kisa koenig photography » newborn, family & portrait photographer | teton valley, idaho & jackson hole, wyoming

what to wear guide


The biggest question I get asked is, “What should we wear?” And to be honest, it might be the most stressful part of a shoot for most people. I know this because I have had to coordinate not only my own family of 5 for photos, but my extended family as well. The first thing is to NOT STRESS about it and have fun with it.

There are 2 plan of attacks I recommend. The first is just to do a color scheme: earth tones, spring colors, blues and grays, gray and white with pops of yellow, etc. This can work, but sometimes you get a variety that doesn’t always match. The second idea is to pick an outfit that you love, be it your own or your child’s, or even a shirt you love on your husband. Then work around that and pull colors from it. Think layers, and accessories are always a nice addition if they aren’t overused. Don’t just do pants and tops…allow a skirt, a dress with leggings, vests, or whatever suits your own style. Then, consider the formality. Jeans are ok? Encouraged? Keep it more dressy or less?

Another aspect to consider when choosing color is what you are going to do with the photos. If this is a family portrait to hang over your mantle in the living room, then it’s imperative you consider the colors in that room. If it’s a rustic, warm space, your daughter in a hot pink shirt might not be the best choice. You get the idea.

I discourage bold patterns and definitely big or distracting logos. Plaid and smaller prints can definitely work, however, so don’t avoid it altogether.

Allow your family to express their personality, kids included. Gone are the days of white shirts and jeans! Dress in what feels like YOU so it can feel more authentic. Most of all, have fun and use it as excuse to do a little shopping!

Most outdoor shoots in the Tetons involve rugged terrain or at least a dirt path so consider a shoe that is able to handle off-roading a bit. In the winter, it’s super important to consider warm toes and often clients opt for boots, which makes the most sense when out in snowy weather. Thankfully, there is no shortage of cute winter boots out there!

Winter shoots can get tricky when temps dips below 30˚F. It’s best to have a cute coat on hand to throw on, even though we often pop in and out of warm cars to handle especially chilly photo shoots. Cozy hats, gloves or scarves are fun and help keep in the heat too. (Please see previous topic of footwear!)

Again, simple, simple, simple. Neutral colors. For a newborn shoot, stay away from collared shirts for mom or dad if you want baby snuggled up close. They tend to get in the way. A nice spaghetti tank works great so baby can cuddle up to your skin (white, black, tan, gray.) A crewneck or v-neck tee works well and it’s up to you whether the arms show or remain hidden. If you are bringing baby’s siblings, stick to neutrals and soft necklines or even consider no shirt for boys.

Maternity shoots are all about the belly so feature that with tighter-fitting clothes or less clothes if you feel comfortable. Cardigan sweaters or light robes can add some coverage while belly gets shown more. Silk and lace always look gorgeous. We have fabric wraps and a few outfits here at the studio to play with as well.

If you are having a studio session, we will be using strobe lighting vs. natural lighting. What this means is that you ladies should consider using a bit more makeup, especially powder. You don’t have to go crazy with cat eyes and major blush, but keep in mind that the lights can produce more “hot spots” on your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. Apply a bit more powder and bring it with you to touch up or add more if necessary. Be deliberate with eye makeup too and help those eyes stand out which is the focus of all portraits. If you want to take things to the next level, consider having a professional makeup artist do your makeup ahead of time.

Need a little visual inspiration? Check out my What to Wear Pinterest Board!