What to wear for your fall photo session

Yes, it’s that time of year again for fall family photos and it’s that time of year to start stressing about what to wear. Not only do you have football games, weddings, and holiday parties on the docket but those dang photos you have coming up also merit a *new* outfit, right?!

Did you know women spend an average of ONE YEAR of their lives picking out what to wear? That figure was established in 2008, long before Pinterest and Instagram and the rise of the fashion blogger. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had doubled by now.

Even though I’m a photographer and I know what looks good on camera, I still stress about pulling together outfits for photos.

Case-in-point: Poor planning on my part plus late pregnancy fatigue and exhausted newborn days left me scrambling to figure out what to wear for our newborn photos. It led to my husband driving me to the mall two weeks postpartum (with our TWO WEEK OLD baby) to make a mad dash through all my regular stores to find something to fit my swollen post-pregnancy bod. I left empty-handed and ended up wearing a dress I had in my closet … that I may or may not have also worn for maternity photos. I stuck my husband in an old button down and jeans and called it a day.

It was SO stressful.

I know it’s understandable given what else was going on (having a baby and recovering!) but still, I wish I had put a little forethought into what we were wearing so I wasn’t left scrambling at the last minute.

I am determined to NOT let that happen again this year. And I’m determined to not let that happen to you!

So in this blog post, I’m telling you exactly how to go about planning your fall outfits for your photo session and including a free inspiration guide to give you a head start.

what to wear for fall photos

Inspiration and how to deal with Pinterest overwhelm

Remember how I said women spend one year of their lives getting dressed and that figure was found before Pinterest?! I really want to know what the number is now. Pinterest is soooo overwhelming and I get sucked in with the best of ‘em.

After a lot of wardrobe overhauls and attempts to pare down my wardrobe (and not buy things for singular events like one photo session), here’s the overarching strategy I employ.

  • Look at my style board to see what I’ve been pinning lately. I’m looking at style as well as color.
  • Look at family photos I’ve saved to see what those families are wearing. What am I drawn to? Again, noting style and color.
  • Create a separate board where I save outfits for me, my husband, and baby. What’s looking good together?
  • After all this, I get. off. Pinterest. Bye Felicia! No need for second-guessing or more overwhelm.

I might also pop onto the websites of a few of my go-to stores or my favorite fashion bloggers to find inspiration. But I’m not buying anything yet!

OK, don’t fall down the Pinterest rabbit hole. Check. But first I gotta know what looks good on camera!

This is probably the most frequently asked question I get from brides planning their engagement session and mamas planning their maternity/newborn/family session. I think women look best in dresses, specifically maxi and midi. Period, the end. They’re flattering and feminine and you won’t ever have to worry about your legs/hips/thighs looking fat.

Dresses that flow and have movement look great on camera (another reason for a beautiful maxi).

Remember how I said to look at inspiration photos you’ve saved and to note what colors those families/couples are wearing? That’s super important here.

If you’re drawn to a light and airy style of photography, your outfits should match that. So think neutrals and pastels, not bright red or black. If you like a darker style of photography, red and black are perfect!

Is that a hard and fast rule? Not at all! But I know I’ve spent a lot of time being frustrated my wardrobe/photos don’t look like I wanted them to … and it’s all because I wasn’t dressing in the right color palette to achieve that look!

So who’s outfit do I start with?

Yours, sister! I always recommend dressing the bride-to-be or mama first. Find that beautiful floral maxi and then build outfits around that.

Do you have to do that? No, of course not. But typically women are the ones who care most about the photos and have more to choose from. Men’s clothing is a little easier to work with in terms of a color palette and so is the kiddos. The way I see it, if you’re doing all the legwork for the session, you get first dibs!

Picking out outfits for your fall photo session can be really stressful but I hope this has given you a framework to start with.

Need a little more help and some inspiration of the perfect fall color palettes? Download my free guide with even more tips and some gorgeous mood boards to help you start your search!

Get the guide

Raising my PSL to you, lady!

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