Getting ready for your session – outfit choices.

your clothes

You may have read my manifesto on what to wear for your photo session. I refer my clients to it before their sessions, and it periodically floats around Pinterest and Facebook. I stand by every word in it, even though it was written years ago – the suggestions I give are tried and true in my experience and make a HUGE difference in the outcome of your shoot. But if you’re looking for more cut-and-dried, down to brass tacks advice on choosing clothes, here’s the nitty gritty.

1) Color.
All color (except black) reflects light and puts it own chromatic spin on it. So if you’re wearing bright orange, you’re going to get a bit of an orange glow on your skin. If you’re wearing purple, your skin is going to catch a bit of that reflection. Now, that’s not to say you should never wear bold colors when you’re photographed; this effect can be so slight that you might never notice it except in a close up. But as a photographer, I can say that the most universally flattering colors for every skin tone are cream, gold, silver, gray, pale pink, and pale shades of blue and yellow.

Chattanooga family lifestyle beauty maternity photographer Emily Lapish Photography_0355

I love this shot so much. It’s totally an outtake, but everyone’s personality shows through. And we can all agree 100% that their outfit selection ROCKS.

Chattanooga family lifestyle beauty maternity photographer Emily Lapish Photography_0357

The anchor colors here are the neutral gray and cream and beige, and the small pop of teal and peach just set it all off and give the session a fun, bright feel.


Chattanooga family lifestyle beauty maternity photographer Emily Lapish Photography_0356

This pale shade of gold caught the gorgeous sunset glow and tied in the Autumn leaves – bringing a warm glow to her already glowing complexion.

Chattanooga family lifestyle beauty maternity photographer Emily Lapish Photography_0358

Black is also a fine choice for session attire, but make sure you break it up with some color in your accessories. It can also be trickier to coordinate with other people in your session if you choose to wear black – but it’s always a good choice for a Natural Beauty session.

2) Layers.
Especially this time of year, you’re probably going to want some layers to stay seasonably toasty. I *love* the cozy, adorable look of cold weather sessions, so don’t let this weather scare you off (also, we can always shoot your session inside the toasty warm studio where you can wear whatever you like).  Also, as a side note, inclement weather can produce some of the most amazing photographs. But back to layers – build your outfit for warmth and style by layering textured stockings under a skirt and adding boots and a wool pea coat. Or start with a cozy flannel plaid shirt and add a brightly colored vest. And don’t forget a scarf – they keep you warm and also add opportunities for some great shots. Hats are also super-fun. Take some chances mixing textures.

And there you have it. Make sure you’re confident and comfortable, and you’re good to go. 🙂

If you missed the makeup tips I shared last week, click here. For tips on how to pose for your selfies or Christmas photos, click here

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Emily Lapish is a lifestyle photographer in Chattanooga, TN specializing in all things family-related. She spends her time fending off wild animals raising three boys with her husband, and enjoys long walks through Target while cradling a hazelnut latte. 

To book your birth, beauty, or family session, or to schedule a free consultation,click here


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  • Faith Chesney

    Great info. So many great links too.ReplyCancel