Kansas City wedding photographer | boudoir photographer | family & newborn photographer » Darbi G. Hebrank is Kansas City portrait, boudoir and wedding photographer located in the Kansas City area ( including Lee

You don’t have to be a model to look good in pictures

Everyone always asks what they should wear to a portrait/engagement session. Here are some tips….

  • This isn’t clothing related, but I find it’s an important piece of advice that I wish were more common knowledge … about the love/hate relationship between photos and TANNING. Yes, many people associate looking good with bronze skin tones, but because cameras do really well picking up yellows and oranges, if you go overboard with tanning booths, sprays or time outside, even if you look sun-kissed in real life, you might look closer to carrot-hued in the photos. ESPECIALLY if others in the photos haven’t kept up with your sunshine routine. So just be aware that if you choose to darken the skin tone, you risk looking a bit unnatural.
  • If you are going to be with others in the shoot, don’t overly match, but stick to similar color palettes or color combinations that you like. For example … one of you wearing a blue shirt with orange stripes, one wearing a lighter blue shirt and another wearing an orange shirt with tiny golden plaid pattern would look good…. BUT…one wearing bold red stripes and the other wearing green polka dots and then another wearing solid purple will be a bit unkind on the eyes…

Like the Q family below. They don’t match. At all. But they go so well together…balanced out in two brights and two whites with other colors. The plaids tie in… and so forth. Just try to make a chain…if one outfit kinda leads to the next, then you’re in!

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Or check out this family…see how one outfit blends in with the next..similar color palettes, but not looking like a matchy-matchy family.


  • Don’t shy away from bold colors, just as long as the rest in the group are equally bold. But steer clear of florescents.

Mrs. H was worried originally that this color palette wouldn’t work… pink? green? red? and plaid? But they were all equally as loud in color, so it worked!

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  • Don’t wear clothes that have writing on them (too distracting for the eye).
  • Don’t be scared of accessorizing…BUT…accessorize wisely… don’t overdo it.

Like Katie’s scarf… SO DARLING:

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  • Don’t have one of you wear white and the other wear black. If both of you want to do black & white outfits, that’s different… and can be classy if done right.

Ashley & John chose to do classic black… it’s just so…classic!


  • Think about shoe choices….especially on guys. bulky tennis shoes on guys look horrible in pictures.

Nick & Nikki play it sexy and sweet with their shoe choice…


  • Wear bottoms (skirt, jeans, etc.) that you will feel comfy in not only the day you are wearing them, but the day you see the pictures.
  • Choose shirts that allow you to move your arms around without showing your tummy skin.
  • Fitted clothing translates better in photos than does baggy clothing. Even if you feel you have something to hide… try to avoid looking frumpy in your attire.
  • Stripes don’t really bode well on adults. Kids look cute in them though.
  • Match tones of attire… (don’t wear a dress and then put him in super casual jeans and a t-shirt)…

Warren & Jana went dressy for this pic…


But later casual was their thing…


  • Most importantly…be yourself!!!
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