Monarch Tree Photography | What to Wear

What should I wear?

When doing an engagement, family, or individual portrait, you may be tempted to wear the cute new shirt you just bought, or those amazing heels that you only bring out for special occasions. However, just because you love something doesn’t mean it is ideal for photos. Here is a general guideline of what works, and what doesn’t. Remember that any of these rules can be broken – but do so at your own risk!

Good ideas:
Wearing outfits in the same color family (light blue and dark blue, etc.)
Dark, muted colors that you can find easily in nature (i.e.: greens, blues, browns)
Solids or simple patterns
That hot little black dress!
Fitted clothing – big, baggy shirts can make you look a lot larger than you are
Comfortable clothes you can sit, stand, run, and jump around in
Nice jeans, paired with a dressy top
Accessories like funky necklaces, jackets, hats, scarves, sunglasses, etc.
Bringing one very dressy outfit and one very casual outfit

Bad ideas:
Bright white shirts (this one I don't mind breaking from time to time)
Wild patterns or horizontal stripes
Shirts with writing on them
Sleeveless shirts
Polo shirts on girls – for some reason, very few girls can pull this off well. If you really want to wear a polo, make sure it is fitted for a woman’s body, and not cut straight on the sides.
Shirts with short hemlines – the bottom edge of the shirt should hit at your hips or lower
Crazy colors (orange, lime green, fuschia, etc)
Watches or rings, unless they have a lot of sentimental value to you.. We want to emphasize the engagement ring, and lots of other jewelry will take away from that.
Short skirts, low necklines, anything even remotely risque
Exact matching outfits – it might seem cute now to wear the exact same outfit, but in a few years, you will hit yourself for being so cheesy ;)

Things you might want to bring with you:
Flip flops (if you plan on wearing heels, just to walk around in while we’re not taking photos)
A posterboard with “Thank You,” your name(s), or your wedding date written on it
Change of clothes in case one gets dirty or wet or you just want to change things up
Hairband, clips, ponytail holder, etc
Any props you want to use.. A frisbee, cowboy boots, dogs, anything that you both enjoy together

Other things to know:
-Girls, be aware of your body type. Know what your flaws are, what your assets are, and dress accordingly. If you’re a curvy girl, wear something properly tailored that really shows off the curves of your body. Look for shirts with long torsos that will make you look longer and leaner. Short hemlines on shirts will make you look bigger. Avoid extremely baggy clothing and super skintight clothing. If you’re a petite girl, dressing in layers will help avoid the “anorexic” look, but don’t go for anything poofy or with big shoulders/sleeves or it might end up swallowing you in the images. If you’re an athletic girl, avoid the urge to play up your killer arms or rock-hard thighs. Unfortunately, without sophisticated studio lighting, it can be hard to capture muscular definition in photos, and so heavily-muscled arms and legs can end up looking more like fat.
-Guys, you look good is just about everything, you lucky dogs! Remember to match the “tone” of your lady’s outfit. If she is dressy, you should be too!
-Be aware of your location, and dress appropriately. If you’re going somewhere very edgy and urban, wear something sophisticated and dressy. If you’re going somewhere artsy and whimsical, go for trendier styles and fun layers. If you’re going somewhere natural like a park, wear something more romantic and light. If you’re going somewhere casual and relaxed, pick an outfit you would feel comfortable lounging around in with your friends.

When in doubt, bring multiple outfits and I will be happy to lend a suggestion.