You Are What You Wear | Phoenix Photography

Family Portrait Session, Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, Jeanette LeBlanc Photography.

check back soon for more pics from this fab family– they totally nailed the wardrobe!

You are what you wear.

A little cliché?  Perhaps.  But when it comes to portrait photography, this Phoenix photographer believes firmly that clothing plays a huge role in the success of the finished product.

Before I go all Stacy and Clinton on you – let’s be clear what your clothing does NOT need to be:

  1. Brand NewI’m down with your favorite ripped jeans, retro band T’s, and worn converse – as long as you know how to rock them in your own fabulous style.
  2. Fancy-Schmancy and Uber-ExpensiveUnless it’s your thing (If it’s really your thing, then by all means baby, bring on the bling).   If you’re not normally a dress-up kind of person, don’t feel like you have to be one for your session.
  3. Matching No need to focus on matching everything from the color of your fuchsia headbands to the stripes in your socks.  In fact, I beg of you, please, please don’t.  If you’re heart is set on everyone in white button downs and khaki pants, I’m probably not your girl.
  4. Stressful No need to worry about each and every item, or fret about the suitability of each accessory.  This is supposed to be fun.   If you’re unsure – call me, and together, we’ll make sure you look fabulous.  I promise.

I want you to be happy, thrilled, over the moon about your images, and I know that this is much more likely if we take the time and work together to help you choose clothing that fits these few simple rules:

Feels Good.

During your shoot you could be sitting in a pile on the grass having a tickle battle, rolling down a hill with your fiancé, throwing your kiddos in the air or climbing a tree. Wear clothing that lets you do all that (and more) comfortably.

As for the kids? Well…uncomfortable kids have a tendency to look…uncomfortable, and are often cranky to boot. Happy kids make for happy pictures.

Bottom Line: Don’t choose outfits that make any of you feel constrained, stiff, itchy, scratchy, like you’re dressed up for Halloween, or that leave you with a nagging worry that a button might pop if you bend the wrong way. Trust me.

Looks Good.

This can be tricky, looking good is totally subjective – right? If you’re not a Carrie Bradshaw fashionista in real life, you might want to pull in some extra help from a straight-talking friend or your trusty photographer (that would be me) who knows about such things and has plans in place to help.

Sometimes last year’s of-the-moment dress has already become hopelessly untrendy. Sometimes the current fashions just don’t look or feel like you. Sometimes outfits that look good in the mirror might not be ideally suited for photography. If you’re really looking for extra help, I can put you in touch with some incredible folks who make people look good for a living.

Bottom Line: If you don’t feel fabulous-fierce-take-on-the-world gorgeous in your outfit, you’re not going to love, love, love the end result – and I’m all about you love, love, loving the end result.

Makes Sense.

Here’s where we pull it all together. It’s not just enough that everyone look good and feel good – you’ve gotta look and feel good together AND the outfits should fit with your location and the desired mood for your portraits.

Glup. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? (quick – revisit #4 in the top list, and remember, don’t stress).

Before you even begin figuring out your wardrobe, we’ll have an in depth consultation to narrow down what you really want for your pictures, choose the perfect location and make sure you have an understanding about how that all comes together in the finished photograph.   I’m with you every step of the way.

Bottom Line: It’s easier than it seems.Think twice about having Emma in a lace prom dress if you can’t get Tommy out of his spider man cape and favorite Star Wars pajama top. If we’re going to be running around in a park, you’ll likely not decide to wear your starched Sunday best. Hate the way stripes and plaids look together but Dad has his favorite stripped polo ready to go? Best steer mom away from her beloved family tartan. Easy-Peasy. [unless Mom is really attached to that tartan, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it).


If you’re still not certain, and you can’t decide between the yellow wrap dress with your red heels or your dark skinny jeans and purple  belted shirt – I’ve got good news.  You don’t have to decide.   Bring lots of options.  Heck – throw your whole wardrobe into the back of the car.  When we get to the session we’ll wing it all with fabulous results.  Trust me.

Now take a deep breath.  Close your eyes.  Imagine how blow-everyone-away-fabulous-ready-for-America’s-Next-Top-Model  you’re all going to look in those pictures….

Can you see it yet?  I totally can.  OMG, you look INCREDIBLE!

I can’t wait for your session.

[Photogs: Feel free to use this, in whole or part (or just as inspiration) if you think it might help you with your clients.  I just ask that you credit it by linking back here]


  1. danna said . . .

    You know what outfit you have that makes you feel amazing. Everyone smiles at you when you put it on. That’s a good start for your photo shoot. Wear something that makes you want to smile. If you have more than one outfit like that, then gravitate towards the color of your eyes.

    Posted 08.31.10 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
  2. If you want to make yourself feel comfortable then wear comfortable clothes. Neither does it have to be new nor expensive, the important thing is what you wear makes you comfortable. Your practical tips are very useful. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 09.16.10 at 4:17 am | Permalink
  3. Beth said . . .

    Hi Jeanette, I was looking for some helpful hints to pass on to my future clients. It looks like you let people use your list of ideas,Which is Amazing!!! I was wondering If i could use it as well? Thanks Beth

    Posted 09.19.10 at 8:25 pm | Permalink
  4. I have to say, that you are one real good artist. Awesome tips you have in there! I’m gonna visit this blog often. Keep it up!

    Posted 10.13.10 at 6:40 am | Permalink
  5. Debbie Allan said . . .

    Hi Jeanette

    This is a great read. Would you mind if I include this in an email to my clients, when asked THAT question?

    Thanking you in advance.

    Kind Regards

    Posted 10.15.10 at 9:27 pm | Permalink
  6. This is a great resource. I’m always telling my clients to wear stuff that makes them feel good, no matter how dressy or not it is, you should always feel like a rock star.

    Posted 12.15.10 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
  7. TJ McDowell said . . .

    Interesting how much a difference clothing choice makes in the type of work you put out. It seems like your carefree style definitely comes out here. Before you ever snap the first shot, you’ve prepared them to have fun in the session. Great job!

    Posted 12.29.10 at 2:51 pm | Permalink
  8. Arnold M. Wilson said . . .

    It is a very creative photo, I like these beautiful kids!

    Posted 01.14.11 at 4:16 am | Permalink
  9. Neon Clothing said . . .

    Very nice work. The photo is very real and full of life. enjoying life is most important thing to do.

    Posted 04.27.11 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  10. Great info, Jeannette! Thank you!

    Posted 06.14.12 at 5:54 am | Permalink
  11. Heather Gearhart said . . .

    This is fantastic! I will be snagging this for my site and crediting you appropriately. I don’t think I could say it any better than this 😉 Your photographs are wonderful btw!

    Posted 10.11.12 at 11:42 am | Permalink
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