colors and fabrics.

Everyone in this family is wearing grey, but they're all wearing it in different ways and making sure to not match the rest of their colors and fabrics.

Don't be afraid of color

Many times people will shy away from bold colors for their photos, I say nay! Embrace the bold, just make sure you don't have too much of a good thing. A bold color choice is a great way to draw attention to what is important (you guys!) but it can also quickly become a competition. A strategy that often works well is to choose one person to wear the WOW-factor color or pattern, and draw inspiration from it for other outfits, but keep them more simple.

This couple chose a solid magenta that stands out against our cloudy Pacific Northwest skies, and paired it with a patterned shirt in neutral colors. Both outfits have interest, but they don't compete with each other.

This couple chose a solid magenta that stands out against our cloudy Pacific Northwest skies, and paired it with a patterned shirt in neutral colors. Both outfits have interest, but they don't compete with each other.

Think about dimension

Texture is also a very important thing to consider when planning an outfit. Is it interesting, or distracting? Texture is especially important if you're interested in black and white photos because it can be a lot more dynamic than patterns that rely solely on color. As it was with color, if one person's outfit has a particularly stand-out texture, keep everyone else textures and layers more simple.

This is client is wearing a simple grey sweater, but the texture creates a lot of interest without being overwhelming.

This is client is wearing a simple grey sweater, but the texture creates a lot of interest without being overwhelming.

Keep your location in mind

Remember to think about where you're taking your photos. If you're taking photos at the beach, I don't recommend wearing heels. Try to think about what you might actually be comfortable wearing in that setting, and kick it up a notch. Dressy outfits look great in more urban areas, while casual wear is perfect for more natural locations.

These fall maternity photos were made that much better by great styling. The casual elements of the outfit, combined with neutral colors and simple accessories really fit in with this beautiful autumn setting.

These fall maternity photos were made that much better by great styling. The casual elements of the outfit, combined with neutral colors and simple accessories really fit in with this beautiful autumn setting.

Black is great.. in small doses

Black is slimming and flattering and a plethora of other fabulous, fashion-forward adjectives, however too much black can leave you looking two-dimensional in your photos. Experiment with other dark neutrals like navy or dark grey. If you are dead set on wearing black, make it more dynamic with accessories that break up the black and give your look more interest.

This client turned up the volume on her black dress by adding a dramatic red jacket and lip.

This client turned up the volume on her black dress by adding a dramatic red jacket and lip.

Of course, there are plenty of times we can break the rules. Ultimately that most important thing is that you are wearing something that makes you feel like a million bucks. You're most beautiful when you're confident and happy!

Comment