The first step to answering what to wear during a photo shoot is to ask “What do you want from the photo shoot?” And you need to ask “What do you want from the photo shoot?” for most any subject including yourself, kids and even pets.
A lot depends on your taste in fashion, what you will be using the pictures for and how you think that fashion will look in 20 years.
Your Taste in Fashion
Why is this important? It’s easy to see that you will feel most comfortable in clothes that you like! And your comfort level translates to the lens, ever time. If you are comfortable and relaxed, you’re going to see that in the pictures.
What Are You Using The Pictures For?
If you need headshots for acting, chances are that you won’t be wearing the same thing to a family portrait…..
One good example is most High School Seniors want to do high fashion looks for their senior pictures. And who can blame them? They are about to graduate high school and take on the world, they should be remembered with flair. Chances are though that some of your family (maybe the older population) would much prefer some more traditional portrait pictures. We have you covered there too – bring multiple outfits.
For family portraits I would recommend casual to dressy clothing that will not look “dated” in 20 years. What the heck do you mean by that? If your family is very laid back and relaxed, then chances are the you and the rest of the family may be most comfortable in jeans. You can always dress up a little by adding button down shirts and other dressier fashions. Is your family a little more formal? You can add sport jackets and dresses or even go the full formal route and wear suits and formal dresses. Kid’s don’t want to get dressed up for the family portrait? Make a compromise and bring two wardrobes – one that they want to wear and one that will make you happy. Relax - I shoot digital these days, so pixels are cheap.
20 Years From Now…
When you find these pictures in a photo album, how are they going to look? Something that is very “in” now may look silly in 20 years. Ever watch a movie and guess when it was filmed by the clothes the actors were wearing? Remember parachute pants? Bell bottom jeans? If your pictures are to be used in the here and now (like commercial head shots), then dress trendy. Otherwise I would recommend something a little more timeless….
And Some Other Suggestions…
People always ask what is the best style of clothes and colors of clothes for their body and skin type. Here are some suggestions. You can always call me and ask what I would recommend for you.
Try to avoid patterns, they distract from the main subject…you! Given the choice between a patterned shirt and a plain one, I would reccomend the plain one. In general, simpler is better. When co-ordinating pants and shirts or skirts and shirts, try and pick colors and fabrics that contrast, particularly with dark colors. If you wear all dark colors of the same material, it will be hard to distinguish any details in the picture making it boring.
Generally darker colors will slim you down. Bright colors can be tricky, especially if you are light skinned. Generally try to avoid colors that clash with your natural skin tone. If your cheeks are always rosy colored, try to avoid reds. If you have blond hair – avoid the yellows. Don’t forget you want contrast. You can always bring a few sets of clothes to a photo shoot and we can mix and match on the spot. Don’t forget to co-ordinate your nail colors with the style and color clothes that you will be wearing…
And Some Do’s and Dont’s…
Finally some Do’s and Don’ts:
- Do pick clothes that you are comfortable in
- Do try on ALL the clothes before coming to a photo shoot. Nothing like finding out something doesn’t fit at the ‘shoot.
- Do remember to co-ordinate your nail color (both hands and toes if you will be wearing open toe shoes or if you will be barefoot). Also remember that your nails should have a fresh coat, that chips will show in the pictures.
- Do remember that you want contrast
- Do have a bright light on when picking out clothes for the photo shoot.
- Don’t worry about bringing too many clothes, as long as you bring a variety
- Don’t worry if you don’t like something, you can always go onto the next wardrobe
- Don’t forget to put a fresh coat on your nails – chips will show in the photos!
- Don’t bring clothes with busy patterns on them