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What to Wear in a Family Portrait

In the old days, photographers might have told a family to wear something like all white and denim or all black. Easy, YES, but good, NO! Seriously, how many families go around looking like clones? We want your family portrait to be a natural look but there are things to consider. Here are some do’s and don’ts!

*DO these things:

1.Come up with a plan for the portrait session. Do not allow each person to just show up in their favorite clothing. Color harmony and mood is important.

2. Wear colors that would look like a great accent in your home. In other words, if you decorate in gray and blue, don’t wear colors such as red, hot pink, burgundy, etc. Stick with neutral tones that will blend with your home’s decor.

3. Wear clothes that somewhat match each personality yet blend with the family. Solid colors mixed with very small prints containing the solid color choice and jackets, vests, etc. are usually a nice look.

4. Wear layers, jewelry, etc. to highlight each person’s unique style.

5. Women should wear a little make up! You can look sick and pale with nothing to highlight your face! I know you want to look natural, but a little makeup is a great thing.

6. Wear a variety of textures.

7. Wear colors that go with the natural background of the season. (Ex: Do not wear springlike colors in a fall landscape)


*DON’T do these things:

1. Wear bold patterns ESPECIALLY bold stripes!

2. Wear WHITE especially if you’re the only one! You’ll be too bright and overpowering.

3. Wear short sleeves if you are even a pound overweight. Trust me on this one. We can help the situation in the retouching process but help me by not doing it and help yourself because your arms will look bigger than you think.

Wear socks that will show such as little white athletic socks!

Wear a mix of light and dark colors. Choose either light or either dark or all neutrals on top. PLEASE AVOID SHIRTS LIKE NAVY AND WHITE STRIPES, ETC. This is an absolute killer.

Use this chart to help you come up with a color scheme!

This family did a beautiful job of mixing textures (sweaters, lace, quilted vests, jacket, etc.) In addition, they look perfect in the fall background. There are at least 3 people in off white which is good because if there were only 1, that person would have been the focus of the group. Everyone has on a NEUTRAL color scheme that is similar to option 6 above. They go together but each has their own look! What a gorgeous family portrait!

Senior Pics for College Grads

Most people used to consider a full on senior portrait session as something specific to high school seniors. That is no longer the norm! College seniors are celebrating their accomplishments with senior portrait sessions on their respective campuses. We know that college shapes lives in very profound ways therefore recording graduation with professional portraits is a special way to remember this amazing time of life.

Each spring we schedule local college seniors at schools such as North Texas, SMU, TCU, Austin College, University of Oklahoma, UTD, etc. Call us for more details!

Here are a few of our favs from Emily’s session on the campus of the University of Texas Dallas.

Is it Time for a New Headshot?


As a general rule of thumb, headshots should be updated every two years. Hopefully you are not one of those people who don’t look like their headshot or worse, your headshot looks dated. Everyone changes and your headshot should too!

Below are 3 instances when you should think about updating your headshot.


Sometimes weight fluctuates, or you have a new hair color and/or style. You always want your headshot to represent your current look. This benefits you personally, as well as those people that you know, the people that you are getting to know, and the people you want to connect with.


An updated headshot brings attention to your new role, so you want to spruce it up to look the part you now represent. If you have a job that lends itself to a casual look, your headshot should reflect that. Conversely, if you need to have a business dress look, bring on the coat and tie for men and a nice, long sleeved dress and blouse/ blazer for women E


You may not want to use the same headshot for different events, such as your headshot on your company website vs. your headshot for speaking at events. In addition, a different expression may be needed for different uses.

Do you wear glasses a good amount of time and would like one of your headshots to be with your glasses on? Let us know and we can accommodate that request as well as create something that will look completely different for your many uses.

Clothing styles and jewelry choices can look dated if you’re not careful. Stick with timeless choices so you are not victim to outdated looks.

The photos below were taken only 2 years apart from one another and look at the changes!

