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I'm the lady behind the lens, ready for all your photographic needs &
cat-related content.

With coffee in hand, I provide a range of photographic services, from weddings & unions to headshots and small business branding. As a stage performer turned photographer, I give special commitment to being intentional, and making you feel seen and comfortable throughout the entire process.

Hey, hey! Sarah here.

family poses for fall photos in golden and burnt orange against fall backdrop in frederick maryland

Outfits for Photoshoots Style Guide

What to Wear for a Photoshoot Style Guide!

Hello! If you’re here, you’re probably prepping for a session, YAY πŸ™‚ Or, you’re gathering inspiration, so double YAY. Keeping reading to find out all you need to know about outfits for photoshoots!

man in maroon and blue plaid shirt and woman in cranberry embrace in front of stone wall

I will start by saying that as your photographer, my job is to make you feel yourself and look stellar. That being said, there are factors that go into the collective “matchiness” or cohesion of a photoshoot, and outfits are a part of that.

What I talk about in this post is not a hard set of rules, but rather guidance from my experiences in past photoshoots. Everything I talk about, I talk about because it has resulted in a positive experience, gorgeous photos, and a session where clients felt comfortable and like themselves.

A word on colors & lighting: As more of a natural light photographer, natural light is my guide. The color of light changes, especially if we’re shooting late afternoon into the evening, and gets warmer with the sunset. Depending on the light, colors will photograph differently throughout the session, which is honestly kind of exciting to get various shades πŸ™‚ My photography has found itself back toward keeping integrity of the colors you choose, but things may look just a little different depending on where we are and what the sky is doing!

family poses in front of vine-covered barn in blue green and yellow fall outfits for swva photography

Choosing Your Outfits for Photoshoots

Start in your closet. Yes, so obvious, I know I know. But instead of immediately buying something (unless you know you want that Pinkblush maternity dress or an Etsy find), start in your closet and pick out a few of your tried and true, favorite pieces of clothing. In my world, casual is not bad. If you wear jeans and converses 95% of your waking hours, that might be the perfect outfit to photograph in. If you’re a fancier friend, then sure, check the suits out.

Begin by picking out your favorite pieces of clothing, and if you don’t like what’s going on OR want an excuse to buy something new, then I would suggest your fav stores or Pinterest next. On Pinterest, if you already know your location, you can search similar places and see if anyone is wearing something you could see yourself in and love how it photographs. Are we photographing at a museum? Google “museum photoshoot”. Gardens? “garden photoshoot”. It might give you an idea of colors that look great against the backdrop.

Fiances snuggle by the C&O canal in white linen summer outfits

And a word on suits: if a fancy dress-up is what you’re both craving, then yes! If wearing a suit like you would to, say an office, makes you feel stiff, then opt for something more laid back. Our “office work outfits” can make us feel like we have to hold ourselves a certain way. If you’d more likely wear jeans or khakis with a flannel or t-shirt, go that direction. If you’d more likely wear overalls? I’ll join you! (Not kidding–one of my main photoshoot outfits is a pair of coveralls because it has 1,567 pockets…it is glorious.)

Now, I love coordinating outfits for photoshoots, so if we already have a location picked out and you’re like “AHH, I really feel lost here”, please let me know and I’ll send over a color palette and ideas! I worked a little in theatre costume shops and love this stuff πŸ™‚

Wanna see some of my Pinterest inspiration? CLICK BELOW:

https://pin.it/1WJcnwS

https://pin.it/5c5c4Uj

https://pin.it/4SQXuno

https://pin.it/2dJH3tN

family poses for fall photos in golden and burnt orange against fall backdrop in frederick maryland

Colors

While we’re on the topic of color schemes, I will tell you something I advice against: everyone wearing the exact same color. I personally think a separation and balance of solids and patterns look best! If you do want to wear the same color, go with more neutral colors rather than loud and bright ones. Again, Pinterest is always a magical place. You can also check out my growing Pinterest board of color palettes here:

https://pin.it/6IPl2b2

Think about your location and its colors, pick a few colors from a color scheme and run with it. These just give you an idea of what colors compliment one another really beautifully. And I’ll keep reiterating it…I am here to help! I really love this, so if it’s one less thing that could cause you stress, let me be your guide!

man and woman embrace on rock at middletown overlook with photographer frederick md

Patterns & Textures, yay or nay?

Ok, a quick rundown of my favorite fabrics if you want to add texture: Jean material, always. Corduroy and other ribbed fabrics. Sweater materials :). Basically, ribbed, knitted, velour, and satin all look am-ahzing.

Comfy and worn in clothing has the most casual look to it, and materials that don’t wrinkle super easily are a strong yessss.

