If I had a penny for every time someone asked what they should wear at their session, I’d have ….lots of pennies. But I’d be a reealllly happy penny owner because it meant that people wanted my opinion….that they wanted to know what the photographer thought would be best and would look the best in their photos. THANK YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
I will never tell someone exactly what to wear, so don’t worry! I’m not here to send you links to the GAP and tell you to purchase A,B, and C. BUT… I will give some great advice based on my experiences and based on what colors look best in photos. Too many times, families come to their sessions in either perfectly matching outfits (to each their own! But it’s not my fave and I’ll explain why later) or bright neon colors that end up making skin tones look alien-like.
When you ask your photographer what they think you should wear, you are saying a lot. You are saying you trust them, you are saying that you are open to their help in making this the best shoot ever, and you are saying that you care how your photos turn out. All things that us photogs love to hear!
So…without further blabbering, here are a few tips when planning what to wear to your photo sessions…..
What TO Wear:
- Complimentary colors- Choose 1-2 colors and weave them through all the outfits. Great choices would be white, navy, olive green, rust, deep red, mustard yellow. Though these seem more “fall” in color, they work all year long. Summer colors tend to be really bright so it’s tough on skin tones to wear those in photo shoots. However, deep pinks, royal blues, or purples look great in summer! If your shoot is in the early evening when the sun is setting, brighter colors are ok because the sun won’t be reflecting off of them. And if bright colors are really what your heart is set on, any good photographer can make it work and work well!!
- Dress like you– just kicked up a notch– Photo shoots are an exaggerated version of your life. But they way I shoot them, they are as natural as possible while still being a little more “staged” than actual life. Which is why picking your outfit should be fairly easy- it should be something that reflects you and your personalities but is a little more dramatic than usual. For example, if you normally wear jeans and t-shirts, then wear jeans with a t-shirt but add heels/booties/wedges and a great statement necklace. For men and boys, they need a little more umph than their average go-to looks. Men look amazing with simple button down shirts or sweaters with khakis or a nice pair of jeans. I love when little dudes are dressed in some cute khakis and something fun and patterned on top. Maybe even a little tie or suspenders! Super cute! And for little girls, remember they are LITTLE. Don’t doll them up too much! But they can have some of the “drama” too so choose a style they usually wear and just add a little necklace or fancier shoes.
What NOT to Wear:
- Matching outfits- Ok, so please don’t misunderstand me here. I think it’s adorable when the kiddos are matching. Especially if that’s something you often do. However, when the whole family matches, it’s something that has always sort of …well… well, it’s just not my favorite. Here’s why- do you match every day? Do y’all match really ever?? If the answer is no, which I’m sure it is (because I’m not sure many husbands are leaving their homes matching their wife and kids) then you shouldn’t be matching in family photos. Family photos are supposed to represent your family and your connection. When I shoot a family, we have fun! My clients laugh, play, run around, and I capture those REAL moments. If you are in matching outfits, there’s a big element of UNREAL involved which is something that I just can’t get behind. However, will I kick you out if you come matching? HECK NO. Many families have matched and I love their photos just the same! But if you are asking my opinion, I’ve gotta be honest. You can still have a similar look by following #1 above! And not so much this amazing photo here…….(courtesy of babble.com)
- Bright Neon Colors- I know in summer, these are crazy common- especially on little ones. But for a photo shoot, in the sunlight, these colors cast really unnatural tones onto the skin. And that makes the photos really difficult to edit later. And for natural light photographers like myself, we try our best to rock the shot right then and there and do little editing later. So neon is cool, just not for photo shoots.
- Flowy Tops (for the ladies) – I’m a lady so I get it. I don’t love myself in photos most of the time. I’ll comment on every part of my body and claim it’s fat, weird, pale…you name it. So the best way to combat this is to wear something flattering. Flowy tops make us feel great but in photos, they tend to show width that isn’t there. Dresses that are fit and flare style are super flattering as well as a nice blouse with some jeans!
(Didn’t want to post photo examples of what NOT to wear, except for that awesome where’s waldo pic, because I don’t want to offend anyone! These are just my opinions and I’m in no way judging anyone’s fashion choices..except for maybe the where’s waldo family..)
Ok y’all, I hope this has helped!! What you wear to your shoot is not the most important thing in the world but it does make a really big difference in how the photos turn out. I’m not an expert in anything (except making guacamole and puppy snuggles) but I’ve been shooting long enough to know what works well and what…well..just doesn’t..