College Choice Mini Sessions

Deciding upon a college destination is a huge decision! The choice made will shape an adult’s life in many ways. We wish all of you who are in the process of deciding great wisdom!

Once a high school senior decides where he/she will attend college, a mini photo session may be the perfect way to celebrate and document the decision. Seniors LOVE putting their photo wearing college spirit wear on the back of their high school announcement. Our custom designed high school graduation announcements are stunners!

We offer a 30 minute, add on senior mini session for $50. (photos not included) These sessions are designed for those who did senior pics with us previously and wish to add on either college choice photos, graduation robe and hat photos or prom dress/suit photos. Give us a call @ 972-335-3686 to arrange yours today.

If you did not do senior photos with us, but wish to do a basic senior photo session with 3 clothing changes, 1- 1/2 hours, we can incorporate your college choice photos into the session. (Session fee is $100.and does not include photos. Book HERE

Make the Most of Your LinkedIn Headshot

We take hundreds of headshots each year so we know a bit about LinkedIn headshots. To help make sure you get the most out of your new LinkedIn headshot, we wanted to share these tips with you.

Linked-In Headshot Tips
  1.  Zoom In – Linked in isn’t an app focused on sharing quality visual media. Generally, it’s about networking. It doesn’t have the ability to view, inspect, and enlarge photos like some of the other social media apps. This means that your profile photo is TINY. Even if you do happen to click on someones profile photo, it doesn’t really enlarge that much. Make sure that you crop in as tight. We will give you multiple crops of your headshot including one for LinkedIn. Be sure to ask Kurt if you’re interested in this. You will make sure that people can see your face while they are scrolling.
  2. Keep it simple – There is a big difference between branding photos and a LinkedIn headshot.  Given that, in a branding photo, you may want to consider something with an interesting background or scene if your image is being featured in a magazine or on a website. Alternatively, your LinkedIn profile photo is a tiny little “hello” to show off your face and expression. It’s hard to get that across if your head is two pixels wide and you are surrounded by plants. Accordingly, stick to a solid, out of focus, or non-distracting background. Let your face be the focus of the shot and don’t forget to zoom in. 
  3. Try a pop of color – I can tell you after 15 years in the business, that the most popular background color for a headshot is WHITE. One reason is that companies like all their employees to have a matching background and white is universally offered. I will say that unless the photographer knows what he/she is doing, your white background may end up being a mess. As you know, there are thousands of shades of white. A professional will make sure the white is 100% true. We prefer a neutral gray, but know many of you request white, so we do it frequently. Since so many people use a white or light gray background, you can make your LinkedIn headshot stand out by wearing a pop of color. Catch the eye of people scrolling by your post with something extra by including a colorful blouse or tie in your next headshot session. You could purchase two poses during your headshot session which could include a more traditional color scheme and another with the pop of color.

Make sure that your headshot is impactful, recognizable, and stands out from the crowd if you are really looking to polish up that LinkedIn profile,

Need an Updated Headshot?

That being said, need to update your Linked Headshot or business headshot? Use this link to BOOK NOW!

All About Cotillion

You may have heard of cotillion but wondered what it entails. It came to America around 1772 and is alive and well today.

We photograph our local Cotillion spring balls each year. There are seven balls with approximately 130 participants at each ball over the course of two days. The balls are the culmination of a six week course where students are taught how to be respectful, polite members of their communities.  It’s about looking someone in the eye when you speak to them, holding the door for the person walking in behind you, and asking someone who’s standing alone at a party to dance.

The word cotillion was first used in 18th-century France and England to describe a dance choreographed for four couples at a ball. Today, cotillion is typically a season of etiquette classes for middle-school-aged children that ends with a final dinner dance where they get to show off what they’ve learned.

Most of the attendees are around twelve years old in our area. They learn the waltz, fox trot, cha cha and other ballroom dances. They also learn how to greet others with a handshake and a proper “hello.” Table etiquette is another subject covered in the course. Using good manners is a continuous theme throughout Cotillion.

