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Jewel Images

Clothing Color & Home Decor

What to wear in a portrait session is the most commonly asked question we get here at the studio! It’s overwhelming, I know, to pick outfits for the whole family. And it’s good to think through it carefully because it has so much IMPACT on the end result. That’s where a trained artist can help.

  • What is the style of your home decor?
  • What are the color tones in your home?
  • Where do you plan to hang your portrait?
  • How do you want to feel about the portrait five to ten years from now?

These are the questions you should ask yourself BEFORE you pick your what to wear. Coordinating what you wear in your session with where you plan to display your images will seamlessly integrate your portraits into  your personal space with a custom art piece for your home. By carefully considering your wardrobe and styling prior to your session, you can ensure that the color scheme of your portrait session complements your personal decor and style. And that makes the images look like designed “art” in your home, and not just a haphazard picture placed on a wall!

Think about your personal style. Do you love rustic elegance? Or do you enjoy a clean, modern look? Does your home have a relaxed, casual, and cozy feeling? Or is it sophisticated and elegant? All of these styles are as unique as our clients, and are all things to consider when styling your session. When our clients book a session with us, we provide a full styling guide. It gives you an overall idea of how you can take the style and colors in your home and combine them with colors in your wardrobe selection — to create a look that will seamlessly, and artistically create a beautiful and classic work of art for your home that you’ll enjoy for many years.

Key elements to consider:

  • There should be some commonality among all the subjects.
  • Neutral tones work best because they allow skin tones and facial expressions to be the focus of the image. Neutrals are not distracting, and are always a timeless classic choice for portraits.

My go-to neutrals and why each color works well:

Grey – A grey palette is calming and clean. (This includes my favorite color- Greige because of it’s comforting feeling and endless versatility!) A neutral tone that coordinates with any home decor.

Blue – Designers often use blue to inspire calmness and relaxation. For a touch of tradition, you can’t go wrong with a combination of blue and white to keep it classic and sophisticated.

Black & White
This classic combo is clean and elegant. Add a pop of color pizazz, but stay within a mid-toned palette to keep the focus on your family. Too many colors will be distracting. 

Not as dark as black, navy is sophisticated. It creates interest when mixed with darker toned greys, or creams to add brightness. 

Warm Khaki
Warm khaki neutrals create a comfortable feeling in a home and compliment almost every decorating style. They also work well with all skin tones. 

Blush tones can add softness to a space. Muted pink colors can easily be found in nature, either in fresh flowers, early sunrises, and glowing sunsets. These colors act as a feminine neutral. 

Above all, go with what works in the space you plan to hang a portrait AND what you feel most comfortable in. When all else fails, bring several outfits to the session, that way your photographer can help you decide. My clients even text me photos of their outfits laid out on the bed. I love it! It’s so helpful and will make you feel better about your decision.

Sometimes, there’s nothing like having a second set of eyes evaluate what you choose. – Julia


Need to Prepare Clients Before Their Session?
Want To Persuade Inquiries To Book?
Plant The Seed For High Dollar Sales?

This Pre-Consultation Kit provides a comprehensive client packet about your studio and preps your client to spend big. It will persuade clients who are on the fence to book by showing off what you do and the quality brand you project. It includes our full Wardrobe Planning booklet, studio information sheets, booking and reminder cards, plus resources that showcase the benefits of booking a boutique, professional studio and artist, and helps you plant the seed of high dollar sales. Click below to learn how to add these tools to your studio workflow.

Be sure to check out Jewel TV – our short, actionable video podcast hosted by Nikon Ambassador, Julia Kelleher, M. Photog., M.Artist., Cr., CPP, that is FREE to photographers. Opt-in to get access to all current and past episodes – plus our useful worksheets. And, join our FB group for more discussion on everything business.

Want to go deeper on this topic? Then, let’s keep the conversation going. Like, comment below, and/or share this article.

  1. Nyasha Marvelous Mutigwa says:


    You inspire me to be one of the well known African new born and maternity photographer, I pray I get there sooner despite all odds.
    Keep on inspiring women (both photographers and mothers) all over the world to be confident about themselves. I am still putting up my website.

    Thank you

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