Choosing the right photoshoot outfits to show off your individual personality and style can be tricky.
After all, you want to wear something that represents who you are without looking too forced or awkward.
Whether you’re taking solo, couple or family photos, this guide will help you find stylish photoshoot outfits that work best for you.
We’ve also included our top tips for choosing outfits, and a guide to what you shouldn’t wear to a photoshoot, including colours to avoid.
But first, some inspiration so you can start planning for your photo session.
Table of Contents
18 Stylish Photoshoot Outfits for 2023
1. Nail the street style for an urban portrait
The big brands don’t have to dictate street fashion – what matters is how people appropriate clothing and create their own personal style.
If you’re looking for an urban feel in your photo shoot, aim for an outfit that’s a little bit casual, a little bit edgy, and very much you.
You can adapt this style to whatever is trending in your area, but bold patterns, denim (like skinny jeans), and perfectly chosen accessories are all typical go-to elements.
2. Bet on a timeless feel
Photos and portraits are supposed to last for a long time. That’s why choosing timeless fashion is a good idea for your photoshoot outfits.
While making a statement with an outfit is very appealing, it might look dated if you look at your photo a few years from now. The idea behind timeless fashion is that it never goes out of style – you’ll always look great regardless of the current trends.
3. Jeans and t-shirt for a casual look
While some people see a photo shoot as the perfect opportunity to dress up and wear a fancy outfit that they rarely get to wear, others prefer to go with a more casual look.
If this is what you have in mind, jeans and a t-shirt are just as timeless as a cashmere sweater and a Hermes scarf. If the weather is a little chilly for this look, you can throw a flannel shirt into the mix, and you’ve got yourself the perfect casual look.
I would recommend you choose t-shirts without a logo because it can be too distracting.
4. Coordinate colors for family photo outfits
Family photos are challenging because everyone has different styles and preferences in their wardrobe. They also have different ages and body types that might look better in different kinds of clothes.
An excellent way to solve the problem is to create a style board for your family photoshoot. From this, you can decide on a color palette that can guide the family photo outfits.
5. A flowy dress for a spring outdoor photo session
Photoshoot outfits for outdoor sessions during spring and summer are great because there are tons of options.
A flowy dress is perfect for capturing the atmosphere. It’s also comfortable to wear, and it’s flattering for most body types.
Depending on your personality and your taste, you can go with bright or neutral colours. You can also choose floral patterns or something fun like a dress with polka dots.
This is also an excellent idea for family photo outfits because mothers and daughters can wear the same dress style with different patterns and colors.
6. Vintage is the watchword
As we grow conscious about our carbon footprint, we’ve become more aware of how we consume clothes. That’s why vintage clothes not only make the perfect photoshoot outfits, but are also a green choice.
If you don’t have any retro-style outfits, you can buy clothes at second-hand markets or on specialised apps and websites.
You can look at old magazines and photos to see what people wore and recreate a particular period in history. You can go with a pin-up style from the ’40s or a disco look from the ’70s – whatever is more fun for you.
7. Use contrasting colors
Looking for contrasting colors (also known as complementary colors) is a great way to choose clothes for your photo session.
Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel – for example, teal and red, blue and orange, yellow and purple, etc.
You can use this method, for example, at a couple’s photosession or a best friend’s photoshoot. It also works to coordinate family photo outfits. Different family members can wear clothes in complementary colors to each other.
If it’s a single model, you can follow this theory to choose the different pieces of the outfit or pick the wardrobe depending on the color of the background.
8. Use flattering necklines
Many people get hung up on the color of their photo outfits, or whether they’re casual, elegant, etc., but they forget about the details. Choosing the right neckline is key to a flattering portrait because it helps frame your face and direct the viewer’s eye to it.
Female outfits have a wider variety of necklines, but that doesn’t mean that men shouldn’t think about it when picking what to wear to their photo shoot.
Whether it’s a shirt, a t-shirt, a sweater or a dress – learn which neckline is more flattering for you.
9. Be bold and wear a printed dress
Most styling experts will tell you that, normally, you should avoid prints and patterns in your photo outfits. Yes, as a general rule, that makes sense – but there’s always that one outfit that’s the exception that proves the rule.
When you have a neutral background, a bright or busy pattern can be a statement piece of clothing that looks fantastic in photos.
10. Make it all about the shoes
Just like with any other piece of clothing, you can use the shoes as a starting point to build a photoshoot outfit. Whether you prefer a pair of high heels or a pair of sneakers, shoes are an essential detail.
Even if you’re not so focused on them, it’s still important that you don’t forget about the shoes. Make sure they are clean (if not new), that at they are color-coordinated with the rest of the wardrobe, and that they are comfortable.
11. Earthy colors for family photo outfits
The great thing about choosing earthy colors for family photos is that there’s a wide variety of tones for each member to select from.
Yes, the brown earth tone might not be too exciting – especially for the younger ones – but there are also leafy green, orange, and blue tones from the sky and water, and even purple and yellow.
