fashion, style

Dressing Your Best in Professional Photos

Dress your best in photos

I get a lot of questions about what to wear for photos. Specifically, how to coordinate outfits with significant others or family members without looking too matchy-matchy. My trick is to pick a color story and coordinate around that. This way each person’s style shines through while they complement others in the photograph. Generally, the colors across from each other in the color wheel go the best together.

If you have a larger group to photograph you can add another color by picking colors that are three colors apart on the wheel. Unless you are going for the rainbow effect (which could be really cool) I’d stay away from using more than three main colors in your photos.

color wheel for family photos

Engagement photos

engagement photo outfits

The bride-to-be wearing white is a classic choice. Above all, it’s important to feel like you. Being authentically you can mean wearing a white dress, but it could mean you and your bae wear swimsuits. Whatever you wear, make sure you are comfortable.

engagement photo ideas

One fundamental to comfort is dressing appropriately for you environment. The beautiful bride, Carly and her now husband, Bobby are in a beautiful Arizona desert here so she opted for ankle boots and a gorgeous, but casual dress that was easy to move around in so she could be lifted in to the air for some of those action shots!

lace blue dress and valentinos

Why not mix it up? Soon-to-be grooms can wear white and let their lovely brides-to-be shine in bolder colors. The beautiful bride-to-be, Chelsey, complemented her fiancé John in a bold monochrome look that is glamorous, eye-catching and classic. I advise people to shy away from anything overly trendy since trends will date your photos and Chelsey and John’s looks are equal parts stylish and timeless.

Maternity photos

maternity photo ideas

These photos are from my dear friends, Donald and Christa. She opted for a form-fitting dress in a bold color and breathable fabric which kept her cool during the hot summer months. I am honored that she let me pick this outfit for her shoot and made the choice because I love how the dress shows off her curves and is sophisticated and chic just like her. Donald complemented her with a touch of blue in his shirt, but I mean really, this is all about her and her cute little bump.

unique maternity photo ideas

This flower-child is one of the most whimsical people I know. For Bree’s shoot, a bohemian-chic look complete with a flower crown was a must. She wanted to show off her bare-bump and played with sheer fabrics to do it. I love that she used dandelions as props and can we talk about those nails?

One thing that engagement photos and maternity photos have in common is that your hands will inevitably be featured. If you’re a manicure-loving gal be sure to schedule one before your maternity session!

Family Photos

family photos outfits














Family photos are my favorite because they have no agenda other than the people in them. To celebrate the beautiful individuals in the photographs, my advice is to stay away from wearing the same color and focus on colors that coordinate. Jewel tones are a great choice because they are flattering on most people.

family photos - colorful outfits

For all professional photos, shy away from super-trendy pieces (you probably don’t want to have a photo of you wearing flare jeans on your wall for 20 years) and keep it classic, but still you.

Kid Photos

Cute baby photos

How cute is this baby? Her mama let me pick her dress out which made my day and I went for stripes and tulle because it was really classic and I like the texture in tulle for photos. My trick for dressing children is to let them be comfortable. Their clothes should never give them a reason to be fussy and they should be able to wiggle without abandon. Think of all the candid shots!

If they are old enough to display their personality, try to incorporate that in to their look. Elodie above is ridiculously happy. Seriously, I’ve heard her cry maybe two times – it’s not fair. For her, wearing bright yellow and a bow was fitting.

sibling pictures

Newborns can wear anything; even nothing at all. I love this little guy (who was actually the baby in Bree’s tummy above) and his older brother, Jax and their rock-and-roll style. Newborns are often too little for their clothes and look best in their swaddling blankets, nude (or in their big brothers arms). If you have a blanket with special meaning, newborn photos are the perfect way to feature that.

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  • Brooke

    These tips are amazing! One thing my sisters and I took away this holiday season while looking at all the family photo cards we were sent, was we dislike when the whole family is wearing the same exact thing! I like your tip on staying within the same color palette, but not looking identical. I think it makes for a more interesting and authentic photo. I love the sheer material for a pregnancy shoot! What a beautiful way to showcase the bump. Thanks for sharing these tips! xo

  • KatWalkSF

    Where are the tips for taking shameless professional photos with your dog??

    Fun Fact: I took my graduation pictures with my dog!


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