Your photo shoot: what to wear

Ahh the age old question: WHAT DO I WEAR?!?!?!

I remember being tormented by this question when I was growing up. As a child, my mom would pull out shirts and dresses from my closet, “how about this one?” no “how about this one?” no “this one?” no. My poor mother would finally give up and say, “okay, YOU find something to wear then.”:)

Now that I’m grown up (sorta), it’s still a problem. In all honesty, I usually end up just wearing my workout clothes all day. But you can’t wear workout clothes to a photo shoot…unless of course it was a fitness shoot.

So, I get this question from almost every client (except brides, wedding dress–pretty much a must), “WHAT DO I WEAR?!?!” It’s a toughie. I usually say to wear what you’re comfortable in, what ever speaks to your style and personality. But don’t show up in your every day clothes. This is a photo shoot. Unless you get them done monthly (hey, that’d be good for business!), you want to wear something special, unique, and a little more ‘dressed up’ than you normally would. These are your photos, you are making the investment, you’ll want to spend a little time on your clothing choices, hair, and accessories.

But I still haven’t answered your question. So here goes…

The first thing I would do is chose a color scheme. What are you pictures for? If they’re for your home, decide where you want to display the pictures and use that area as color inspiration. If you are displaying the photos in your living room and your living room has ‘earthy’ tones to it, you wouldn’t want to wear bright colors for your photo shoot. A good place to find and combine colors is your local paint store! Grab some samples, cut and arrange. You want to have a few colors, about 2-4. Make sure there is at least one ‘pop’ color and then the rest should be more neutral.

Here’s an example:

Great! You have your colors and a good starting place.

Next step: Go to POLYVORE. It’s AMAAAAAZING! Especially for all you Fashionistas out there. It’s basically a site where you can search for clothes ALL over the web, in one place. You can shop by color, brand, store, site, type of clothing, accessories, and look at collections other people have put together. It really is unbelievable. With a click of a button, you are redirected to the site where you can purchase that item. A little dangerous, for sure. Sign up for an account, and start shopping! Here is a sample collection I put together for a family photo shoot:

Turquoise & Organe
Amazing right? And so easy! Please email me your collection for you family shoot so I can better plan your location, I would LOVE to see what you’re going to wear!
Also, you can check out Pinterest for different style ideas. Here are some collections I gathered on Pinterest with great clothing selections:

Notice how everything isn’t “matchy matchy” but there is a definite color scheme. That’s your goal. Keep in mind that these pictures are to display you and your family. What are you guys about? If you’re a fun crazy family, don’t dress formal! Vice versa.

ACCESSORISE! This goes for the guys too. Layering is awesome–also a good, fast (and sneaky) way to get in a wardrobe change! Shoes are a great way to accessorize and throw in some fun. Girls– hair pieces, we can always take them out. Rings, bracelets, earrings for mom. It really adds a lot of personality and character to your photos.

Okay, I don’t have a ton of money, so for me, spending a lot of money of family photos is enough let along blowing a ton on cute outfits. I would never “suggest” purchasing clothes and returning them, but…that’s up to you. A great way to go is secondhand stores (Kid 2 Kid, Urban Exchange, etc. a little more high end than thrift stores, and you’re more likely to find something good). This will take some time, especially when color coordinating, but hey you might get lucky! Also, ask your friends! I know I wouldn’t mind lending outfits to friends for family pictures. Just make sure you return them clean and in good condition.

Take a little time, make a little plan, and with my help, we can get you a photo less like this:

And more like this:

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

I MUST HAVE THIS SKIRT!! Anyone know where it’s from?

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Thank you for the great tips Meredith!! :) Loved the orange and grey


Somehow I managed to pull my girls together for the shoot last weekend without polyvore – but I was thinking it the whole time I was pulling out gray, white and orange to coordinate with the backdrop of gray polkadots. Got the circles on the orange skirt and polka dot bow plus the big girls gray and white outfits and accessories. But Polyvore it is so cool – thanks to pinterest for introducing me! Also, don’t discount regular thrift stores. The killer jeans I was wearing saturday? Banana Republic, brand new with tags, urban boot cut – Goodwill $15. :-) Any given day I am wearing some piece from a thrift store. I actually outfitted our family last year for a shoot from a couple thrift stores when i was going for a certain look, to fill in certain pieces.

oh. my. gosh.

that “a little less like this” is killing me.

i’m seriously cracking up here all by myself.

did the photographer seriously think that pose LOOKED good?


and THANK YOU for the polyvore suggestion! I’ve never heard of that! though I probably shouldn’t go to it until my next family shoot in the fall. or else my bank account will be in trouble. ahahaha.

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