12. Go monochrome
Monochrome means that you use different tones of the same color. This takes away the problem of learning how to coordinate different colors – whether this is for family photo outfits, a couple’s or even your own.
You can’t go wrong by choosing the same color of shirt, pants, jacket, and shoes. You can also go all the way and keep the same color in the background for a full monochromatic photograph.
13. Muted tones with a pop of color
I’m a huge fan of this style. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing bright and bold colors, but you find soft tones a bit flat for a photoshoot outfit, you can combine both worlds.
Use muted tones for your outfit and add a pop of color with an accessory or just one of the clothing pieces.
14. The right accessories go a long way
Accessories are a major part of a photoshoot outfit. This doesn’t just apply to women models – men should also think about things like glasses, watches and other accessories.
The same rule used for clothing also applies here: you should never wear something so big or bright that it distracts the attention away from you, even if it is for your 21st birthday photoshoot!
You should also consider that it fits with the mood and style of the photo. If you’re going for a casual urban feel, you probably wouldn’t wear a pearl necklace. In the same way, a pair of red plastic heart-shaped glasses wouldn’t be appropriate for an elegant corporate portrait.
So, all accessories are OK – just try to keep them consistent with the rest of the outfit.
Also, keep in mind that glasses are difficult to photograph because of reflection and glare. So, if you can avoid wearing them, you’ll be able to move more freely while posing without worrying about the angle of the light.
15. Home decor and family photo outfits
When you’re having the family photos taken at home, it’s always a good idea to coordinate all the colors of the outfits with the colors already present in your home decor.
When you take a family portrait in the studio or go outside where you can have a blue sky behind them, everything is more manageable.
However, when the photo environment is the family home, the photo might look busy and chaotic because of all the objects and furniture present on set. That’s why using the same color scheme in the outfits helps to achieve a pleasant result.
16. Pastel colors for a baby photoshoot
When the family photos include a newborn, pastel colors are a great choice.
For the parents, wear comfortable clothes that don’t wrinkle easily – for example, jeans and soft color t-shirts.
17. Rock winter outfits
Sometimes people fear wearing winter clothes for a photoshoot because they can make us look bulkier. However, with the right colors and a stylish fit, they’re perfect for a cosy winter photoshoot outdoors.
Wear a chunky knit sweater with a turtle neck for a headshot that makes your face look slimmer and directs the viewer to the eyes, or coordinate the color of the sweater with the jacket and scarf to build a stylish look.
18. Solid colors on a busy background
Taking photos in front of a busy background can be tricky. That said, some very appealing graffiti walls or busy streets make for exciting locations. So, can you use them for a photoshoot?
Absolutely – just be aware of your clothes. Try to keep your clothes neutral and use only one color. If including multiple colors, make them solid colors and not prints.
5 Tips to Dress Well for a Photoshoot
- Define the photoshoot style. Photoshoot outfits are defined by the type of photos. For example, if you’re aiming to have an urban portrait, you wouldn’t go with a suit and tie, much like you wouldn’t wear sweatpants for a corporate photoshoot.
- Choose a color palette. Deciding on a color scheme helps you to coordinate your clothes, choose the backdrop and props, etc. This is particularly helpful when there will be many people – for example, in a family photoshoot.
- Do hair and make-up. Since you’re taking care of your looks, you should also consider details like hair and makeup. Having a professional stylist come to the photoshoot will help you get a more professional looking portrait.
- Wear something that makes you feel confident. Confidence is the best outfit. If you feel like a million bucks, you’ll look like a million bucks.
- Get an outfit especially for the occasion. It doesn’t matter if this is for a family photo or your pre wedding photo; getting a new outfit makes the event more memorable. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to buy something with the photoshoot in mind considering the style, the color palette, etc.
See also: what to wear for a corporate photoshoot.
Photoshoot Outfit FAQs
What should you not wear to a photoshoot?
Generally speaking, you should avoid busy patterns and large logos – unless there’s a specific reason or a look that you’re going for. You should also stay clear of too-tight clothing, which might create awkward-looking bulges. Anything that easily wrinkles is also a bad idea because you’ll already look dishevelled after the first couple of poses. Last but not least, stay away from anything that you don’t feel comfortable wearing – it doesn’t matter how good it would look in a photo.
What should I wear for Outdoor Pictures?
Earthy and neutral colors are always an excellent choice for an outdoor photoshoot. Also, remember to wear clothes that are appropriate for the weather conditions so you don’t start feeling uncomfortable midway through the photoshoot.
What do you wear to a home photoshoot?
Comfortable and casual clothes are usually OK for a home photoshoot. Try to coordinate the outfit’s colours with the ones in your home decor.
What colors should you not wear in pictures?
There isn’t a hard and fast rule. As you’ve seen in this article, it all depends on what you’re looking for in the photo. However, some general guidelines say that you should avoid neon and bright colors. Also, in most situations, an entirely black or deep blue outfit doesn’t photograph well. I would say that the only rule you should follow is to avoid colors that aren’t flattering for you.
That’s it! You’re ready for your next portrait or family photoshoot. I hope you found these tips helpful – and if you have any more, please share them in the comments section.