• Shauna Schneeman

What do I Wear? Portrait Sessions!

I already posted about what to wear for engagement sessions, but I left my other portraits out! Time to change that!


Although it deserves its own posts, the same principals apply.


In order for you to make the most of my style I have a few tips to help you decide what to wear. If after this post you still need help feel free to contact me!

Color Coordination and Patterns!


Color coordination is the biggest thing to keep in mind for your session. You don't need to match, in fact the best portraits I have taken everyone is wearing something different. However, they all have colors in common. I will tell you, it is much easier said than done. I do this for my own family and It takes me a while to find coordinating pieces within my budget. I will give you my planning process I use for my own family.


  1. Pick out a color family I want to work with. I like to think about what I am doing with these photos.. Are they to update the portraits on the walls of my home? Then I will try and coordinate the colors of my home. Are they for Christmas cards? Then I may add some burgundy. Think about the use of the images or the theme you are going for.

  2. I know the colors of my home are Gray, White, and Black. So I typically start with these scheme as my primary and add hints of another color depending on the time of year.

  3. My family has 4 people to coordinate. I only put ONE PERSON in pattern. Clashing patterns is the most common mistake my clients make. So if one person is wearing Stripes, floral, or a flannel then everyone else should be in solid color. I also recommend having someone in pattern I think it is the best break up of color. The easiest way I have found to do this is by purchasing 1 patterned garment that has all of the colors that I am hoping to achieve. For example: My oldest son typically gets the roll of patterned outfit wearer. If my color scheme is Black, White, Gray with a touch of Burgundy I will try to find him a Flannel that has these colors (You can also find dresses for a female in your group to wear that would be able to achieve this).

  4. Now that I have my patterned piece everyone else will dress in solids of one of those colors. I still have 3 people left to dress, but all of my theme colors are on the table. I can wear a black dress, Put my husband in a gray sweater, and my younger son in a burgundy button up, sweater, or polo.

  5. Did you see that I didn't say everyone else wear a sweater? Mix and match fabric to give more Coordination less Matching!

Dressing for a theme!


This images above me you will see that my client, Jess and Zach, are doing a Christmas Theme for their session. Like I said earlier, dress for the photos use! These can be used for Christmas cards, their save the dates and around their Christmas themed wedding easily! Adding their props to coordinate as well was a great touch and a great way to provide theme!


Formal Vs. Casual


I personally am all on board for full formal like this couple did! Mike and Yolanda KILLED IT! Note that her patterned dress was perfectly coordinated by Mike's shirt!


There is no rules on how formal or casual your outfits need to be, completely personal preference. However I beg to stay clear of T-shirts. Although fun to purchase personalized shirts or easy it is to have everyone in a black/white T-shirt. It just doesn't come across as put together and often falls short of the scenery and glow that I create for your images.


Don't feel weird going "All Out" in your outfits. You may feel weird walking into a park over dressed, but it is only 1 hour of possible awkwardness for a life time of memories!


Group Coordination

Large family and extended family sessions can be coordinated. It is a littler harder to achieve, but so worth it! If you are working with multiple households try and keep it simple. Pick 3 colors every member of your group can pick one. Try and again keep it 1 pattern per house hold. Try and adjust large vs. small prints to give even better coordination.


Keeping it you and comfortable!


My most important piece on this is to make sure you are comfortable. It is typical we do a bit of walking unless someone in the party can't make it very far in which case we pick a small area to stay at. Also many locations in south Jersey are not paved. Comfortable shoes is key! if you wish to wear less comfortable shoes I suggest bringing them along with you and putting them on at each photo set instead of wearing them the whole time.


If it is a cold day bring a blanket or jacket to keep yourself comfortable between sets. If it is hot out bring water! (I know thats something you don't wear, but you will wear sweat if you aren't comfortable on a hot day).


I know this is a lot, but I promise you it makes a big difference! Please contact me if you need help!





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