How to Choose an Outfit for Your Session

Choosing an outfit to wear for a photography session can be a little overwhelming, especially if you are trying to coordinate looks for the whole family. There are many important things to consider before deciding, including what type of session you are booking, and how you plan to use the photos.

What Type of Session Are You Booking?

The type of session being booked can have a huge impact on what outfit you decide to choose.

Birthday/Milestone Session

Birthdays and milestones are so fun! And oftentimes, this is when we choose to have a little whimsy and fun in a session. If you are documenting a birthday, consider letting your daughter wear her favorite dress (sure, right now you’re sick of seeing her in it every day but laundry day, but someday you will look back on these photos with nostalgia and miss seeing her in that dress every day!). Milestone/month onesies and shirts are also great for little kids. Try to avoid clothing with logos or patterns that are will be distracting for the feel you want.

Another option for birthday and milestone sessions is to go classy. Nice dresses, slacks and ties, etc. Classy attire in a milestone session means the photos can be used for many different purposes, and they truly stand the test of time.

Can’t decide if you want to go fun or classy? We always give you the option to include an outfit change in the middle of the session so you don’t have to!

Family Session

In a family session, the biggest thing to keep in mind is cohesion. You don’t want everyone’s outfits clashing. You want everyone to look like they belong together, without everyone being perfectly matched. To do this, pick two (or three) coordinating colors, and base everyone’s wardrobe around those two colors. Typically, at least one of those colors is a neutral (black, white, beige, gray). BUT you don’t want everyone wearing the exact same thing. Visually, it is more interesting and stimulating if everyone is wearing the same colors in different variations.

Example: Colors – black, gray and teal.

Dad: Teal polo, black slacks.

Mom: Black shrug, gray blouse, teal jeans, black boots.

Child: Teal top, gray leggings, black boots.


What you choose to wear for an engagement session is very dependent on what type of photography style you are looking for. (Don’t know what type of style you like? We can help you figure it out!)

A lifestyle photo session typically calls for a cute but casual style outfit. You might consider going a little dressier for a posed photo session. In the end, you want your engagement photos to be a reflection of you and your fiancé. If you’ve never worn 4-inch heels in your life, now is probably not the best time to test them out. Ultimately, you want your engagement photos to show off your excitement, love, and connection with your significant other, so where something that makes you feel beautiful, confident, and amazing!

What Are These Photos Being Used For?

A photo being used for invitations or holiday cards might call for a different outfit than a photo that you plan on hanging in your home for years to come. Be sure to consider the purpose of the images before your session!

A picture of a little boy in a Wild One shirt crawling towards the camera.

Birthday Invitations/Thank You Cards

If you are booking a session for your child, with the intent to use these photos on their birthday card invitations and thank you cards, you will want to consider dressing them with the theme of the party in mind. Now, a Mickey Mouse party doesn’t mean you have to dress your child up like Mickey Mouse. Instead, choose a red and black outfit to highlight the theme without being too over the top. (Plus, red and black is a great choice for holiday cards, if you’re planning on using these photos again!)

Holiday Cards

If you plan on using these photos for holiday cards, consider whether you will be sending out formal holiday cards or more casual holiday cards. Formal cards probably mean more formal attire. If you’re setting up a lifestyle session, you can get a little more casual with the attire. Either way, it’s important to consider color choices to make sure everyone is cohesive without being too perfectly matched.

Home Décor/Nursery Décor

Do you plan on framing these photos to hang in the living room, in the hallway, or in your child’s room or nursery? If so, you should think about the themes of these rooms to make sure the styling and outfits fit with the rest of the space. If your daughter has a teal and green room, it might be best to dress her in coordinating colors instead of a bright pink dress that will clash with the rest of your carefully-chosen accents. A chic, ultra-modern living room might call for classic black and white outfits for the family. Think about the tone and colors already incorporated into the room, and draw inspiration from that. You want the photos to look like they absolutely belong in the room they’re going in, rather than simply stuck up as an afterthought.

Courtney and Devin's 7th Wedding Anniversary Session

Save the Dates

Many people choose to use their engagement photos for their Save the Date cards. If you don’t know what the theme or colors for your wedding are going to be yet, don’t panic! It’s ok! Your Save the Date cards do NOT have to have the same look and feel as your wedding is going to.

Save the Dates are typically a little more informal, and are just a nice way to let family and friends know that they should be expecting an invitation (and give them plenty of time to make sure they’re available!). That being said, you can dress a little more informal, have some fun, or add a little whimsy to your session.

If you already have a theme and colors picked out for your wedding, feel free to incorporate some of that feeling and flare into your engagement session! Pink and white garden theme? Get dolled up in a full circle skirt and let’s head to a rose garden to do the session! Chic modern wedding? How about classic pencil skirt at a pop art museum? Ultimately, Save the Dates are a way to give your loved ones a little sneak peek at the love they’re going to witness at your wedding!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *