One of the most commonly asked questions before a photography session is “what should I wear”? I normally don’t have too many “rules” in place, as I really want to make sure your own personality shines and you make your “look” really about you. However, I do of course have my favorite sources for clothing, and a few little tips and tricks that will make your photographs turn out the best way possible. While you will be receiving more information specific to your session with your information packet, in the meantime, I urge you to read up and get prepared to have some fun at our session!
THINK ABOUT LOCATION
Have you decided on your location yet? I think this can be the most important factor in choosing your clothing. Are we shooting in a field where maybe a soft summery look would be appropriate? Or perhaps in a more urban setting, where a funkier approach would be better? Or maybe you’d like to play around and juxtapose an outfit that doesn’t seem to “fit in” on purpose (ie. a bride in a wedding dress in the middle of a brook… just sayin’! could be cool!)… Think about this in choosing your wardrobe.
Solid colors tend to work as all attention is on you, and not your clothing. If there’s more than one person in the picture, try to coordinate colors so that they work well together. You don’t need to wear the same color (in fact, don’t wear the same color!) – just make sure they don’t clash. And of course solid colors does not mean your clothes has to be boring, you can certainly dress it up with accents! I personally prefer a more muted and monotone color palette… creams, peaches, and pinks, khakis or browns… mixed in with a couple of bold but subtle accent colors like fuschia, or turquoise, or orange.
Choose colors either from the opposite sides of the color wheel or next to each other. Most people just intuitively know what color combinations work for them, so just trust your instincts and go with what you know best. For those of you who don’t have a clue about complementary or harmonious colors.
KEEP PATTERNS SIMPLE AND AVOID LOGOS
Logos aren’t great as they date really quickly, and busy and contrasty patterns create too distraction from the main subject – you. Oh, and please don’t wear skinny stripes – cameras and screens don’t like them. As for patterns, I personally do like patterns and even vintagey-feeling clothing, but simple ones, like flowers on girls, or plaid on guys, are my favorites. If you do choose to wear a pattern, try to limit it to just one piece (for example, combine jeans with a patterned top or just one simple patterned dress), and make sure the colors aren’t competing with the pattern.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO WEAR SOME FADED JEANS
If you’re not much of a fashionista, and prefer jeans (like I do) – then please wear them! Jeans have been around for over 100 years, and are timeless. Combine them with a smart top and some accessories, and you’re sorted in no time! I always find it a nice contrast to bring a few different looks to combine with your jeans to switch it up. I personally am not a fan of dressing up, so to me, I prefer jeans 10 times over khakis or dress pants.
DRESS FOR THE SAME SEASON AND REASON
For family portraits (or any group photograph) make sure you’re dressed for the same season. For example, if she is wearing a jacket, it’s not a good idea for him to be wearing shorts and a t-shirt! Another tip, is whatever the “reason” behind your portraits, whether you chose to dress it up a tad, or dress down, make sure you’re all on the same page.
THINK LAYERS AND TEXTURES
Layered or textured clothing works really well. It’s the easiest way to get varied looks from your photoshoot without having to worry about finding a place to change. Just by wearing a jacket, a top, and a scarf, you’ve got 3 interchangeable looks right there! A thing about layers though, is that you want to make sure they are nicely fitted to your body, nothing too huge and baggy, and if you’re self conscious, that’s what the layers are for! – cardigans, wraps, and scarves work great! I’m also a big fan of textures to add a bit of dimension to your look, so think about what you can bring to add on to your look. My favorite look for girls is long layered skirts, cute summery dresses, cardigans… and for boys.. relaxed jeans, overalls, funky vintagey t-shirts (but keep away from the logos please!)….
ACCESSORIZE. BRING TOYS, PROPS, AND PETS
Wear or bring scarves, necklaces, earrings, hats, headbands – whatever you love, anything that’s unique to you, your family, your kids, or just something you’ve always loved and think it could be fun! For children’s portraits, please bring a couple of their favorite toys, books, stuffed animals, even your entire “tea party” set! (or have them at the ready if the photography session is taking place at your home). They prove to be wonderful props and distract the children just enough so that they still think of our “photo” session as a play date.. and voila, that’s how you get beautiful, natural images!
ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO WEAR PJ’S
Don’t try to push your kids into wearing more formal clothing; in fact, casual works much-much better both for their moods and for the final output. They want to wear their pyjamas? Then let them! You won’t get anything good out of them if you force them into that pretty outfit you had prepared. After all, in photographing your child you want to capture their personality and how they are at this moment in time – and it’s those unique shots you will come to treasure as they grow up. Also please remember that we may sit on the pavement or roll in the grass and do some crazy stuff, so choose your child’s outfit accordingly: you don’t want to ruin a very expensive one. Just saying! (Remember, dirt is good!)
IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU
Wear something you feel comfortable in, something that makes you feel gorgeous and confident. The most important part of the session is to allow for your personality to shine, and you can only do that with clothes you truly love and can wear because they are “you”! The most important thing is really to just be yourself! Don’t try and get too fancy and dressed up or worry about matching! I want your personality to shine through the pictures.
AND FINALLY.. THINK ABOUT YOUR WALLS
Are you planning to order a large framed print to put it on your wall? What is that room’s color scheme? Can you find clothing you can wear on the day of your photography session that would complement your interior? Or are you redecorating soon? If you have an interior designer working with you – it might be a good idea for me to speak to them before your photography session, so we can style your shoot accordingly. If not, just talk to me about what you’d like and together with can work out the best solution.
STILL NOT SURE?
If you’re still stuck, and can’t choose between several outfits or not sure whether your colors will work – bring them along (or have them ready if the session is taking place in your home), or take some quick phone pictures and email them to me – and I’ll help you choose the ones that will work best in photographs.