is an Atlanta Wedding Photographer who values folks' stories, and is passionate about capturing Genuine, Emotional, and Timeless photographs on their wedding day and beyond. Rocheal captures weddings around Atlanta, Georgia, as well as destination weddings around the world.






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How to Plan for Your Portrait Session

Planning for a portrait session

Whether you’re planning for your upcoming Mini Session, One Year Cake Smash, or Family Session: this blog is meant to inspire you! Planning for a portrait session can be tough- let’s simplify this!

I love stuff that is short and sweet; straight to the point!

(By the way: One of my portrait clients texted me after reading this blog and I’m adding our (funny) dialogue at the end!!)

Tip #1 of 5 : Clothes look different on camera than they do in person

Clothing Tips Everyone:

  • Patterns should be larger than a dime because small patterns confuse the lens of the camera. (Anecia and Reggie look STUNNING, but can you see how Anecia’s dress looks a little busy? It’s because the pattern in her dress is small.)
  • Colors reflect onto your skin. Bold or bright greens, blues, reds, and oranges will likely cast an unflattering light onto skin. (think: under your chin. You don’t want attention brought there!! Also, your partner’s/kid’s face.) Good color choices are light neutrals, such as blush, tans, link pinks, faint blues and teals, creams, grays and whites. Some people love mustard colored tops/dresses, and they seem to photograph well!
    Also- avoid *everyone* wearing a white top. It provides a lack of contrast in your images, making them look flat.
  • Style should be something you’re comfortable and confident in. If you’re adjusting your clothes and frowning in the mirror before your session, choose something else. (Ladies: low-cut tops will limit the angles from which I can shoot.) (Also ladies– Flowing maxi-length dresses and skirts photograph very well, and give your images a nice and soft feminine look.)
  • Avoid tennis shoes and graphic tees, particularly the guys.

How to plan for your portrait session

Tip #2 of 5 : Coordinate instead of matching

Stressing about the people in your photo looking good together?

Don’t overthink this!!

Simply put: Don’t match colors and don’t match style. Rather, coordinate colors and coordinate style.

Remember: Matching typically clashes.

Tip #3 of 5 : Be mindful of your time.

Planning a Mini-Session? Get the most out of your time by staying in one outfit. You likely have between 10-20 minutes for your session, so you will not have time to change clothes.

Planning an hour-long session? Talk to your photographer about the possibility of an outfit change. We typically shoot the formal outfit first, but it depends on the circumstances. (Be mindful of wrinkles when you’re sitting on/hanging clothing in your car!)

Tip #4 of 5 : Plan with your purpose in mind

What is the purpose of your session? Are you documenting a milestone in your child’s life? A special moment in your family’s life? Your annual photo shoot?

Plan your style around the purpose of your session. Work with your photographer to decide the setting(s), determine if you will be using props, and lastly plan clothing that will coordinate.

Tip #5 of 5 : Location matters!

Indoor studio sessions look way different than outdoor sessions.


  • Look best with clean styling. Think: Minimal props and neutral clothing with no patterns.
  • Shots with more than one person in the photo will primarily by posed
  • Generally looks more formal


  • Clothing can be simple, clean, and neutral OR clothing can be a little more styled. (Up to you!)
  • Although I prefer minimal props since I specialize in timeless images, you can get away with a few extra props outside.
  • Lends itself to more movement in the images Think: A variety of posed and unposed images.

If your photographer is offering you an opportunity both in-studio time and outdoor time in one session, you’re a lucky duck!! Take advantage of the variety of images you’ll have, and plan each location accordingly.

Have more questions?? Comment below or shoot me an email.

Love and peace to you,

Jennifer texted me after she read this post. Here is our dialogue. Enjoy!!

(Disclaimer: None of the family photos below are mine! I found them all on Google when I did an image search for: “Family Photo Session Light Blue and White”)

(These clothes look great!)

(These clothes are too “matchy-matchy” in my opinion. All white doesn’t allow for enough contrast, and the blues on the left match too much! Also, take note how the mama’s blue dress is reflecting blue colors onto the boy’s pants. Not good! There’s way too much blue against clean whites.)

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