What to Wear: Style Guide

Hey! And welcome to your own personal style guide as a client of Mira Whiting! This is where you are going to find all the information that will make you feel fully prepared to walk into your session.

Before we dive into details, make sure you reach out to our in-house stylist HERE, to schedule your complimentary styling session before your photo shoot, if you’d like to take advantage of that service. 

That being said, let’s dive in!

Outfits are a very important part of any photo shoot. They contribute a lot to the representation of your family & your style. So I created this guide to help you make choices that feel authentic to you AND photograph well! 

There are a few things I recommend for everyone, and then I will break it down into specifics for women, men, and kids, along with colors and fashion myths! I recommend you read through this guide now, and then refer back to it as you’re choosing specific outfits later. 

When it comes to photos, we want to remember that a lot of patterns don’t photograph well together. I love a good pattern, but use them as complimentary pieces, and not on every outfit. I also recommend leaning towards colors that feel authentic for your family. I’ll get more into the nitty gritty of your color guidance later, but it’s important to note that colors speak volumes and an all neutral-themed shoot will come out looking very different than one with colors! Which one feels most like you? 

Okay let’s dive into specifics! 

Jump to: Women | Men | Kids | Colors | Myths


The most important thing is picking an outfit that you feel comfortable and amazing in. You don’t want to spend the whole shoot tugging at your shirt or aching in heels you’d never wear otherwise. I pose my clients through a lot of movement, so whatever outfit you pick…remember that you will be moving a lot. 

  • If you are getting family photos done, I want you to pick your outfit FIRST. I know it’s easy to run to those cute kids clothes and build from there, but your outfit is the staple that everyone else is going to compliment. Pick something that you feel AMAZING in, and then collaborate the family’s outfits around that piece.
  • If you’re getting branding photos done, I recommend choosing an outfit that includes your branding colors. Keeping your brand congruent across platforms & images is key to developing that brand recognition you’re going for! You can do this with clothes or accessories! 

Some universally flattering outfits that look good on camera are:

maxi dresses


flowy dresses

pants you can breathe in! 

And we can’t wrap up without mentioning makeup! While it’s not technically an outfit, I like to think of it like an accessory. And I’m here to tell you: you can use it however you want. I have clients that prefer minimal, natural makeup…and others who chose to hire a makeup artist before their session for full glam. Believe me when I say there is no right or wrong way to do it. Choose what feels the best to you! And if makeup isn’t your jam, that’s totally fine!!  It is not actually required.  


Sometimes men dislike dressing for photos, but the best piece of advice I give them is: keep it simple! Nice jeans and a neutral shirt can look really classy. Or if you want a dressier look, chinos and a button down! It really isn’t as complicated as you’d think! The main thing I want men to remember is to remove wallets and cell phones from their pockets before we start shooting! You spend all this time picking the right thing to wear and no one wants to see the outline of a wallet in their back pocket in their photos! 

  • If you’re getting family photos done, I recommend coordinating with your partner with colors and patterns. The male outfit can usually act as an anchor for the rest of the family’s outfits! 
  • If you’re getting branding photos done, include your brand’s colors! Keeping your brand congruent across platforms & images is key to developing that brand recognition you’re going for! So mix in a few shirts, ties or pants that reflect the colors in your logo/website. 

Some universally flattering outfits that look good on camera are: 

nice jeans or khakis

solid color shirt

suspenders or blazer

nice shoes (no ratty sneakers, dads!) 


This is a fun place to play with some patterns and personality! Include your kids in the process, and make sure they try on the clothes a few times first. You can make it a game by having them “model” the clothes and taking iPhone photos. If you have grumpy teenagers, you can just ask them to try it on first and skip the modeling 😉 But EVERYONE in the family should be trying on their outfits at least a week or two before the shoot. 

Pro-tip: Bring a few neutral backups. Just in case! Throw a laundry basket in the car and have a few pieces on hand that could swap out if needed.  

Some universally flattering outfits that look good on camera are: 

floppy hats



flower crowns

tulle skirts

vest, suspenders, and bowties

simple button down

As a mom of three, I know that styling for family photos can feel overwhelming so I encourage you to take advantage of our complimentary styling session HERE if that would be helpful. That’s what it’s there for 🙂 


Okay here is the fun part! After reading about colors, you’ll feel like a pro! Don’t skip it, this section makes a huge impact on your photos! 

The TLDR: I always recommend jewel-toned or earth tones. You can find them for any color, and they photograph so well. For instance, instead of choosing a bright red dress, opt for a wine color or maroon. 

The camera loves neutral tones. While neutrals tend to photograph true to life, the bright colors can easily reflect back onto your skin which can give you a weird hue in the photos. I’ve found this particularly true with reds & pinks. Most people don’t photograph well in those two colors! 

Muted tones (earth & jewel tones) mixed with sophisticated neutrals like heather grays, creams, leather browns, navy and white look so wonderful on camera! Can’t go wrong! 

When you avoid those loud colors or overwhelming amounts of patterns, it draws the attention to your face and highlights all your natural energy. That’s what I want when I’m photographing you! 

Let's Bust Some Fashion Myths

Myth: Matching outfits are best!  Gone are the days of going to the mall in matching outfits to sit in a dimly lit studio and grin at the camera cheesily. Ditch the matching outfits for good! 

The facts? Coordinating within a color family (jewel or earth tones) allows for individuality, while creating that cohesive look you’re going for! 


Myth: You have to bring a lot of STUFF to your photo session! If you’re breaking out your DIY skills and scrolling Pinterest for props…slooooww down. You actually don’t need much to have a fantastic photo shoot. 

The facts? For families I don’t recommend bringing much! Non-messy snacks and some wipes are really all you need. We focus on your connection and I will have plenty of prompts to give you variety in your gallery without props. For branding sessions, you can bring a few relevant items to swap in some photos (if you work online, bring your laptop for example!) - but nothing crazy! 


Myth: You have to be in your fanciest, best clothes for photos!  Sometimes wearing fancy clothes doesn’t make sense for your location, or even your family vibe! 

The facts? The #1 goal of photos is to document who you are in this season of your life. If you’re wearing clothes you’d never wear otherwise, that’s not an accurate reflection of you! If you normally wear casual clothes, just focus on the colors and styles but you don’t need to drastically change your style for photos. You will want to look back and remember what you looked like & how life felt in this moment. 

It was fun to bust those myths as a photographer, not going to lie!! 🙂 

This guide has given you a lot to think about! I hope you feel more prepared to style for your session. (Remember you can refer to this guide anytime too; save the URL in your notes app for easy access).

If you walk away with one thing, I want you to remember that at the end of the day the outfits don’t matter nearly as much as the time you spend together and the love you have for one another as a family.

Create traditions around getting photos taken each year. Laugh a lot. Have fun picking outfits. Enjoy the process…and I’ll take care of the rest! 

Also, pro tip: you’ll already feel like a million bucks from styling your outfits so take this as an opportunity to go out to dinner after your session! Or drop the kids off and go on a nice date! 

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I am so honored to be your photographer! 

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