Photography “subjects” may have different goals and hopes for their photo shoot but there is one thing we all wonder beforehand: what do we wear?
Some people may take pleasure in planning their photo wardrobe, and may even buy new outfits. For others, it’s a last minute scrounge-up that is stressful at best, torturous at worst!
Personally when dressing my family I fall between these two extremes and I vacillate depending on my inspiration. Perhaps you’re the same way!
No matter what, here’s the deal with dress: your clothes’ main purpose it to bring attention to your face. I wouldn’t want anyone to worry their clothes aren’t “good enough”. Your clothing is there to complement you, so it’s no biggie!
Having said that, if a little more guidance is helpful, here are 7 tips to dressing for your shoot:
Be comfortable! If you feel good that will come across. I would rather have you go against everything else I’m writing here if it means you will be comfortable. :)
Coordinate, not match! Think of your family/ group as wearing one big outfit. I bet you have never worn (in public) green pants, a green top, and a green hat - all in the same shade! So choose about three colors in the same palette (pastels, jewel tones, neutrals, etc) and everyone wear these colors. Someone’s top may have just one color, and another’s may have all three for example.
Choose fun but minimalistic accessories. I love the idea of hats, scarves, jewelry, headbands, and fun whimsical accessories for kids. Any accessory that brings your personal style to the forefront is fantastic.
Layer. Especially if it’s a colder day, it’s better to wear several layers than one heavy layer (i.e. a thick coat) to stay warm. Layers add interest and texture to the image and are always great within the color palette you choose!
Avoid white: The problem with white is that it's brighter than skin and can be a little distracting in a portrait photo. If you wear white, wear it minimally like a white undershirt.
Wear “not your nicest” clothes on your lower half. For an outdoor shoot, chances are there will be grass, rocks, or concrete that make perfect perches for a nice photo. Please wear something on your bottom that you don’t mind putting against these surfaces. For an indoor shoot, this is not as important.
Keep the patterns “soft”. This means to wear the opposite of a “loud” pattern (i.e. Hawaiian shirt!) that will distract from your face by taking on a life of its own. Having said that, patterns are wonderful and should be used to whatever degree you are comfortable.
Please contact me if you would like more help on this topic for your photo session. And just remember the most important tip - be comfortable! :)
© Mom of Three Photography / Meghan McLaughlin 2013