March 8, 2022

What To Wear

If you have an upcoming photoshoot with Joyful Portraits, you may be asking yourself, "What should I wear?" No worries! These helpful tips will have you looking and feeling your best for our upcoming photoshoot!

Location & Theme

What you wear should make sense for the environment. If it is cold outside, wear warm clothes. Dress for the season. As far as a theme, you'll want your outfit(s) to be cohesive. For example, a pair of heels and basketball shorts don't typically go together. Are we doing Casuals? Boho? Athleisure? High-end fashion? Swimming?


Your colors should also be complimentary or cohesive in some way. Pinterest is a great resource for finding visual color palettes. Keep in mind that the colors you wear can also reflect color onto your skin. This also applies to environmental factors such as the session location. Black shows EVERYTHING; hair, fuzz, you name it! If you wear black, bring a lint roller.

Textured solid color shirt.

Solids & Patterns

You can never go wrong with clean, solid colors. You can play with different textures of solid colors too! Just because it's "plain," doesn't mean it has to be "boring."

Patterns are fun but should be used sparingly. Limit patterns such as florals, paisleys, stripes, plaids, etc... to one article of the outfit.

Avoid small stripes, including plaids. For lack of a better explanation, these patterns just tend to end up looking wonky in photographs, different from real life. Large stripes and plaids don't seem to create the same issue, so they should be ok.


Don't forget the shoes! Clean shoes look amazing in photos. They should match the theme of the outfit and session.


Please come to your session looking as you expect to look in the photos. I cannot wash your hair or iron your shirt in Photoshop.

Girl in a layered outfit looks off into the distance while walking on a wooden boardwalk surrounded by trees and nature


Layers are especially useful in the spring and fall when the weather can change quickly or just generally be much more unpredictable. Layers can also add interest to a photo. Wear a denim jacket over a button down over a t-shirt over a tank top... This is also a sneaky way to get in multiple outfits! Wear one outfit over the next in order to quickly strip off the first layer, revealing the second outfit.

Loose & Snug

As a general rule of thumb for women, the top and bottom halves of the outfit should fit differently. The top should be snugly fit if the bottom is loose and flowy, and vise versa. This creates a flattering look, providing shape to your best body features, and an opportunity to hide other parts. A popular dress shape is called, "Fit-n-flare." Make sure your outfit has "fit," and "flare."

Examples of this include wearing a tight shirt with a skater style suspender skirt, or a loose, flowy tunic with a pair of leggings.

Man sitting on a bench in front of grass and school. He wears a cap and gown for graduation photos.

Props & Accessories

These details are like the cherry on top! Argyle socks? Sun hat? Big 4 soda cup? Cellphone? Football? Consider the accessories and props you'd like to use and incorporate into your session. Justin brought his cap and gown for a graduation session.

Be mindful that hats usually cast a dark shadow over the eyes. Consider exactly what value your props and accessories bring to the overall look of your photoshoot and what risks they may present.

It is easy to get a variety of photos with and without many props.

Transition Lenses

I've had multiple clients show up to a photoshoot with transitions lenses. There is no problem with that, but of course, the glasses adjust dark when we're in a well-lit area. Consider bringing non-transition lenses or foregoing the glasses altogether, at least for some photos.

Break the Rules!

As with life, there are exceptions to the rules. If you want to wear snow gear in the river, I'm not going to stop you. This is YOUR session! I want you to be SAFE, but I want you to feel comfortable and confident!