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Hi! I'm Hope Ann! I'm wedding & portrait photographer based in North Carolina. 

I am a bookworm, tea lover, fluent in Gilmore Girls, and hopeful romantic. 


How to Choose An Outfit for a Portrait Session

The number one question I get asked all the time after my clients book any portrait session with me is, “What should I wear?” So I thought I would do a post & breakdown how to choose your outfit for the next portrait session.

If you’re my client then you already get exclusive access to my Portrait Prep Guide, and in it I have a whole section devoted to putting together an outfit along with gallery samples & a Pinterest board.

If you’ve stumbled upon this post because you have no idea what to wear, saw the title & became intrigued, then I’m so glad you’re here!

It depends on each person’s personal style & the photographer they choose, but I hope these tips help you out.

Step 1. Stylish But Comfortable

Do not pick an outfit out that will be uncomfortable. I see this happen alot.

You find a cute outfit that you have to have for your portraits, but something is off with it. It doesn’t fit right, sit right, too tight or too loose.

This is one sure fire way to not love your photos. Because you’ll be too busy trying to adjust the outfit during the entire session, and walk away feeling frustrated because of your outfit.

Step 2. Don’t Be Afraid of Color

This might be a controversial one in the world of photography, but adding pops of bright color will not detract from the photo itself. I see so many trying to dull down their own personal style. Don’t do that. It won’t feel genuine to you.

Step 3. You Don’t Have to Match 100%

Your fiancé, husband, boyfriend, doesn’t have to be 100% matchy-matchy. I wouldn’t suggest going wildly in the opposite direction either. (Example: Preppy vs. Emo) See the examples below to see how the men’s outfits compliment the ladies.

Step 4. Gather Inspo. But Do Not Copy

Gather all the inspo. you need to put together an outfit for your session, but do not copy someone else’s style just because it looked good in their photos.

Your portrait session is an expression of who you are, the milestone in the story you are celebrating, and your loves. Get inspired by others, but don’t copy them verbatim. You won’t love your images if you look back and all you can think of is……”Dang……that outfit looked great on her but this doesn’t really look like me. Or feel like me.” (I’m speaking from personal experience with my own portrait sessions.)

Step 5. Skip the Casual Clothes

Do not, I repeat do not wear the flip flops to your portrait session. If anything bring some cute espadrilles, some decorative sandals with, but not the Old Navy flip flops. I do not know one person who has worn those in a session, and loved their choice. 100% regret, if anything.

The reason you even have a portrait session to begin with is to celebrate some type of milestone, or holiday happening, and sometimes it’s just because you want update photos with your loved ones.

For men I suggest at least wearing close toed shoes, and long pants. No graphic or wrinkly tee’s. If you opt for shorts for a summer session, please see some examples below of this done really well.

Bonus Tip: Bring an extra outfit to add variety to your session and the final images you’ll receive.

I hope this really helped and if you love this post, you’ll definitely love these:


Mount Airy Branding Session- Ivy Lou & Co.

Pilot Mountain State Park Maternity Session

The Barn at Granite Ridge Farms Wedding