top of page

WEDDINGS    COUPLES    FAMILIES    BRANDS    SENIORS    PERSONAL

Stay up to date on exclusive session promos and studio events!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER

What to wear for your Columbus, Ohio photo session with Kimberly Potterf Photography

What you wear in photos can help reveal your personality and draw attention to what matters most! I want you to feel confident in front of my camera, so I am sharing wardrobe tips for families and couples that want to look cohesive, high school seniors and professionals ready to make a splash.


I suggest all of my clients take advantage of a complimentary pre-shoot call with me to go over a few different things in preparation for your session, but since these questions come up so often I thought I'd go ahead and share some wardrobe wisdom here.


Do ALL my photoshoot outfits need to have a neutral color palette?


Honestly, it really depends on your personal style and goal of the shoot. If you tend to prefer photos with a more classic and timeless aesthetic, you can’t go wrong with a simple and neutral palette. Creams, whites, denim and more muted earthy tones tend to look good on just about everyone and look great in just about any season and background, from spring blooms to fall foliage. It’s always a safe choice.


So while neutrals are a fantastic safe option, if you’re looking to add some boldness and excitement to your photos, I’m totally game for that as well! I encourage my clients to share any ideas they have with me. Together we will make some magic!


Branding clients, especially small business leaders who may want to create content that makes an impression, might want the OPPOSITE of neutral, rather something clearly memorable like a bold color or print that fits their brand. The key is to dress for the environment and to know your audience and the message you want to send. (Click here for more brand session tips.)


For high school senior portraits, personal style typically reigns supreme. These sessions are all about celebrating their individuality and a chance to have fun. When my high school seniors confidently wear a funky or nontraditional outfit, this is clearly a nod to their personality and I'm all for it!. It makes the shoot more fun, personal, and memorable as well. (Jump to more wardrobe pointers for senior photos.)


So by all means, don’t be afraid to be a little bold! Let’s discuss this in our pre-shoot planning call, and I can make sure we have a background/location that will help make you shine!.



What to wear for your Columbus, Ohio photo session

What to wear for your Columbus, Ohio photo session

what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography

what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography

what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography


Outfit tips for family and couple photos


If it’s a group picture, be sure to choose clothes for the hardest-to-dress person first. Kids look adorable in anything, but one or both adults might struggle to find an outfit they love. If that’s you, lock down your outfit first, then start shopping for the others!


When it comes to groups, aim to complement. There’s no need to match exactly! Coordinating outfits in a similar palette that allow for more individual personality within your group is the way to go.


If you’re wearing the color blue, for example, choose cool tones for the rest of the outfits. If mom is wearing a blue dress, then the child might be in a tan dress with blue flowers on it. Dad might be in a pair of jeans and a cool-toned sweater.


Again, not everyone in the group needs to be in muted neutrals, but when adding more vibrant colors, consider sticking to just ONE additional accent color. For example, if one child is wearing a yellow shirt, the other children or parents could have a hint of that color in an accessory to carry it through. Depending on the setting we choose for your session, a neutral palette can lean lean lighter with creams and beige tones, or a bit darker with navy/earthy/dark green hues. Either way, I will make sure the focus is on your personalities and relationships.


Couples, these same rules apply for your engagement or anniversary session.


what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography


What to wear for branding photos


If you’re the only person being photographed for your brand, wear colors you feel confident wearing that best represent your brand and the visuals on your website. If coordinating wardrobe for a group, stick to 1-2 neutral colors that look nice together to anchor the group, and then you can vary up how individuals wear them.


In a controlled environment, like my studio, the possibilities are endless! Studio sessions are typically VERY intentional and planned out, so we can often create the setting and background to suit your brand and sky is truly the limit.



I also photograph on-location, both indoor and outdoor such as offices or other workspaces. I’m always scouting new places to photograph my clients for a variety of  needs. No matter where we shoot though, I’m available to suggest color palettes or share best practices from my experience..



what to wear brand photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography

Can you wear all one color for a photoshoot?


Absolutely. 


If you choose an all-black or monochromatic outfit, just try mixing up the materials. Imagine, for instance, an outfit with black denim, a black satin blouse, and a black leather jacket. You can break it up with accessories like an interesting belt, or statement shoes. The same principle applies for all white, all tan, etc. Mixing textures brings dimension, balance and interest. Unless it’s one piece or a trending matching set, maybe avoid wearing the same fabric from head to toe.


A monochromatic look also makes a terrific foundation for accessories with a pop of different color or texture such as belts, jewelry or shoes. Those little unique accents can really personalize your look.


Selecting appropriate lighting and backgrounds are realy key to pulling the whole look together as well so if you have any questions, just ask.



Wearing patterns, prints, or florals for your photo session


Prints are definitely an option! However, the wrong mix can become distracting and don’t always translate well in a printed photo, so pencils up!


Unless done VERY intentionally, multiple patterns often won’t photograph well, and statement prints (especially large bold logos and graphics) are often better in-person than in photos. When it comes to creativity and expression however, I don’t believe in absolutes. So again, don’t be afraid to share your vision with me, and we come up with some great options that reflect you and still resonate with your intended audience.


Floral patterns often photograph well and can be super fun!. If one person opts for a floral pattern, the others in the photo can bring balance by wearing a solid, or a softer, much more subtle print.



what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography

This is a great example of one simple print (on the mom's skirt) that isn't overpowering and establishes the color palette, and the rest of the family is wearing neautral solids with some texture and dad in a earthy solid green pulled from the pattern in the skirt. It's a nice pop of color that adds some interest without being too bright.

what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography
what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography

Below is a great example of just the right amount of pattern and color mixing, but not matching. Dad's plaid pattern is small and subtle, with the youngest boy wearing a larger scale plaid, and mom and brother in solids. What I like about this look is that it doesn't look overly contrived. They all blend well together, but it's not matchy-matchy.

what to wear family photo inspiration kimberly potterf photography


Get in - we’re going shopping!

Lastly, I have my go-to shops (online or in-person) that I love to recommend. Some iare budget-friendly, and some are great for finding those awesome investment pieces! 


I’m a big fan of supporting your local brick and mortar small businesses when you can, and some check out some of my favorite women’s clothing boutiques local to Columbus, Ohio.



And some of my favorite go-to big box stores

  • Anthropologie (great for color-loving boho vibes)

  • Madewell

  • J Crew

  • Express (excellent option for the “fashion-forward” or “well put together, classic” professional



At the end of the day, wear what you feel the most confident in, because that confidence is what will shine through and be reflected in your photos.


If you're looking for someone to photograph your family photos or high school senior in the Greater Columbus Area, inquire today to start planning!

Comments


bottom of page