Accessories and Props

  • Accessories – accessories can add variety to your portraits…for example a favorite hat…a decorative scarf or shawl if not too hot or formal for the rest of your outfit…we’ll create some photographs with the accessories and some without.
  • Also think about what you enjoy doing.  For example, if the portrait photography session theme is a walk in the woods, and you like to play guitar, you can bring your guitar as a prop.
  • If your portraits involve a baby, please also bring a soft, thick blanket that can be laid on the grass in the case of outdoor, park settings.  You can also bring props like stuffed animals, rocking horse, wagon, etc.


  • You should treat this portrait photography session as a special occasion.  If you normally wear makeup either on a daily basis or for special occasions, then we recommend you wear makeup for your portrait photography session.  If you are a never-wear-makeup person, then that’s fine; there’s no need to change who you are for your portraits!  If you would like to get your makeup (or hair) professionally done, just ask us for a recommendation!

Clothing Guidelines

  • Your clothing can be as formal or casual as you'd like... just make sure to "match formality!"  For example, if one person is wearing jeans, then another person shouldn't wear dress pants.  In addition, we recommend that your clothes be "nice enough" that you would want to hang your portraits on your walls.
  • Unless this is a family reunion portrait with a large number of people, you don’t need to match each other – i.e., you don’t need to wear the SAME colors unless they are different shades (e.g. light and dark).  But DO wear complementary colors for your portrait photography session, NOT clashing colors that "fight" with each other.
  • Limit the number of differently-patterned outfits in group portraits, so that the scene doesn't look overly busy.
  • The color(s) that I do NOT recommend that anyone wear is white or cream, unless the clothing has texture (like lace, a knitted pattern, etc.) or will be mostly covered up by something else.  White bottoms are much better than white tops.  The problem with white/cream is that the viewer's eye goes to the brightest thing in the photograph, and if you're wearing a white/cream top, then the viewer's eye will be drawn to your clothing instead of to your faces.... and without detail/texture, your clothing will just look like white blobs.  While it may be easiest with a large family reunion session to have everyone wear white, your portraits will really look better with people wearing other colors.  For example, half of the group could wear red and the other half black, or you could have guys in black, gals in purple, and kids in blue.  The shade of color doesn't have to be the same; variety in the shade of color can also look nice, i.e. some people can wear light blue and others dark blue, etc.
  • Dark colors tend to give a slimming effect – you can still add a pop of color to dark with an accessory like a scarf.
  • If your portraits are for business purposes, such as your business website, consider clothing colors that complement your brand and website colors.
  • Make sure to wear clothes that you’re comfortable and confident both standing AND sitting in.  For example, while you might love that short skirt, if you can’t sit in it, then you’ll be severely limiting the posing possibilities and variety.
  • Wear clothing that’s neither too loose nor too tight.  Clothing that’s too loose may not be as flattering, and clothing that’s too tight may create an unwanted bulge when you sit!
  • If there's a part of your body that you're sensitive or self-critical about, then you may wish to cover that area with clothing.
  • Do iron your clothing before your session!
  • If you plan to wear heels, you may also want to bring a comfortable pair of flats that you can walk in as we move from location to location.
  • We all have the urge to color coordinate and select cute clothing for the kids!  But if your portrait session is in the late fall or winter and includes young children, the #1 concern is to please make sure that you dress them warmly.  From experience, we know that if the kids feel cold, no amount of cajoling, making funny faces, or playing around with them will bring out their smiles.  Instead, they’ll be runny-nosed and crying the whole time, and none of us want THAT for your family portraits!  So please make sure to dress children WARMLY!!!
  • If your portrait session is a maternity session, I encourage you to select a more “form-fitting” top in order to show off your beautiful belly!!!
  • Clothing changes: You are welcome to bring one or more changes of clothing to add more variety during your portrait session.  That said, keep in mind that taking time to change clothes takes away from your portrait session time.  For babies and young children who can be changed in public, clothing changes are easy and fast.  For older children and adults, you will need to keep in mind distance to a changing area, depending on where your session is held.  Also, if you’re bringing additional clothing, you will also be carrying it throughout the session!  Given that, for older children and adults, I recommend a maximum of one clothing change per hour session, and only if a private changing area will be just a one or two minute walk away.  When a private changing area is not close/available, an easy way to still add diversity to your portraits is to bring a sweater/jacket that can simply be put on over your existing clothes, and to add accessories like hats and scarves (see above).
  • Finally, if you are unsure about what to wear, you're welcome to lay out clothing combinations on a bed, take a picture, and send to us for feedback.


  • Please be sure to be on time (or better yet, early) for your session, so that you are able to enjoy the full length of time we’ve reserved for you.  If you have never been to the location where your session will take place, I recommend that you plan to arrive early in case you have trouble finding the place.