What to wear to a photo shoot is probably one of the most commonly asked questions to us and is probably one of the hardest ones to answer. I have been giving this subject a lot of thought lately. There is no one answer but instead things you should keep in mind. While this is primarily written for family sessions this can also be used for engagement sessions and Seniors. One thing a lot of people want to do too is pick their favorite outfit out that they only wear at special occasions but that doesn’t mean that it will make a great picture. Sometimes it might, but don’t automatically think it will. Whatever you decide to wear comfort is key. If you’re clothes are comfortable you will relax more and that always makes the pictures better.
I really like vibrant bright colors that really pop in pictures. A lot of people really like the bright white shirt with blue jeans, which is a great look but can often be difficult to photograph. If you are taking your pictures in the middle of the day a white shirt can get blown out and not look great every time. A better idea is a cream or beige color shirt. One other thing about color to keep in mind is it’s not always necessary for everyone in the photo to be wearing the exact same one. For example, if everyone is wearing a bright red color shirt and everyone gets grouped up together then then it’s hard to tell where one person starts and one person ends. I like it if everyone wears a different shade of a color. This makes everyone look like an individual yet as part of a group.
Prints vs Solids
The wrong print can ruin a picture but the right one can really make a picture stand out above all the others. My favorite look is when a few people wear prints and a few wear solids.You don’t want to wear any wild patterns or horizontal stripes as they do not always photograph well and are not very flattering.
If the season and weather is right, layering your clothing is a great look. It also allows you to get an accent color in the picture. This isn’t always possible in the summertime when temperatures can be over 100 degrees at 8pm. Another way to get an accent color in the picture is with jewelry. I think jewelry can really put a picture over the top (in a good way). Either with those coral earrings or that aqua necklace if they are worn right can make an ordinary picture extraordinary.
What not to wear
Shirts with writing on them. You might like the shirt today but next year it might be out of style and you don’t want to pay for pictures if you won’t like them next year. Even if you work out all the time and have “ripped” arms sleeveless shirts are never a good idea. For some reason very few girls can pull off Polo shirts well. If you really want to wear a polo, make sure it is fitted for a woman’s body, and not cut straight on the sides. Shirts with short hemlines – the bottom edge of the shirt should hit at your hips or lower.
Exact matching outfits – it might seem cute now to both wear the exact same outfit, but in a few years, you will laugh at yourself for being so cheesy!
Other things to consider
Girls, be aware of your body type. Know what your flaws are, what your assets are, and dress accordingly. If you’re a curvy girl, wear something properly tailored that really shows off the curves of your body. Look for shirts with long torsos that will make you look longer and leaner. Short hemlines on shirts will make you look bigger. Avoid extremely baggy clothing and super skintight clothing. If you’re petite, dressing in trendy layers will give you a more sophisticated look, but don’t go for anything poofy or with big shoulders/sleeves or it might end up swallowing you in the images. If you’re an athletic girl, avoid the urge to play up your killer arms or rock-hard thighs. Unfortunately, without sophisticated studio lighting, it can be hard to capture muscular definition in photos, and heavily-muscled arms and legs can end up looking more like fat.
Guys, If you plan on tucking your shirt in, make sure the shirt fits you well and is not too baggy, or you might accidentally end up with a muffin-top effect. Also make sure that your belt matches your shoes!
Be aware of your location, and dress appropriately. If you’re going somewhere very edgy and urban, wear something sophisticated and dressy. If you’re going somewhere artsy and whimsical, go for trendier styles and fun layers. If you’re going somewhere natural like a park, wear something more romantic and light. When in doubt, bring multiple outfits and I will be happy to lend a suggestion or we can find a place you can change and we will photograph you in multiple outfits.