Part 2: What to Wear to Your Professional Photo Shoot ~ Timeless Styles

I was recently laughing at a button down dress with shoulder pads a woman was wearing in a video and a dear friend who has children my age said, "Be careful, you might be saying the same thing in ten years about what you're wearing today!"  True enough.

In fact, I'm actually already old enough to be embarrassed by what I wore in high school, and middle school, and yes elementary school for that matter.  I might be able to blame the late 80s and early 90s on my mom, but the late 90s?  Totally my fault.  The thing is, not all of the pictures of me look totally horrendous.  Some of them I look pretty normal, others look like, well, the 90s.

Generally speaking when you're spending your hard earned income on professional portraits, you want them to last forever.  The snapshots can be reduced to obscurity, but the photos you paid money for should be a long term non-embarrassing investment.

So what should you wear to your professional photo shoot?  Clothing that is timeless.  If you wouldn't have worn it 10 years ago, it may be worth reconsidering.

Someone at some point thought this looked great, and I'm pretty sure though that other people were wearing these types of things at the time.  My mom definitely paid money for the clothes, the glasses and my perm. I don't think I was embarrassed at the time, so it was in style then, right?

This wasn't a photo shoot but it could have been because that's pretty much how she dressed me.  She is an awesome mom and I love her to death, I'm just saying perms and sweats used to be really popular.

I just want to ask the question - what was I wearing???  I mean... really?  I apparently thought I looked okay enough to be photographed.  I'm pretty sure other people in my life tried to teach me how to dress, but their efforts were wasted.

But then this picture is from the same year.

Neutral colors and neutral clothing never go out of date.  This photo will not embarrass me ever.  Here are a few photo friendly principles:

1.  Avoid bright patterns such as the Hannah Anderson dress below.  It is adorable and by all means, have your daughter wear it (and buy my daughter one!), but it may not be the best choice for a photo session since it is likely to look outdated in a few years.
Photo from

2.  Avoid trendy colors.  People at the Y are really into neon lately.  Snazzy if you want to stop traffic, but in a photo, it really draws attention away from the person.  You think, "Wow, great shirt!" not, "wow, great smile!"
Photo from

3.  Cover up the less desirable parts.  If you weigh 100 lbs wet this probably isn't an issue, but if you're like the rest of us, photos flatten and make everyone look a touch wider.  This effect is less noticeable when covered up - so if you don't love your arms, wear long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves.  I also definitely recommend pants or skirts for results you'll be happy with.

It always amazes me how I can think someone looks awesome and they'll say, "Look at my arms!"  But I do the same thing with myself so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Styles are awesome and wonderful.  It is a beautiful thing to be able to express yourself through clothing, but not all great styles photograph well and some clothes may rapidly fall out of fashion like leg warmers and poofy hair, which actually may be making a come back, but then again, what do I know?  I'm good with yoga pants and a pony tail.

To read Part 1: What to Wear to Your Professional Photo Shoot: Colors, click here.


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