The first rule of cotillion etiquette is to abide by the dress code of your local cotillion class. The dress code usually requires a dress and gloves for girls and jackets ties for boys each week. Boys must have their hair combed, shoes polished, and fingernails clipped. Chewing gum at cotillion is a cardinal sin.

Check out this link to find out more about Cotillion in your area.

The formal pics below are a sample of those that were taken by Kurt Nelson, Innovative Images, during the recent Dallas area Cotillion Balls.

Skin Tone and Color Selection for Headshots

Are you contemplating what color(s) you should wear for your headshot session? You are not alone! One of the most time-consuming parts of preparing to be photographed is deciding on the outfit you want to be wear. Below, we have outlined how to get started with the most important part: choosing your colors.

First of all, check with your company to make sure they don’t require a certain color. It is wise to select something that will look great with your company logo. For instance, if your company is red and navy, a poor choice for your clothing is pink because it will clash. In addition, you may want to identify which skin tone category you fall into — warm, neutral, or cool.

First, take this quiz!

Then, do the vein test!  Check the veins around your wrist & palm:

  • If they appear greenish, you have warm tones
  • If they appear blue or purplish, you have cool tones
  • If they appear colorless or match the skin, you have neutral tones

Also, you can determine your skin tone by recalling the way your skin reacts to the sun:

  • If you tan easily, you have warm tones
  • If you are able to tan or burn, you have neutral tones
  • If you burn easily, you have cool tones

Complementary Colors for Warm Skin Tones

Orange, Honey, Amber, Gold, Olive, Turquoise, Cream

Avoid vibrant tones like Deep Red and Indigo. Some of these colors are quite harsh for headshot photography (bright orange) but  could look great under a jacket as a camisole for women or in a tie for men. Do not confuse the turquoise for royal blue!

Complementary Colors for Neutral Skin Tones

Light and soft colors like Rose, Jade, Gray, Sky Blue

Avoid Neons, Yellows, and Reds.

I see the above color choices as a secondary color selection under a jacket, etc. Gray is ALWAYS a better choice that white as the secondary selection. AVOID WHITE no matter what your skin tone is!

Complementary Colors for Cool Skin Tones

Emerald, Ocean Blue, Purple, Lavender, Cherry Red

Avoid Orange and Yellow. Who would want those colors anyway in a professional headshot?


What Should I Wear for my Headshot Session?

What should I wear for my headshots?

Bring a few options to your photo shoot. We will take a look at them and help decide what will look best.

  • Always bring clothes that match your style and personality and make you feel and look professional.
  • Stay away from clothes with busy patterns. Solid colors are best. No logos. No stripes!
  • Try to stay away from black and white. If you are a person who relies heavily on black, think about branching out to some colors that flatter your natural coloring. White is one of the worst colors you can choose.
  • Any color is great for tops, but remember that very bright colors like lime green can draw away from your face, so pick something slightly more subdued. There are even colors of clothing that are so bright that a camera has trouble reproducing them and they look completely different in the final image.
  • Bring an undershirt or camisole if you are shooting in multiple outfits. It saves time to be able to change tops quickly in the studio for more headshot looks. For men, wear an undershirt with a v-neck if possible as it is less likely to show up in the photos that way.
  • In a headshot session, your lower half will not likely make it into the photos, but make sure that whatever bottoms you have are clean, pressed and match your tops. You never know what we might be able to get out of your session. If you are wearing a suit, be sure to bring the pants. In addition, more than one choice of tie would be helpful.
  • Undergarments. Make sure to include the right undergarments for the tops you bring. You might be disappointed if you bring that super cute tank top or strapless dress but you forgot a strapless bra however, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND SLEEVELESS OR STRAPLESS CLOTHING FOR MOST HEADSHOTS!
  • Make sure any clothes that you bring are clean and neatly pressed. This goes double for collared shirts and suits. Smoothing wrinkles can create a major problem in the retouching process.
  • If you want to bring jewelry, make sure that it matches. Gold earrings don’t look great with a silver necklace, etc. Bring some options that you love but keep in mind that a headshot is about your face. For entertainment, unless you are shooting specific character shots, keep jewelry to a minimum. Simple studs or hoops and simple necklaces are fine, but nothing that will take away from your expression.
  • Before you head out the door, make sure to grab a unique article of clothing or two. Do you have some cool fedoras? What about a really great leather jacket or a scarf you love? You never know what might come out of a shoot so grab that item and bring it with you. Do you play guitar? Golf? Do you kick-box or collect swords? Bring something that’s unique to you and we might just be able to fit it in to the session and create something really cool.

