w h a t   t o   w e a r 

Some things to keep in mind when styling your outfits and preparing for your session.

Getting ready for your session shouldn't be stressful, it should be fun! Here are some suggestions and tips that can help you look your best for your session.   If you have questions or would like to consult with me, don't hesitate to reach out!

It's About You, Not Your Clothes

  • When choosing clothing, remember that you are the main subject, not your outfit- avoid large and colorful prints as these can be distracting

  • Choose a few different outfits or clothing items to bring with you to your session

  • Choose clothing that is flattering on you

  • Darker colors are slimming- these include shades of brown, black, dark blue, dark green, burgundy and other jewel-toned colors


  • Small prints and solid colors work great for photos

  • Neutral colors work best against busy backgrounds

  • Likewise, brighter splashes of color work well against neutral backgrounds

  • Lighter colors against light backgrounds make for more delicate moods

  • Darker colors against dark backgrounds create a formal mood

  • Consider the season

  • Consider eye color- bringing out the eyes can be done by wearing complimentary colors or by shooting against a complimentary background

    • Ex. Wear a light blue scarf to bring out blue eyes

    • Ex. Shoot against a light green background to draw attention to brown eyes

Below are some examples of how colors can compliment each other:


Spring color palette 


Summer color palette


Fall color palette


Winter color palette

Add Textures and Accents

  • Belts, scarves, lace, ruffles, hats, and interesting layers work well to add detail, dimension, and movement

  • Save splashes of color for smaller items of clothing, such as in scarves, ties, and jewelry (keep minimal and simplistic)


  • Rather than matching outfits, choose items of clothing and colors that compliment each other

  • Avoid logos, characters, and words- these will be distracting, as well as cause the person to stand out

  • Make sure to coordinate your family's clothing from head to toe for full-length poses during the session

  • Have everyone work within the same color palette, I think it's easiest to use the ladies' outfits as a base for the mens' outfits

Hair & Make-up

  • When it comes to make-up, in many ways, less can be more

  • Keep it natural- apply your make-up in a way that accentuates your features, not covers them up

  • Use a matte foundation and concealer that matches your skin tone to cover up blemishes and to keep your face from looking shiny in the photos

    • Guys: You can also use a matte powder that matches your skin tone- focus on the nose and forehead which reflect the most shine in photos

  • Apply a thin line of eyeliner on the top eyelid, and don't forget mascara!

  • Use neutral colors for eyeshadow, avoid shimmer and glitter

  • Lipstick: use one that enhances your lip color or use something bolder to be more expressive

  • Do your hair in a way that you are comfortable with that is natural for you

  • If you are planning on getting your hair cut, do it a couple weeks before your session- this will allow your hair time to look its natural length and allow fresh color to fade to a more natural tone

  • Make sure facial hair is trimmed and groomed neatly


  • Subtle props can add to the creativity, fun, and meaning of the portraits

    Consider items from your hobbies or activities, while also being mindful not to let the objects distract from you

    • Items may include basketball shoes, soccer cleats, or track spikes, a volleyball, baseball mitt, jersey or letterman jacket

    • Instruments, art supplies ex. brushes, easel, paints, graduation cap & gown, blankets, balloons or bubbles

  • Pets are also a wonderful addition- after all, they are part of the family!

  • Other props may depend on the setting, theme, and feel of the shoot- if you have ideas, let me know!


All Images © Copyright 2019 Hannah Butler. All Rights Reserved.