Style Guide: What to Wear for your Photo Session

Photography sessions are an event. They’re lasting moments frozen in time that you will hold on to and look back at forever. Dress as if it is a special event; wear something you’d love to look at all the time. 

While there is no such thing as too dressed up, there are a few DO’s and DON’Ts when styling yourself [and your family or significant other] for your photography session. If you want to look your absolute best at your portrait session, here are some helpful tips:

Asbury Engagement Photos


Don’t wear sporty tennis shoes, large logos, neon colors, or baggy clothes. Anything that you feel will cause an immediate distraction to the images do not wear. If you put something on and find it distracting, it will most likely cause a distraction and create an off-balance in your portraits. Trust your gut; think about if you plan on putting these images around your house or giving them to loved ones; what do you want displayed in the photographs?

Don’t wear flip flops. Think about your entire outfit from head to toe. What footwear would emphasize and complete your look? We love cute booties or a really nice dress shoe.

Don’t try to match everyone in the session. Instead, think about what colors look good together and coordinate a complete look. We absolutely love coordinating outfits! When thinking about colors, think about ones that will look good together or contrast well but aren’t an exact match. Matching one another will create a flat look to the image and will not build any dimension or interest to the portrait. If you are unsure of what colors to wear, stick to neutrals, and then add some accessories with pops of colors that mix well together. 

Don’t have anything on your person you do not want to be photographed wearing. Remember, remove hair ties from your wrist and anything that is creating a bulge in your pockets. If you do not wish to have your smartwatch photographed, then take it off or replace it with a different watch you’d want to be in the pictures.


Family Photograph NJEngagement Photography New Jersey


Do wear complementary color tones. These would be colors that contrast or complement one another, look fabulous, and could really tie a portrait together.

Do mix and match patterns with solids (i.e., 1 pattern for every 2 solids). Patterns are fun to play off the solids. Mixing and matching patterns with the solids can give the portrait extra interest.

Do say yes to the dress!! Dresses are flirty and fun. Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera; they bring extra movement to the portraits and give your hands something to play with. Twirl and spin while pinching at your flowy dress or skirt; this looks gorgeous! Balticborn has a lot of inspiration for flowy full length looks. Check them out if you want to give us a twirl in your portraits! Lulus also offers a large selection of dresses, beautiful tops, and a ton of accessories for you to choose from. JustFab is another great boutique to checkout for outfit inspiration or to get accessories to complete your look. 

Do think about a dressier bottom. If you prefer pants go with something fitted, such as colored slacks or dark washed jeans – they look great on all body types.

Do flatter your favorite features. Minimize areas you may feel self-conscious about and accentuate what you want to show off! Three-quarter sleeves create a slimming effect on the arms, while thin straps or strapless tops have the opposite effect and make arms appear larger in photographs. Think about your shoes; heels elongate the legs, making them look fabulous.

Do bring a pair of easy-to-kick-off flats or comfortable shoes to walk in when moving from location to location between photos. Your feet will definitely thank you, and you’ll be way more comfortable!

Do think about your hair and makeup and how you’d want to be styled. Consider getting your hair and makeup done professionally. This way, the look will be more likely to stay throughout the session. Getting makeup and/or hair done professionally will add that extra done up look to your image. Lash extensions are a great way to accentuate your eyes in your portraits or go for a more natural look with rosy cheeks and light eyeshadow. Having your hair professionally done can add that reassurance it will stay in place throughout the session. When styling your hair, think about the weather. Does your hair get naturally frizzy in the humidity, or do you have long hair that might blow across your face in the wind if not tied back?

Do put on bloomers under little girls’ dresses and on infants. Kids love to run and roll around. While little diaper butts are cute, they don’t fit in that sweet family portrait you are looking for.

Do make a statement and add visual interest in your portraits by accessorizing. Choose accessories that tie everything together but do not distract the eye from your overall portrait. Accessorize for a more styled look; a cute hat, belt, scarf, or fancy footwear can really pull a look together. Pairing accessories with your look can add much-needed jazz to your portraits. Think about adding pops of color with your accessories to tie in all the colors of your outfit(s). Depending on the look you’re going for, an accessory would bring a fun, playful, or classy feel to the portraits.

Do bring props! We love when you involve props that are special or unique to you. Flowers are charming, playful, and give your hands something to hold/do. Flowers also add a little pop of color to your portraits. Bring a blanket if you want to get cozy or even for something you can sit on. What is unique or special about you and your significant other/family? Bring a motorcycle or a bicycle or even a classic vintage car – would really bring on the “wow” factor at your session and make it more personalized to you.

Hoboken Engagement Photos

Tips for the guys:

Long, fitted pants, dark washed jeans, and closed-toe shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine look for men. Let’s leave the casual shorts and sandals at home. These portraits will be something you want to display around your home or give to loved ones; think about dressing your finest. When choosing what pants to wear, think about what your significant other is wearing. Choose something to complement their look. We recommend staying away from graphics, logos, or any distracting patterns and colors. 

Adding a little visual interest to your look would really heighten the photographs. Add a blazer, a neck or bow tie, a fancy watch, a nice belt, fun socks, or suede dress shoes to create emphasis and dress up a more casual look. You can even consider layering if you and your partner [family] want to do more than one look. This way, all you have to do is take the layers off, and there you have it – another look! Layered ensembles on men look great in portraits. So even when it’s hot outside, trust us when we say it’s worth some discomfort for photos that will last you and your significant other [or family] a lifetime. 

Some fun places to get inspiration and/or a couple pieces for an outfit can be H & M. They have nice dress pants and neutral tops—tons of layers you can choose from, including other accessories, to really complete your overall look. American Eagle has a great selection of dark washed denim and clothing to create a casual yet put together look. We recommend checking out J. Crew if you want to go for a colorful and dressier look. They have a ton to check out, from dress pants to colorful layers. 

New Jersey Family Picture

Tips for the family:

The goal for coordinating a family is to visually break up the colors and shades so that you’re not all wearing the same color on top and bottom. The more you can mix that up, the better. It adds visual interest to the photographs when you compliment and contrast the colors everyone is wearing. Tip for the moms: choose your dress/outfit first and then build your family’s wardrobe from that piece or look. 

Balticborn has a lot of inspiration for flowy full length looks. Check them out if you want to give us a twirl in your portraits! Lulus also offers a large selection of dresses, beautiful tops, and a ton of accessories for you to choose from. JustFab is another great boutique to checkout for outfit inspiration or to get accessories to complete your look. 

Dresses: Balticborn
Women’s Clothing: Lulus
Women’s Accessories: JustFab
Men’s Clothing: H & M, American Eagle, J. Crew
Children’s Clothing: Amazon, Carters, Bailey’s Blossoms
Barnegat Lighthouse Engagement Photos

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