What to wear at a portrait session – How to use colour for your body shape?

I want everyone I photograph to feel good about themselves. To feel confident, happy and to celebrate who they are! For those that may not know, I work with Katie Binns from @katiebinnsimage for all my maternity. mummy and me and makeover sessions. Not only is she a fantastic professional makeup artist, she is a brilliant image consultant, specialising in the power of colour. Recently, I watched one of her weekly video tutorials on how to use colour for your body shape, which I thought would be useful for all my clients, when thinking about what to wear at a portrait session, or even for everyday outfits.

In Katie’s tutorial, she discusses the different body shapes, and how to use colour when choosing an outfit.


COLOUR AIM – Colour Top and Bottom, but never round the middle.

Apple Shape Women, carry weight around their middle. Often you find they have slender arms, shoulders and legs, but, if they gain weight, its always around the middle. Hence, when working out what to wear at a portrait session, the aim is to distract attention from their middle.

If you look at the image above, this dress is perfect, being a fit and flare as it skims over the tummy. Choose a dress in one colour, so your eyes aren’t attracted to a particular part of the dress. The key aim is to use a statement colour at the top and bottom of your body and never in the middle. In this case, using a bright red for the necklace and shoes, makes your eyes move straight to these parts, so distracting from your problem area – the middle.


COLOUR AIM – Colour to be worn on the bottom half of your body

For those that have an inverted triangle shape, you have broad shoulders but a narrow waist and legs. You often find this shape body can also have a big bust. Hence, when working out what to wear at a portrait session, the aim is to wear the colour at the bottom of your body to even out your shape.

If you look at the image above, the dress has a trumpet skirt, which balances out with the top of your body which is wider. Also, the deep v flatters a bigger bust.

Never wear too big an earring, as this will draw your attention to the top of your body/face again, whereas, your aim is to draw attention to the bottom part.

In regards to colour, skirts or trousers in brighter colours are better, but, make sure you keep your top half in a neutral colour.


COLOUR AIM – Balance colour. If not wearing a block of one colour, make sure you have a colour on the top part, than a different colour, but then have the same colour as the top, at the bottom again.

An hour glass figure, is a balanced shape, with the shoulders and hips the same, but with the waist going in, in the middle. When choosing what to wear at a portrait session, you want something to hug those curves, and for colour to balance. Unlike the image, which has a column of colour, if you choose, to wear different colours in an outfit, make sure you balance it, so have a colour on the top part, than a different colour, but then have the same colour as the top, at the bottom again.


COLOUR AIM – Use brighter colours in earrings/accessories, to give focus to areas which pull your eye away from the body.

A straight or rectangle body shape has no curves, so your aim is to create these, by pulling out your eyes on the bust line or hips. Big sleeves, like the one in the image are good for pulling your eyes outwards, so creating a waist. Another idea is to wear assymetric hemlines, which once again takes the eyes outwards.


COLOUR AIM – Wear your brightest colours on your top half as you want to distract from your hips.

A pear shaped figure has narrow shoulders and waists, but wider hips. Hence, you want to wear the brighter colours at the top of your body to draw attention away from your hips. Embellishments on tops are also a good idea. Off the shoulder tops are ideal as you can see in this image, as it creates width to balance out your top with your bottom half.

Katie works closely with me on my photography sessions, but is available to book in advance of a session for some colour analysis and styling advice. She has a passion for colour and how you can use it to make you look healthier, more radiant and help you change your moods amongst many things!! Don’t forget to watch her tutorial on her social media page, which discusses this topic in further details here

Once you find which colour palette suits you, it gives you confidence in what you wear on your body, your choice of hair colour and makeup!! It makes shopping easier, quicker, stress free and ultimately saves money!

Click on her logo below, for her social media page, where you can contact her directly. I would highly recommend her!

Here are some examples of work we have done together

If you wish to learn about any of the photography sessions I offer, please do get in touch here

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