What clothing should I bring to my photo shoot?

Family portrait Baby with parents wearing black Parents wearing black with newborn baby Portrait of newborn with parents

What clothing should I bring to my photo shoot?

Tips for everyone

Wear similar tones of clothing

  • Think in black and white tones; if everyone wears dark blue and one person wears white, the eye will be drawn to the person wearing white.
  • If there's a reason that one person should stand out, then do it. If not, change your color selections.
  • Denim in any color for pants and jackets works well. It's classic, it's informal and it comes in lots of great colors. Best of all, it never goes out of style.
  • Groom your hands and nails; they usually end up in some pictures.

The families of color

  • Group One: Jewel tones (ruby red, sapphire blue, emerald green)
  • Group Two: Pastels (pastel blue like worn denim, pastel pink, pastel green, pastel yellow, peach)
  • Group Three: Earth tones (pumpkin orange, eggplant purple, sage green, chocolate brown).
  • Group Four: Cool vs Warm tones (cool colors are blue and green, warm tones are reds, yellows, oranges). Sometimes colors from each of these groups compliment each other: pumpkin orange with denim blue)

Avoid patterns, logos, branding, and busy designs

  • Stripes, plaids, checks and busy patterns like paisley all tend to be distracting.

Avoid anything shiny or reflective

  • Avoid large, shiny objects like belt buckles, bold jewelry and reflective watches.
  • Unless your watch has a story, it's best to take it off during your portrait session. In fact, it's best to take it off well before you arrive so the marks on your wrist have a chance to fade.
  • Classic, elegant jewelry like pearls always looks appropriate.

Beware the color red

  • Red attracts attention! If you want to stand out on purpose, wear red. If you choose red for everybody, it's best if the reds match...


  • if your personality demands that you break these rules, then by all means, wear plaid with stripes in multi colors.

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Copyright © 2018 Koren Reyes. A Westerly, RI and NYC portrait photographer.
Beautiful, classic portraiture of families, but especially women, children and dogs.
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