Mel's Moments Style Guide

You’re all booked for your session! Woot! But, you are now freaking out over WHAT TO WEAR.

Have no fear, my beautiful people. I have prepared a style guide just for you!

As you’ve seen in most of my photos, I am striving to catch those raw, in-between moments. We want natural, beautiful portraits!

But, if you’re not wearing the right stuff, it will NOT come out natural or beautiful. So, here are some tips!

Your outfit selections help to tell your story, they express your personality and evoke feeling. They will impact your session’s overall look and feel. I want to help you make the best choices possible for you and your family so I created this family session style guide. These are my personal suggestions on how to coordinate outfits and on what photographs well. It’s up to you to take into consideration the season of the year we’re photographing in so you can select color schemes that fit. You should also decide where and when you’re going to display your images in your home once you’ve printed your favorites. Ask yourself if your outfits will look okay in the room of your home where you’ll be hanging them on the wall. If you’ve booked a holiday session, are you going to be displaying your images year round or do you plan to only bring these photos out seasonally each year? This will help you figure out if you should wear holiday colors/prints or just stick to a more fall/winter or neutral vibe.

COLOUR – Through colour selection, create contrast between yourselves by choosing a range of colour shades for each person to wear, from light to medium to dark (not too dark). When a group is photographed close together, members should stand out from each other rather than all blend together. I’d avoid solid black shirts (bottoms are okay) and solid white tops if you have very fair skin (this may “wash out” your complexion) If you are tanned 100% go for a white option, faire go for a cream or tan/coffee sort of colour. Avoid very bright tops (especially red & green) as they tend to cast/reflect the colour onto faces. Muted/pastel versions of bright colours photograph much better. Also, think about your location when choosing your colour scheme. If there’s a lot of greenery, I’d avoid wearing much of that color. If you’re familiar with the colour wheel, choosing complimentary colours to wear with your location colours will help you “pop” nicely.

Earthy warm tones! 🌿🍂 I can never stress enough how complimentary earthy neutral tones are in photos! Especially living in New Zealand, we are blessed with beautiful backdrops & colours, and complimenting that with earthy warm tones is always killer in photos! Any sort of tan, white or coffee colour looks great in photos.

TEXTURE/MOVEMENT – Adding texture to your outfits creates interest and the easiest way to do this is by incorporating a variety of fabrics and adding a few accessories. Too many accessories could be distracting, so be careful not to overdo it. “Less is more”, right? Layering clothing adds texture, too. Examples of texture: corduroy, pleats, ruffles, seer-sucker, knit sweater, crocheted pieces, denim, lace, cuffed sleeves, hair bows, headbands, jewelry, bow ties, neck ties, suspenders, beanies, hats, scarves, knee-high socks, boots, fur, satin, vests, etc. Movement creates a lot of interest, too. Since my sessions involve a lot of movement, wearing flowing dresses or skirts will pick up wind and move with you and create beautiful interest in your images.

PRINT/PATTERN – Patterns can add dimension, texture, and interest. Avoid logos and text (I don’t edit those out). Make sure they do not clash and try and balance your colours. Stripes are generally a no go, polka dots can be quite cute but depending on your location choice.

Try to avoid wearing jeans for the girls. I know they can be comfy but they just look too comfy when we are hiking uphill for a gorgeous sunset. If we are in an urban setting, totally rock those jeans.

The boys

Khaki or tan coloured shorts, Pastel coloured plain t shirts or white as long as you are both not wearing white. Don't worry about wearing a fancy biz shirt. A plain T looks just as fab. Just make sure it has no wrinkles and no logos. Chinos also look good, boys can get away with wearing a darker contrast on the bottom i.e navy, blues etc. Avoid black, black leads to a moody vibe which I don't shoot. I shoot bright with contrast :)

Clothing stores

Cute flowy dresses

Postie Plus

My go-to for a casual dress that still looks super in photos. Dresses range from $20-80 here! I have 8 of these in different colors that I wear to weddings. Doesn't matter what size you are. They look great from 6-20!

Postie plus dress link

Casual Dresses


Another one of my faves. Lots of options on here and always lots of sales to be had!



Always some cute dresses here. They are more exspensive. so I always shop the bargains but I love the tones they have currently. Lots of cream, tan and coffee colours. These always photograph amazingly. This dress is more of a boho vibe.


Hair + Makeup

So, this one is really up to each person. I say that if you can, get a professional to do these. But, I know that now a days most of us ladies know how to get our hair + makeup the way we love. But, if you can get it done professionally, it will definitely help boost your confidence for the session and it will be one less thing to worry about. If you are planning on fake tanning. Please don't, the camera will turn you bright orange. I edit towards a warm tone, so you skin will glow nicely anyway.

Also, for my engaged peeps, this is a perfect time to do a trial with your hair + makeup artist before the wedding!

If you decide to do it on your own, please make sure you try the look before the day of the session so you know what to expect and how you want it done. Instead of panicking the day of if something doesn’t turn out how you envisioned it.

If you do decide you want to get these professionally done, feel free to ask me for recommendations. I’d be more than happy to help!

No matter what you decide though, make sure to keep it true to you and that it brings out your beauty.

Quick Notes

  • Neon colors throw crazy color casts on skin and typically do not photograph well.
  • Remember that shoes will show and can make images feel unpolished.
  • Earth tones and rich colors tend to lend themselves well to a lot of the outdoor locations that I love to use!
  • If your wearing a shirt, throw an iron over it to take out the creases.
  • Remember to leave everything in your pockets in your car. Otherwise in your purse which I can hold while we shoot.