Portrait Sessions: What to Wear


If you’re like most people, you don’t take professional photos very often.  To save you an afternoon of Googling and tearing apart your closet, I’ve created a list of tips to make sure you’re prepared and confident before your portrait session!

Be Yourself

Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself. This is the most important rule! It’s so easy to get lost in Pinterest boards and Instagram posts and end up forgetting what your style actually is. Stick to…

1.  Clothes that have been your favorites for a long time or

2. New clothes that you loved as soon as you saw them. Don’t try to talk yourself into a new style.

Red Cowboy Boots

Matching vs. Complimenting

Wear colors and patterns that compliment each other (or your partner) without exactly “matching”. Don’t worry about matching exact colors across your outfits. Just watch out for colors, shades, or patterns that clash. For example, a striped shirt with a polka dot skirt would clash, and a red dress next to your fiancé’s orange shirt would most likely clash. An interesting pattern should not be paired with another pattern. Stick to a solid item that compliments its colors.



Choosing your shoes

Girls – even if you don’t wear heels on a regular basis, you’d be surprised how great they look on everyone in photos. Heels and wedges can elongate a woman’s legs in a very flattering way. Boots can also add a stylish touch to your photos.


Downtown Austin Engagement Photos


There’s no such thing as “too dressed up”

When it comes to couples portrait sessions, you won’t regret dressing up a little. Have you always wanted to wear a flowy tulle skirt, sequined gown or flower crown, but haven’t had a reason to? Now is the time!

Guys – Long pants and closed-toed shoes look the most sophisticated and masculine on men. So for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts and sandals at home. Suit pants and colored pants with leather dress shoes look fashionable and photograph well.




Quality Clothing

Well-made clothes and fabrics will usually photograph better than cheaper clothes, which are more likely to get wrinkled, not fit perfectly, or move in an unflattering ways.




Add-ons like watches, earrings, necklaces, and scarves can be used to add style to your outfit and show off your personality. Just make sure they don’t distract from your overall outfit or are so large that they’ll be the focus of the photos. Layers like cardigans and sweaters can also add dimension to your photos.

Seniors – feel free to bring your class ring, letter jacket, and cap and gown.

For engagement sessions – don’t forget to bring your (clean and sparkly) engagement ring!



Make Sure Your Comfortable & Not Distracted

The last thing you’ll want to be thinking about while taking photos is constantly adjusting your sleeves or flattening out a certain section of your dress. Make sure you’re comfortable, that you can move around, and that you’re not distracted.



Hair and Makeup

For engagement sessions, I love it when girls get their hair and makeup professionally styled. You’re probably still shopping around for hair and makeup vendors, and this can be a great time to test out your top contender. A good makeup artist can really make your best features pop.

Seniors – feel free to go all out and get your hair and makeup professionally done too. It’s a special occasion, after all!


Watch out for branding

Avoid large logos, brand markings, or wording on your clothes.


Empty your pockets

Having a phone, keys or wallet in your pocket will create unattractive lumps and bumps.


Bring some extras

You may want to bring along a hairbrush, makeup for touchups, extra bobby pins/hair ties, and a small towel (during the summer). Throw these extras in a “just-in-case” bag to leave in your car or carry along with us.



Wear what makes you feel good

Choose clothes that are comfortable and make you feel good. Enough said!



Want more outfit tips? Head over to Pinterest >


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  1. […] Choosing the right outfits is really important! Wear quality clothes that show off your best features, and make sure your clothes coordinate without exactly “matching”. Read more outfit tips here! […]


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austin, Texas + ready to travel anywhere