What To Wear? A Sample Guide to Choosing Clothing for Engagement & Family Portraits: Rhode Island Portrait Photographer

A question frequently asked by my engagement and family portrait clients is “What should we wear?” This is a tough one because I just never know what is in someone else’s closet, what they’ll feel most comfortable in, and what reflects their true style. So I tell them to avoid matching (you know – all family members in white polos and khaki pants – not my favorite look) and aim for a coordinating pallet. Find a family of colors that works for everyone and then choose variations within that pallet to mix it up visually. For instance, if you like browns, khakis, creams and blues, make sure that the family members in your session don’t just wear solid colors. Have several people mix in some plaids, ruffles, denim and a simple floral. A vary the shades of each color as well. Bring in texture by choosing a cable knit cardigan, a tank top with small ruffles on the neckline or a nubby sweater. It all adds to the visual interest of the photos and helps to avoid the family blending in to the background.

Below I have posted a few samples I found. And remember, you can always bring a few extra articles of clothing and change during the session if you want to mix it up.

All these melon colors will pop against a background of greens or sand.

I particularly like this group because it illustrates how by incorporating texture and pattern you can make an otherwise dull color pallette interesting.

I love the combinations of greens, browns, khakis, denim and grays. I can imagine a little turquoise in there too 🙂

Hi there


About Susan

My wedding and portrait photography business is located in the heart of South County, Rhode Island close to URI and the scenic, south coast beaches. I grew up here and feel so lucky to be able to work and create in such a beautiful location! My approach to photography is much like my approach to life: creative, relaxed, natural and fun. I would describe my style as a blend of candid & photojournalistic with traditional & artistic images. I love taking the time to create some beautiful, romantic portraits of my brides & grooms, but also the spontaneous moments throught the wedding day. 

I consider my website and blog a place where I can visually journal about the amazing people and places I get to photograph. Not only do I consider myself exceptionally lucky to be making a living taking photographs for people at important moments in their lives, but I also get to meet an amazing cross section of people I might not otherwise get to know. In the ten years I have been in business, I have had the chance to photograph couples riding high on the excitement of their recent engagement, on their wedding day, parents-to-be waiting to meet their new child, newborn babies, children marking milestone birthdays and families who want to remember a certain time in their lives by capturing it in a photographic portrait.  

In more recent years, I have had the opportunity to photograph the weddings of younger siblings and friends of previous wedding clients, and the maternity, newborn and family portraits of couples whose weddings I photographed in years past. It feels amazing to know my creative vision of these occasions is a part of their lives and their family history and I am grateful for each and every one of them. When I say I love what I do, it is from a genuine place. I can't imagine doing anything else and feeling as creativly satisfied and pleased to make my clients happy.  

I studied photography at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) for undergraduate school and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. 

Featured Posts