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Portraits: What to Wear?

Clothing choices for portraits are important but don’t have to be difficult. Here are a few suggestions – and some “do’s” and “don’ts” – that should help.

Keep It Simple!

Keep your clothing simple and coordinating. When a group is dressed in similar colors, the attention of the portrait is focused on the faces and individuals that make up the portrait. Dissimilar colors in groups tend to be more distracting.

Don’t: Loud or busy patterns and large logos should be avoided.

Don’t: Plaid, small checks, stripes, and loud large prints & neon are very distracting in an image and should be avoided.

Do: Solid colors are best.

What about White?

White is great if we are going to the beach for portraits, but otherwise it’s to be avoided. White clothing is generally brighter than the person wearing it, and tends to wash people out. You – and not your white shirt – should be the star of your portrait!



Black is classic, always in style, and looks good in just about every environment (except the beach). BUT – black by itself can be boring. Adding a pop of color with belts, scarves or other accessories adds some interest – or you can pair a black jacket with a bright top for a great choice.

Coordinate or Match?

Everyone in the portrait should have color-coordinated outfits. We suggest a theme, but not a uniform.

The Fit

When shopping for kids, moms (me included) like to buy clothes that have “room to grow.” In portraits, that “growing room” wrinkles and is unattractive. We want to choose outfits that fit well, not “glove tight” but without a lot of “growing room.”

On the Bottom

Since your slacks and skirts will show in your portraits, keep everyone in the same color on the bottom. If you’re going with jeans, make sure that everyone’s jeans are similar in tone. Avoid mixing washed faded jeans on some people and dark jeans on others. Keep the bottom the same – then, change it up a bit on top.

Where do I start?

If you are still struggling, choose a color you like to wear to start with. For example, if you like purple, then you can mix grays and blacks with different shades of purple. Think in terms of keeping your family in the same palette of colors.

And of course, if you have questions about particular combinations, just text or email me some photos, and I’ll help you decide!

Other Pointers

Many clients forget about make-up, nail polish, and haircuts, and what a big difference they make to your photographs, so please keep in mind the following:

  • Make-up: Ladies, be sure to bring any necessary makeup for touchups.

  • Nail Polish: Make sure that there is no chipped polish on hands and feet. We may make some portraits barefoot.

  • Haircuts: Men should avoid getting a haircut just before a session.

How many pictures do you take at a wedding?

I don’t put a limit on how many pictures I take – I’ll take as many as I need to in order to tell the story of your day! From those, I select the best images to give you, and although it varies widely, you can expect to receive at least 300 images from a 6-hour wedding day.

Do you take both color and black & white pictures? What about where part of the picture is in color and the rest is black and white?

I use digital equipment, so I shoot in color and then convert selected images into black & white. I also do selective coloring and other effects you might like. Whenever I do this, you’ll still get the color version so you can have it both ways.

Do you take the posed formal shots?

Of course! I will ask you for a list in advance to make sure we don’t miss anybody. My approach for the posed formal shots is “short and sweet” so that you can spend more time at your reception with your family and friends.

What if none of your packages is quite what I want? Can you customize them?

Absolutely! You can build your own package, or I can customize a package to give you exactly what you want. Email me for a custom quote.

Can you travel for weddings?

I love to travel! I am more than willing (and happy!) to do a wedding that is out of town, out of state or even out of the country! My rates include travel within 50 miles of my hometown of Brevard, North Carolina. Email me for a custom travel quote.

How do we reserve our date?

I never have more than one wedding per week, so I require a signed contract and a non-refundable retainer fee of $750 to hold the date. I operate on a “first-come, first-served” basis, so I cannot hold the date until I receive the signed contract and retainer. The retainer will be applied to the balance, which is due 14 days before the wedding.

When will we be able to see our images?

Making sure your images look awesome takes time. Many clients are surprised to learn that the wedding day coverage is just the start for me! Each image is edited and retouched to look its best. You can expect to have all your pictures up in your online gallery within 3 weeks after the wedding.

What is the online gallery?

The online gallery is a password-protected site where your wedding images will be posted. You can order prints and share all your gallery information with your friends and family. That way, all of your family and friends can order their own pictures, so you don’t have to do it for them! Your gallery will be online for 4 months so that your family and friends have ample time to order pictures.

How far in advance do we need to take out engagement pictures? What about my bridal portrait?

The timing of your engagement pictures will depend on what you want to do with the images. For example, if you are going to use your engagement photo for save-the-date cards or as part of your invitations, you will want to make sure you have plenty of time. I strongly recommend that you schedule your bridal portrait at least two months prior to your wedding date, just in case something unexpected happens.

What should we wear for our engagement pictures?

You don’t have to match exactly, but it’s a good idea to wear outfits that are similar in style (i.e. both wearing jeans or both wearing dressy outfits). Dark, solid colors are best and try to avoid stripes, patterns, or anything else that distracts from your face.

Do you offer different price options?

A-la-carte pricing allows you to get exactly what you want. You may schedule your session with a $150 session fee which is payable at the time you book your appointment. I also offer a “No Session Fee” option if you book your session with a minimum order “pre-payment” of $500. This amount is due when you book your session, and the entire amount will apply to your order.

All images feature quality image reproduction and include minor retouching.  All sessions, collections, and products are subject to North Carolina sales tax.  Please contact me to schedule a consultation.

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