Time to shine!

We want to make sure you look and feel the best for our portrait session.

To to help you prepare for perfect outcome, we have put together some helpful styling tips, tricks and inspiration that we’ve gathered over the years.

We look forward to making magic with you!

– Katie, Owner of Katie Donnelly Photography



Keep it Personal 


We want your personality to shine through in your portraits, so it’s important to give yourself a polished look. From getting your hair and makeup professionally done, to choosing the right outfits for the day - we want to make sure that you look great and feel like you’re a million bucks!


For at home sessions, we LOVE more casual and home-y outfits like jeans and an oversized sweater.  For the outdoors (especially in Paris), a more sophisticated look is the perfect offset to the iconic landscape around you. Think a floor length gown paired with a sharp suit, or a flowing skirt with a button down shirt.

The most flattering outfits always seem to have a little movement in them, which is why I always recommend skirts and dresses for the women and girls. If that's not your style though, an outfit that accentuates your personality is always the best option!


In all environments, stick to logo and writing free clothing. They are distracting, and we want you to be the core focus.

Capturing what makes your family unique is my aim, so this is the perfect opportunity to add in something sentimental, and special: Your daughter wearing your the childhood dress that your Mom made? Love it. Your toddler in nothing but a diaper? Adorable!



Finding Your Theme & Building Your Outfits


Building a look for your family is simple. Start with a favourite item and work outwards! This could be those super cute shoes that you just bought, or your daughter's favourite dress.

From there, pick a color scheme and choose items that would complement and build the outfits out one by one to not overwhelm yourself. Of course, this doesn’t mean we want everyone matchy-matchy! Florals for example, are a great starting point for outfits. So if one person is wearing a print or bold color, choose items that complement that look while adding whites or greys to break it up.


Please avoid putting everyone in all the same color, or in totally matching outfits!

To get you started, here are some colors that always look great together:

·      Navy and pink

·      Blue and yellow

·      Burgundy, camel, and white

·      Camel and grey with a dash of red

·      Blue and gold

·     Green and white with small pops of yellow


Layer, Layer, Layer!


The layers don’t have to be part of your on-camera ensemble, but you will be so happy to have a jacket with you if it gets chilly between our session locations.

If it’s winter and jackets are a must, be sure that it goes with your outfit. Oversized and puffy coats might be warm and comfy, but they simply never photograph well, so please avoid anything that'll add weight to you or your children.

The styles of coats and jackets that tend to photograph the best are: peacoats, capes, leather jackets, trenches and burberry-esq raincoats. For women, be sure your choice cinches at the waist to show off your figure. For men, classic looks with a topcoat, peacoat or a trench is simply timeless.


Layering is also the perfect way to keep the kids warm and stylish during your session. Layer on tights below their jeans, or an extra long-sleeve shirt. Scarves and hats work wonders and can also be an adorable addition, but please be sure to avoid anything with florescent colors as they are distracting.





The smallest accessory can add huge flair to your look. For a summer session, try layering your dress with a statement necklace or belt. In winter, accessorize with a cardigan, scarf or hat.


Our favorites? Flowers, floppy hats and fur coats. 


They are the perfect addition that can easily be added or removed during your session. If you’re not sure about an accessory, there’s always time for a quick outfit change mid-session so you can try out a few different looks!



Let’s Talk About Shoes


Adding a pair of perfect pumps can take any outfit from average to unforgettable, while nothing ruins an ensemble like a bad pair of scuffed, old shoes. I recommend a pair of great heels, boots, or ballerinas if you’re more of a flats person. Wedges are also a great option if you don’t want to sacrifice height for comfort! Steer clear of flip-flops, runners/sneakers, or shoes that are too worn out.


For babies, barefoot is the cutest option! The natural look is always best, but if the weather doesn’t allow us to do that, there are really lovely options like moccasins and other slip-on "shoes" for infants.


Last but not least...


Be flexible! Weather and circumstances can be unpredictable.

Make sure you have outfits planned for all contingencies so that your family is relaxed and prepared for your big day.

Still not sure?

Ask your most stylish friend (they won’t lie!) or feel free to send some pictures to me – I’d love to guide you towards what will look best for your portraits.