Patterns? Yes! I suggest a balance of solid and patterns, OR you can mix patterns for a real funky vibe. (rule breaking, you get the gist) Perhaps a solid color shirt with a patterned bow tie or scarf?

The family below did a pattern opposite thing where she and her daughter wore reverse black and white polka dots. It was super cute.

Maternity Dresses

If you plan on wearing a dress, longer is better! I say this because it allows your gorgeous changing form to be showcased. There are so many amazing options online for all sleeve lengths, colors, and cuts. From flowy to fit, there’s an option for you. I also have a few dresses to choose from!

Everyone’s pregnancy experience is so different, and if the idea of putting on a dress is a total turnoff, then go with what feels comfy! We also have the option of doing a little bit of both, so you can get the floor length and the cozy & casual look!

pregnant woman in emerald green dress holds her belly and looks down with hair flowing

Indoor Photo Sessions

If it’s in-home, think fitted t-shirts and sweaters rather than button ups and cocktail dresses. Unless of course you live in a mansion with a library. Then yes, those will do.

I’ll most likely have you get comfy on the couch, so things that look natural for an “at home” setting are what we want to lean toward. Maybe even some wild socks? Or no socks. That’s fine, too.

From Head to Toe Details

Shoes will be in your pictures, so do give some thought to how they tie into your outfit. If you want photos with heels, make sure to bring some comfy shoes to travel in. And unless wild patterned socks are your thing, think about sock color with shoes!

With jewelry, I say for sure. I like the idea of wearing meaningful pieces, but that’s just how I operate. I can also get close-ups of special pieces πŸ™‚

Hats are great, too! Want to try one? Bring it along! I suggest keeping personal belongings to a minimum, but I can always carry things in a backpack from place to place. Ya, it’s part of the job description.

For maternity or other long dresses: if we can’t see your feet, wear comfy shoes! I’ve had folks wear snow boots under dresses before because we wouldn’t see them. If you have a train on your dress, I would suggest bringing along some cute shoes since we’ll probably try a flowy dress pic!

Pregnant woman in lilac maternity dress in Urbana Villages field with her husband

Now, sneakers. I wear Nike’s everyday of my life. They are black with a white checkmark and might as well be my life uniform. If sneakers are part of your aesthetic, then absolutely wear them. But if you’re wearing a dressier outfit, just pair it with dressier shoes. Neon kills the vibe.

Day of Odds & Ends

Hair & Make-up is up to you, but I’d say what you most often wear is best! I know some amazing hair and make-up artists that I can put you in contact with!

I always say that a photoshoot is a perfect opportunity for getting your hair done. And if you get your hair colored, do it at least a week prior to allow for brighter colors to settle in (I know that’s not the right terminology, but you get it πŸ˜‚).

Ok, a few more quick things: Check that pants aren’t sagging, and bra lines! Carry as little as possible with you. I will have spray for flyaways, but it’s always good to bring a comb in case. Floss your teeth! And bring chapstick πŸ™‚

In the End, it’s all you, bay-bee.

If there’s a particular look you want, say “royal pregnant goddess”, we’ll make it happen. If you’re worried about not being fancy enough because it’s a photoshoot, I’ll tell you you can stop worrying about that now. There are literally zero requirements except for me making sure you’re comfortable and getting beautiful shots that tell your story. Oh, and having fun πŸ™‚ Always that.

Hopefully this “outfits for photoshoots” ramble I’ve gone on helps prepare you for your next session! Have more questions? Let me know below, and then check out the blog for more tips and full sessions!

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  1. […] out Marissa & Tucker’s maternity shoot in the snow! Head to the blog for all the style guide and outfit prep you need for your […]

- emelie & nathan

"Thank you SO much! We are completely blown away by your work. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making the considerate amount of effort and taking the time to travel all the way to us in the middle of a pandemic. We will forever be grateful to you for capturing this special time in our lives."

"We are completely blown away..."

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-Glennis & varun

"...Sarah went above and beyond our expectations. She spent ample time talking with me about my vision of the day, provided a detailed itinerary to help me stay organized, and was a listening ear when I needed practical wedding advice. Her warmth, kindness, and genuine nature helped us feel comfortable in front of the camera. In addition, we are delighted with Sarah’s technical qualities as a photographer - her sense of mise-en-scΓ¨ne, attention to detail, and her remarkable ability to capture poignant and symbolic moments in an inter-cultural, inter-racial, pandemic wedding."

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"Sarah is AMAZING!!! She met us and worked with us through everything! She's very professional and never in a hurry! She took her time and she has fun with it, which results in beautiful pictures! I couldn't have picked a better photographer for our engagement shoot ! She gave us beautiful photos of our day!"

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