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What Not to Wear for Your DC In-Home Session

What not to wear!

Remember that show “What Not to Wear?” Ok, maybe you aren’t old enough, but I used to love watching the fashion makeovers. And although I’m not here to give you a fashion makeover, I am here to help you look your absolute BEST for your in-home session.

As an in-home lifestyle photographer, I’ve photographed a LOT of families and I’ve observed a thing or two about what you can definitely avoid in terms of wardrobe selection. Especially at home.

Please avoid…

Here’s my comprehensive guide of what not to wear for your in-home portrait session:

X Shoes and socks. 

I mean, do you really wear shoes around your home? I don’t think so…so, please don’t wear them for your session. This goes for dads, too! I can promise your feet won’t be the center of attention in any of your pictures! Ok, maybe your baby’s feet will, but not yours.

X Matchy matchy

Nope! Don’t do it! I recommend coordinating instead – choosing complimentary colors and shades that play well off each other, but aren’t identical. The end result looks effortlessly chic.

X Athletic wear 

Anything made out of dri-fit, athletic fabric – yes, even if it’s collared golf shirt – is a no go. It might be country club-approved, but it’s also shiny and doesn’t photograph well. Trust me on this.

X BIG logos

Branding has no place in your family photos. That means that logoed shirts are discouraged. They distract from you and your family. A small Polo guy or a little whale or alligator are no big deal, but please no BIG logos. Clean and basic is best for your timeless family photos.

X Black

I understand you may love black and wear it often in your everyday life. And while sometimes rules can be broken, the fact of the matter is that wearing black to your photo session is a big risk. The details get lost in the shadows and the overall effect can really muddy and dull down the tone of your images. There are just so many other flattering options to choose from – I recommend ditching the black clothes or at least keep them on the bottom because black pants are fine.

X Short, tight dresses and skirts

Even if a shorter dress fits you beautifully, these looks can get dicey during a lifestyle session with your young kiddos. My recommendation? Do the “sit test” with your outfit choice before making the final call – which simply means making sure you can sit comfortably without having to tug constantly at your clothes to make sure nothing’s showing.

X Clothes that aren’t you

When you stick to the shades, shapes and styles that you look and feel your best in, that will come across to the camera. This isn’t the time to reinvent your style. Stay true to you!

Say YES to…

What you CAN wear:

+ Texture

Linen, knits and layers of fabric are dreamy in photographs. Bring it!

+ Small prints

A sweet, subtle and smaller print, especially when other family members are in solid, coordinating shades, is SO good. No clash, no flash – just beautifully dreamy.

+ Diaper covers or bike shorts

I just love diaper covers or bike shorts under your little girls’ dresses. This saves you from any unwanted diaper or underwear flashes in otherwise flawless photos and they can be such a sweet addition to a little one’s outfit.

+ Movement

A long, flowy dress for mom or a twirl dress for your toddler daughter are excellent choices. These dresses are universally flattering and the movement they create adds such life and interest to your photographs.

A little reminder…

Sometimes, you need to throw some suggestions out the window and really be YOU!

Here’s what I mean…I recommend lighter colored clothing for in home sessions and longer dresses for mom.

But, I’ve had moms say, “I look best in jewel tones.” And my response – wear the jewel tones! Be YOU!

And other moms have said they never wear dresses. Then don’t start for your photo session! Again, be YOU! Wear the jeans or pants.

Being comfortable in what you’re wearing and feeling like yourself is the MOST important thing!

I’ll give you all the prep!

I hope this was helpful, but there’s more where that came from. All of my clients receive an extensive Session Prep Guide with lots of what to wear advice when they book so everyone feels well prepared, and most importantly fabulous. I also highly recommend you check out my pinterest board!

Like Instagram? I have a whole Reel Series on What to Wear – Mom Edition! Give me a follow and check it out!

Are you ready to book a session?

dc photographer

meet natasha

I'm DC photographer, Natasha Sewell. I'm all about capturing those unscripted, full-of-personality moments in the comfort of your home.

As a mom of three and a former elementary school teacher turned in-home newborn and family photographer, I know how to get your littles to cooperate and have FUN!

Let’s get to preserving your family's real-life moments in the place you’re most comfortable – your home.

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