Styling Your Couple Portrait Session


June 23, 2022

One of the questions I get asked most often as a photographer is what do we wear to our photo session?! It’s a totally valid question!

The good news is, you don’t have to figure it out alone. Clients who book with me receive a style guide full of helpful information around styling their session. But I’ll give away a few secrets here too!

Most importantly, you want to feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing. Your photo session should be fun, memorable, and make you feel confident and beautiful!

Keep reading for some tips on how to style your couple’s session. 

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1. Be confident and comfortable

Choose an outfit that you are comfortable and confident in. You want to be glowing during your portrait session, not worried about your dress being too short or how uncomfortable your shoes are. How you feel will shine through your images. When you look at your photos you want to remember how much you love your person and how much fun you had, not how uncomfortable you felt.

2. Embrace who you are

When you are viewing your images you want to feel like they truly captured who you are. So embrace that in your outfit choices. If you aren’t a fan of skirts or dresses, opt for a cute romper or jumpsuit! If you aren’t a fashionista on top of the latest trends, don’t force yourself to be. You want your photos to represent who you are. (and also going back to #1 – you want to be comfortable and confident!)

3. Dress it up!

Let your portrait session be an excuse to get dressed up! Have a dress that you’ve had no occasion to wear? Now’s the perfect time to wear it! If you don’t want to spend a ton of money on a new dress, try Rent the Runway where you can still feel like a million bucks without spending a lot. Or let this be an excuse to go shopping. I’ll totally encourage that, if you need a shopping buddy let me know! 

Long flowy dresses are very flattering on camera and they add extra movement to the images. Shorter dresses or skirts are also very flattering. Don’t hesitate to bring both! Dresses aren’t your thing? Rompers and jumpsuits can still create movement without you feeling uncomfortable. White or light jeans are also perfectly fine!

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4. Coordinating over matching

Gone are the days of the portrait sessions where everyone is wearing khakis and navy polos (2000’s summer vacation vibes anyone? Just my family?) To create more visual interest you want your outfits to have a cohesive color palette. Which brings me to my next point…

5. Color palette

Rather than trendy prints, patterns, or the season’s bold color, opt for light-colored, earth tones, neutrals, soft pastels, or jewel tones. Avoid bright and neon colors as they will take the focus away from you! These softer colors blend so well with outdoor settings so all of the focus stays on you and your person.

6. Don’t be afraid of a pattern

I’m definitely going against the above point, but let me reassure you that patterns aren’t a bad thing. If you choose a pattern, choose one and let that be the star of the show. The remaining clothing choices should be neutrals or coordinating colors. You don’t want multiple patterns vying for your attention. 

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7. Accessorize! 

Accessories are great for adding dimension to your images and can also give you something to do with your hands. Don’t feel like you have to accessorize if that is not your thing. If it is though, consider adding a hat, statement necklace, scarf, earrings. Other ‘accessories’ you could include are pets or flower bouquets (definitely accessories!).

8. Layer up

Adding layers can give you more variety in your images. You can ‘change outfits’ without changing outfits just by taking off a jacket or blazer. And going with that, consider the season you’re in. If it is chilly outside, a strappy dress may not be the best choice. But, you can still wear that dress, just add a blazer or a sweater!

9. Flatter your features

Choose pieces that flatter your body. I’ll say it again, you want to feel so confident in what you are wearing, because it is that important. A dress that flatters your curves, shoes that elongate your legs, a color that brings out your eyes, yes yes yes!

10. Have two outfits

A great way to add variety into your images is to bring an outfit change. For engagement sessions, I suggest having a formal outfit (cause why not get glammed up) and then a more casual outfit. It may even feel like you’re going on a date, so ice cream after the session is a must!

I hope you’re excited for your portrait session! Enjoy the entire process and have fun picking out those outfits. I mean it, if you need a shopping buddy, I’m here!

Until next time, xoxo Nicole

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