Bit of Ivory's "What Not to Wear."

We all want to look good for our photos, but a lot of times, we get overwhelmed with WHAT to wear! Too many choices, and honestly, in the grand scheme of things, that should be the least of your concerns. :)

A lot of clients ask me what looks best, what should their guy wear, do they clash with patterns, etc... well, here are some guidelines to what I recommend when having your pictures taken!

* Clashy patterns tend to take away from the face. When photos are more about the people, then it would be best to stay away from this. If we were doing a fashion shoot, then this obviously doesn't apply. :)

* Go signature. Have a family heirloom locket that your Grandma gave you? Wear it! Have a pair of earrings that your husband bought for you on your first anniversary? Wear 'em! Always have a signature piece. It makes the personality of your photos even more special.

* Solid colors work really well, but try to add some texture. It unifies everything and adds something "extra" to your outfits without being "too plain" or "too garish."

* Clueless about colors? Check out Color Scheme to play around with pleasing color options! The artist in me is drawn to the Complementary and Triad options; I recommend going with these.

* Props are more fun! Okay, so this is not a clothing suggestion, but it IS an accessory. Balloons, umbrellas, and pinwheels are always a unique way to add to the session experience.

* For children-only portraits, light patterns are great, especially because they tend to be more playful and colorful. Color, color, color is best! Stay away from black and gray; it distracts from the youthfulness of your little one. Favorite toys also add a bit of fun and would help the child feel more relaxed.

* For family portraits, it depends if you're more traditional or modern. Traditional portraits have everyone in the same color scheme/outfits. More modern families have similar styles (e.g., fancy casual or very casual). Whatever you are, go with what fits with your family's personality. Different shades of blue tend to look great on any skin tone.

* For senior portraits, BE YOU! Bring props that have meaning to you. Wear outfits you feel confident in.
- For the ladies, I highly recommend staying in the modest realm ("cover all your gifts!"). You'll thank me in 10 years. ;) Pick out favorite accessories and how you want to be remembered. If you wear little to no makeup, wear it a bit heavier than usual so it looks natural in photos.
- For the guys, choose two outfits. One you would wear hanging out with your friends. One you would wear out on a date. And remember to comb your hair! :)

* For engagement sessions, you don't necessarily have to match, but you do want to coordinate. If you like more traditional shots, couples tend to wear the same color scheme (this will branch into a "family portrait" type of feel). For more modern shots, go for fancy casual, but stay away from overtly distracting patterns. The setting and you as a couple should drive the photos, not your outfits.

* For bridal or Trash the Dress sessions, pretty much anything goes. You're in a gorgeous gown. Enough said. :)

So, best wishes! And just know, whatever you end up choosing to wear, the memories alone will make you picture perfect. :)

- Chelsea :)

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