How to choose outfits for your Professional Photoshoot

“What should we wear?” It is my most frequently asked question but since so much depends on your individual/family style it can be a hard question to answer. Instead of telling you what you should wear I thought I would walk you through my process for outfitting my own family.

Choosing outfits for 6 people that co-ordinate but do not match (which is my goal) is no easy task. It is not uncommon for me to have 2 or more different outfit options for any one person and decide once I see everything all laid out together (this is my favorite part by the way…if you know my nerdy backstory I majored in math in college and love a good puzzle). My first step is to do one of two things: Choose a color palette (I recommend 5-6 colors), or Choose an outfit that I want to be the focus. In this case I knew I wanted a mustard yellow and burgundy combination. I wanted the session to have a fall vibe with lots of layers and texture. This was the palette I used as my inspiration.


Tip: If you feel stuck on colors try doing a simple google search, for example “fall color palette.”

As a mom of 4 small kids I do most of my shopping online (amazon prime is my life!). I find it best to start with my girls because there are so many more options. Before I purchase anything I like to get an idea of how those things would come together. I use all of the very sophisticated technology I have at my disposal to do this…no, just kidding, I use paint.


TIP: Use the snipping tool on your computer to copy and paste outfits you are considering into a paint document so that you can see what they look like together. If you do not have the snipping tool you will need to open a two paint windows, screen shot your outfit, paste it into one paint window and then copy it from there and paste it into the second window. It is easier than it sounds, believe me I am not technologically savvy and I can still handle this.

When I am satisfied with the girls I move on to the fellas. I like to leave the boys to the end because a plain colored button down in a color that is needed to create balance paired with jeans or khakis (corduroys are my favorite) is an easy way to tie things together (and let’s face it guys look good in just about anything). Lastly, I go to the accessories. I use belts, headbands, jewelry, bow ties and even nail polish to try to make sure that each person has a good representation of the colors I have chosen.  That’s it, easy right?!

I want to note that if at the beginning I decided to start by focusing on one outfit instead of a set of colors, I would follow the same process. The only difference is that I would get my color palette using the colors in the outfit I had chosen to be the focus.

Tip: Try using the “color sampler” tool in paint to pull colors from the outfit of your choosing to create your own color palette. Using neutrals like cream and grey can help to fill in any gaps so that you still get a good assortment of colors.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for their help or opinion. They want you to look great as much as you do and generally have experience with what photographs well.

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