What do I wear?

Over the years, I have found that this has been the most frequently asked question and often the most stressful for my families and couples. As portrait season comes upon us, trying to plan outfits tend to come up with every client and I assure you, you are not alone in feeling this way. The great news is that it is also super fun and super easy if you keep a few things in mind!

Don't be "matchy-matchy"

I'm sure we all grew up seeing the classic pictures of the completely matching family portraits with the white t-shirts and blue jeans or everyone wearing exactly the same thing. Well, times have changed. As easy as it is to want to match everyone the same, I find when you coordinate outfits instead of matching, you have the opportunity to let each subject stand out in their own unique way!

Coordinate colors, textures, and patterns

Coordinating colors, patterns and textures can bring out a super fun creative side that you may never have known existed. For instance, if you're a mom, you could wear a favorite maroon dress and your husband wear a navy button up while the kiddos wear similar colors or patterns with those same colors mixed into each outfit. None of these colors or patterns match but they look great together and it makes for a fun and unique look to your images.


If you have your heart set on having the same or a favorite color, let's say blue, then find different shades of blue for each member of the family. If one person has a solid dark blue shirt paired with kakis, then you can coordinate a light shaded blue dress with a faux fur vest (adding textures) or a cute brown or tan hat.


Another fun idea is to have all the girls in one type of coordinating color and having a complimentary color for the boys. For example, one of my families one year had all the boys wear shades of grey (grey photographs beautifully when paired with bright colors by the way!) and the girls wore shades and patterns of yellow. The two complimented each other so well!

Choose something special

Most of my clients only get their pictures done once or twice (if you have a growing family) a year, so make it worth it! Don't wear something you would wear every day. You want your shoot to be special, especially since most portraits are taken during holiday seasons or milestone times of the year when you will be sending them out to family and friends.


With that being said, I recommend dresses or skirts for ladies and nice slacks for men. Unless the look you're going for is more casual, why not dress up in a blazer or pretty dress to make a statement in your images? You will be viewing these images forever, so why not take some extra time to make yourself stand out a little more.

Invest in yourself

If you're spending time and money into the outfits, why not treat yo'self with getting your hair and makeup done? These images are going to be so special for you and the ones you love to admire for years and years, so investing a little extra in yourself to feel amazing in front of the camera is something you will always remember. Plus, it looks awesome on camera and especially on the end result you'll be looking at on your wall!


Now, more often then not I have have ladies tell me they almost never wear makeup or style their hair. If this is the case, wouldn't you want to feel extra confident and glamorous on your session date? If you go to a professional, you can explain to them you want to go for a more "natural" look, and they'll know exactly what to do!

If you're still stumped

Drop us a line!

East Bay Portraits

Based out of Livermore, CA

(925) 784-0804