We are also more than happy to communicate with you about the clothes you are planning to bring. You can text us pictures of your ideas before you arrive and we will give you advice, 972-335-3686. 

Headshot Session FAQ

What does my session include?

Our headshot session is designed to accommodate the best possible combination of comfort, creativity and exceptional results. Whether you enjoy taking pictures or dread it, we will tailor the session to YOU. Here’s a brief synopsis of what to expect.

Expect for the session to take up to one hour. You session will be photographed by Kurt Nelson.

Kurt will help you decide what the best background will be for your portrait. He will also guide you in selecting clothing options.

Kurt excels in getting appropriate expression. He will take many different looks so you have options. Posing and lighting will be top priorities for helping to achieve optimal results.

As the photos are being shot, they will appear on a screen so you will know exactly what the images are looking like. This process alleviates stress because you will know if we are on the right track or if there is something you do not like such as your makeup, hair, etc.

Once a series of photos have been taken and Kurt feels like he has a good gallery for your review, he will help you decide what look you like the best by going through the photos right then and settling on your favorite(s).

The next part of the process is where the magic happens. Kurt takes your selected image(s) and retouches them as you sit beside and watch. He can so extensive retouching or just the basic. He does all of his retouching by hand. There are no filters, etc. He can smooth your skin, reduce wrinkles, slim your face and/or body, remove dark circles, remove stray hairs, etc. We never over retouch. A natural, “best version” of yourself is the goal. Our clients absolutely love the process!

Your favorite high resolution image will be digitally delivered to you before you leave the session.

Where Does My Session Take Place?

Most of our headshot sessions take place in our studio. It’s located within the Stonebridge Ranch area of McKinney, TX. The physical address is 2209 Cypress Point Drive. We are a home based studio complete with a camera room, dressing room and outdoor shooting areas specifically for photography. There is a separate entrance to the photography studio. We ask our clients to park by the curb, walk up the driveway and enter the studio through the door on the left beside the gray bench. You will see a floor mat under the door that says “Innovative Images Photography.”

In addition to our studio, we do offer “on location” shoots as an upgrade. We will need to collaborate on those sessions to make sure the location will work and will give you the results you desire.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Many people want to talk with us personally to set up a session. That is awesome, and we are happy to talk you through any questions you may have. Our headshot sessions are $150. and include one professionally retouched image. We do have an online booking system for those of you ready to BOOK NOW

 If your company is paying for your headshot, please use this linkBOOK NOW/COMPANY PAY

What happens if I need to reschedule or cancel?

We understand that life can get in the way. Built into our online scheduling system is the ability to change your appointment if you need to. If you need to reschedule your session and did not book it on our online software, simply text or call us @ 972-335-3686. Like most businesses, we deeply appreciate you letting us know of any changes because we often cannot rebook the time you were scheduled for.

Please check back to our blog in the coming weeks for more information including answers to questions about hair, make up, clothing!


Hudson is a 2024 Senior at McKinney Boyd. He is a two sport athlete, playing both basketball and baseball for the Broncos. The highlight of his high school years have been reaching the playoffs in both sports.

Hudson has unbelievable blue eyes that absolutely shine in his photos. He is very tall and you might be surprised to know that he wears a size 16 shoe!

We love photographing Hudson and have no doubt that his future is very bright.