top of page

Why & How I Offer Styling Assistance As A Photographer

When I first became a photographer, I quickly realized how much the textures, colors, patterns, and even lengths of clothing pieces can affect the overall look of photos. Here we'll be going over some of the ways clothing can affect the final look of your photos, and how I offer styling as a professional photographer.

Eugene and Springfield  Oregon Family Maternity Motherhood Lifestyle Photographer | Why Style Clients Styling What to wear to photoshoot

How Clothes Can Affect Photos

Before I became a photographer, I had no idea how much different types of clothing can affect pictures. Obviously I knew different colors and patterns could change the look, but I didn't realize how adding more variety of texture can add depth, and that certain patterns can create a weird effect on screen!


With photography, we have to be aware of what colors photograph better than others. This also depends on each photographer's unique editing style and how this can affect the colors in your outfit.

For my editing style, I love to bring out the bold colors in the environment and in clothing. Because my editing is bold, contrasted, and saturated, the best tones that work well tend to be jewel tones, earth tones, and neutral tones.

When styling a client, I make sure to provide a mix of color and neutrals. If I were to style with lots of bright colors and no neutrals or only a couple neutral tones, the end result can be photos with lots of color that distracts from the family.

It's also important to style with complimentary colors, that create contrast with each other and can be distinct while not clashing. I also don't suggest to match too much, not only to show off your unique selves, but also you can blend in with each other a little too much. We want to show off each person in your family — and not have the focus be on your clothing.


Patterns can add a fun touch to photos! However, certain patterns can create a weird effect on screens. This effect is called "moire"

"[moire is] when a scene, an object or a fabric being photographed contains repetitive details (dots, lines, checks, stripes) that exceed the sensor resolution."

Not only do some patterns cause moire, certain textures can as well.

Here is an example of what moire looks like:

Also when choosing patterns, remember that some patterns can be overwhelming or clash with the colors / patterns in other outfits for family photos.

When styling for family sessions, I make sure to consider the pattern (and texture) of the clothing pieces to ensure that moire will not happen, and that the patterns will go well with the other clothing items.


Not only can you create variety with colors and patterns, but textures as well! Having an array of different textures can subtly add more depth and dimension to a photograph.

When I style clients, I make sure to use different types of textures for their clothing.

Clothing Types

For family photos, clothing that allows for movement and play is preferred. For my personal style of photography, I love to focus on families playing together, and taking candid photos of the joyful moments. Form-fitting and short dresses or skirts can make playing and movement difficult for both moms and kids. Because of this, a lot of the pieces in my client closet are long and flowy. Same goes for dads and boys, keeping the clothing looser and comfortable rather than tight is key. This is also why I don't recommend heels or uncomfortable shoes for family pictures.

What Not To Wear

For most sessions, these are what to avoid for pictures:

  • Logos

  • Text on clothing

  • Characters on clothing

  • Loud patterns

  • Neon colors

How I Style Clients

When a session has been booked and we're a few weeks away, I will contact the client to start the styling process. We'll go over if they'd like to use any pieces from my client closet, and what colors they're leaning towards wearing for the session. I will then ask to see the options from the client's wardrobe that they would like to suggest and/or look for items from stores within their budget, while considering colors, patterns, textures, and styles.

From these clothing options, I put together a mood board to visualize how the outfits will look put together, and I create a color palette.

Here's a few examples for mood boards I have created for clients using items from their closet, online stores, and my client closet:

Why photographers style clients Styling What to wear to photoshoot pictures family
Why photographers style clients Styling What to wear to photoshoot pictures family
Why photographers style clients Styling What to wear to photoshoot pictures family


bottom of page