10 Tips: The Ultimate Guide To What To Wear For Your Portrait Shoot


So you have booked your portrait session, pencilled in a trip to the hairdresser and already decided on a fresh manicure. Just one last question remains; what the heck am I going to wear?

Fear not friend, I got your back. Keep these little tips in mind when planning your wardrobe and you will be done in no time. Or in time for wine time, whichever time is your time…oh, sorry...right, where were we…

Tip #1

If you don’t know where to start, start with your underwear. They are super important and they need to make sense under your outfits. Work out what gaps you have in your underwear collection - want to maybe wear a body hugging jersey dress? Then you need underwear that will give you a smooth outline (Or just a super toned bod but who are we kidding, we like food and we eat it).  Lace under a jersey fabric makes your boobies look like they have this weird alien texture and it’s not a great look (no offence to Aliens and all that though. They kinda rock in my book).

Saying that, lace under a loser fitting dress in silk satin or a less hugging fabric is perfectly fine – if really not sure, try it on! And stick to nude, white and black if you can, unless you are going for a particular look of course.

Tip #2

Try not to panic…no seriously, do not panic. I know being in front of the camera is intimidating to say the least and that’s why I am writing this blog post for you. You know, to help a gal out. You will most likely go from feeling excited to terrified in a very short amount of time and I am here to tell you that, that is perfectly ok! Rest assured you will be looked after and if picking out your outfits is just a wee bit too much by yourself, well, email me! I always love seeing what my clients are planning and happy to help in the decision making.

Tip #3

Opt for outfits that show your body shape over kimonos and garments that can easily “drown” you. Sure, they CAN work sometimes and I am not saying do not bring any, however, very often they add unneccesary bulk and tend to cover up the shape of your body.

Tip #3 (oops, I was tired, extra tip for you then!)

It’s always a good idea to ask yourself how you would like your photographs to look in the end. If you have something really soft and ethereal in mind it makes no sense to bring a black goth-like leather ensemble or a punchy coloured dress – a pastel summer dress or even a simple flowy boho maxi would be a lot more suitable. We usually talk about this in your pre-shoot consultation where we plan the whole photo shoot together, however, if ever in doubt, just refer to this post.

Tip #4

Stay away from crazy loud patterns and large dots. Unless you have planned a circus themed shoot or are a Rockabilly aficionado and this is who you are, leave them at home. Garments that are of the times “trendy” and following a certain current trend are not recommendable if you want timeless images. Ever googled 80’s prom? …Yeah…say no more right?

Do bring smaller prints as they look more delicate and won’t overpower the images – you are the focus, not the clothes. Always remember that.

Tip #5

Don’t be afraid to bring your wedding dress (if you are married) or a gala gown. They make for absolutely stunning images and I am yet to meet someone who regretted bringing it in. Basically, anything sparkly, embellished or just lots of texture in a monochromatic colour looks fab. This is your chance to be photographed in the way you always wanted, so use it! I encourage you to bring a varied selection from jeans and a simple good fitting tee to lingerie, a gorgeous day dress or similar to a glitzy evening outfit.  It’s also a great excuse to go shopping….just saying. Sometimes less is more, simplicity is key. 

And if budget is tight, renting is a really good option. Check out my favourite places in Sydney for beautiful dresses and outfits to rent! 



Tip #6

Try to pick items that you feel comfortable in and love to wear. There is nothing worse than wearing  uncomfortable clothes in a photo shoot. Being uncomfortable will show in your images and although making you feel super comfy is one of my good qualities as a photographer, I still want you to enjoy what you are wearing. Saying that, showing up with a suitcase full of yoga pants and baggy tees is probably not ideal either. Although I know it is very tempting, yes, I love yoga pants too buuuut…let’s get serious for a minute, mm’k?

Tip #7

If you find it really hard to narrow down to 4-5 outfits, don’t!  Bring as much as you can possibly carry. I am not joking. Having more options rather than not enough is waayyy better. I will go through everything with you and we can make a game plan from what you brought. In this case, more is definitely more.

Tip #8

Try on everything you want to bring to your shoot with the allocated underwear. Make sure everything fits well and have alterations made if needed. We can always leave a dress open at the back for a shoot but we can’t make a jacket fit across your bust or arms. If something is ill-fitting, try and find something else to wear, something that you know you will love to have your portraits taken in.

Tip #9

Don’t worry about your arms. Ok, so this is strictly not about what to wear directly but hear me out. I have photographed women for years and no one has ever told me they love their arms. Women just don’t like arms, period. No matter how toned, perfectly shaped or tanned, arms are just a big fat loud NO.

So here’s the thing. I can make you love your arms. With the proper posing technique (yep you are looking right at her!) and awesome lighting your arms will be the last thing you notice. Arms are kinda my thing and we made friends a looong time ago. So again, please don’t worry.

Tip #10

HAVE FUN! Heck, get your girlfriend, sister or even mother to come with you to your photo shoot and you can plan what to wear together! Two brains always work better than one and doing this with someone you trust and love is a lot of fun. It’s a bit like planning your dream holiday together but you are just having a dream shoot instead :)


Happy packing gorgeous,


p.s Did that help? If you found my tips helpful don't forget to share with your fellow female humans and leave a comment below. And if you think I missed something let me know too! 

Thanks awesome gal XX