Dressing yourself in the morning everyday is hard enough even when you don’t have to stand in front of a camera to get your photographs taken. Choosing what to wear for a photoshoot can trigger even the most confident, fashion forward individual to pull their entire wardrobe out onto the floor in search of the perfect outfit. Can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me!
So if you start to get nervous or freak out over what to wear, no worries! This is 100% normal. Before you go and get anxious about this, or spend countless hours online shopping, putting items in and out of your cart, let’s go over what works and what doesn’t for XX? Photos.
My clients always ask for some advice on what they should wear to get gorgeous images. That’s why I’ve compiled this guide for you, so you’ll never have to wonder again what you should wear for your next photoshoot!
THIS IS EVERYTHING. You should look, and feel like yourself in your photographs, first and foremost.
It’s not uncommon for people to want to shop for something new and fabulous for their photoshoot, and that’s totally fine! However, comfort should be the Top priority. Are you more comfortable in your favorite T-shirt and jeans, or that brand new, clingy black dress? Tried and true is usually, almost always, the best route – unless you are styling your session a specific way, example: formal, semi-formal, etc.
You will want to wear something that moves with you, and will hug you in all the right places AND make you feel good about it. It doesn’t have to be the T-shirt and jeans! You are allowed to glam it up if that’s what you are going for in your images, however, if authenticity is what you are going for, you gotta show up as yourself. I know you want to capture this time in your life in all of its glory, so do it while feeling great in your own skin.
To the location and the season of course! If you are wearing a fancy ball gown in your living room, it could be assumed you are going to prom. A sundress in a snow covered field and we might just be able to feel the frostbite forming on your fingertips! Your photographer and yourself will be telling a story, your story, together, so let’s see about doing this right!
You will want to plan your outfit around what you know about your location, and the conditions that take place there. You want to be as temperature controlled as possible, have comfortable footwear, and you really want to look like you belong in the backdrop of your choosing. For example, if we are going to the Adirondacks in the fall, I would assume you’d be choosing hiking shoes, thick socks, a sweater, comfy jeans or nice pants, and maybe a hat to keep extra cozy. Maybe you scheduled an in-home lifestyle session. You can slip into the comfiest of sweats (pants are totally optional). It’s all about capturing you, where you are.
HOT TIP: Don’t wear all black on the sunniest, hottest of days. Trust me, don’t do it.
You’ll want to choose 2 to 3 outfits that you love and feel absolutely amazing in. Play around with different combinations and color palettes (especially if planning a family session). You don’t have to select anything that’s “on trend” but you do want to select options that bring out the real you! Express yourself! Having multiple options not only brings diversity to your future images, but it also helps your photographer keep the focus on you to complement your environment.
Lead with your Personality. You think this is all about clothes? Yes, but your personality SHINES in your clothing! Are you a painter and want to show off your stuff? Let’s splatter a canvas with your paint “smock”! Maybe you’re a rocker or a jock, and you gotta add that in there to tell the world who you are. Go for it! In the end this photoshoot is all about you. When you work with an Authentic Storytelling Photographer like myself, I’ll want your photoshoot to be different from everyone elses. I want it to be unique to you.
When you choose a natural and authentic photographer like myself, they would tell their clients to always figure in movement and loose flow-y fabrics. You’ll want to pick something that has a cozy texture, or can move with the wind if a breeze blows by. Maybe adding in shear or lacy fabrics to filter through the sun’s rays. I highly suggest fabrics like linen, cotton, and even wool for colder days. You’ll want to avoid stiffer fabrics, especially those with collars that may look too formal or need constant adjusting (again, unless you are styling for formal).
I frequently suggest to my clients, “Go for neutrals, softer colors, and Earth tones.” The reason for this, in my opinion, is that they photograph best. They complement the locations I typically choose for my clients, and they are timeless when displayed in a print or framed piece.
I also love bold colors when the time calls for it, don’t get me wrong, but I do advise my clients to avoid brighter colors. For example, if you have a pair of neon green sneakers, they probably won’t look that great in your photographs, and will be the first thing that everyone’s eyes are drawn to when they look at them. I also tell my clients to avoid logos and brand names on their clothing. Not only is this distracting, but it will take away from who you are, and that’s what we are showing off.
HOT TIP: For family sessions, I highly suggest using a color palette generator, like COLORS to select a top 4 color scheme to select your outfit choices. Have one family member wear a feature color, and then everyone else works around that. Mommas, that’s your moment to shine!
You really don’t want to be wearing the same color as the other people in your photoshoot (unless this is a gothic witch shoot, then I say go for it!). When multiple people wear the same color, sometimes they tend to blend in with one another. And don’t get me started on these “white t-shirt, blue jeans” groupings! I see you. Big no, no.
Aesthetics are everything in your photographs. You want to find complementary outfits that will show off a variety of colors, tones, textures, accessories, and patterns. You want to not only complement the people in your images, but also your location you are photographing in. The idea is to look great together, but not look the same.
Ahh the power of accessorizing. Hats, sunglasses, shoes, socks, jackets, scarves, etc. These are all great options to help you layer up and jazz up your outfits. Just be cautious of large and distracting pieces, we are here to photograph you, not the big costume earrings!
Layering up is great for your images. Not only will it create additional texture, and more interesting photographs, but it’s great for all kinds of weather conditions you may be in for!
It doesn’t have to be crazy obvious for an item to be a “prop” in your photographs. Something as simple as a hat, bouquet, or umbrella can serve as a prop for your photographs. Gone are the days of cheezy chalkboard signs, you’ve upgraded to the big kids table! Bring your skateboard, your bike, even your fancy car!
Do you remember that YouTube sensation? Am I showing my age? Once you have your outfit planned, the dreaded question appears. What about shoes? Shoes are the key part to complement any outfit. You will want to select your shoes based on the location. Hiking? Get hiking shoes or boots. If you are like me and heels are your go to for some outfits, I won’t tell you different! If you work with a photographer like me, I’ll be giving you some prompts that will definitely keep you moving. So comfortable shoes you can run, walk, and dance around in are a must!
Examples for footwear: barefoot/sandals for the beach, sneakers, leather boots etc for grass fields. These are just a few things. Always consider context when choosing your footwear, not just for practicality but also aesthetics.
Avoid bold patterns and prints. If they are too bold, they may dominate over your photographs and detract attention away from you. Smaller, subtle patterns work best, a flannel or a light floral print can be great in the perfect location. Less is more here, limit yourself to one patterned outfit at a time. Trying to match patterns is tricky enough.
Hair and makeup is truly your call. I always suggest a good manicure for the ladies prior to their photoshoot, so you have nice clean and tidy fingers. Sometimes in photographs, a bright polish, chipped manis or dirty fingernails can get magnified and once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
When it comes to hair, I really love it when it flows and blows in the breeze! A stylish up-do is fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but when you want to savor a moment as it is, hair down for the ladies is the way to go! It helps bring in movement, and of course since we aren’t here to be perfect, little bits of natural imperfection in the best possible way.
Looking to book a natural and authentic session?
Adventure Elopement and Wedding Photographer located in Upstate New York.
follow us on
powered by Showit
Copyright Lovely Studio Co. 2023| Tinara Kohlbrenner
Specializing in Adventurous Engagements, Intimate Weddings & Elopements in NY State and Beyond. Whether you want to travel to a dream location, or somewhere a bit more familiar, when you hire me, you will never have to worry about photography on your special day!
Be the first to comment