What to Wear for a Photoshoot?
Updated: Sep 23
What to wear for a photoshoot? Wow. The Million Dollar Question.
There are about 98374384093840182 billion options for a photoshoot. I am going to work on my best TLC impression and tell you what not to wear because that's a lot easier than making a long list of what to wear. At the end of this blog I will have lots of pictures of outfits in previous photoshoots and tell you what I loved about them!
Here goes nothing.
Complement... DO NOT Match
This is a BIG one. A couple of years ago it was the thing to match for photoshoots (trust me I've been there too). Well, I am happy to announce that the days of white shirts and jeans are no longer a thing! YAY!!
Complement: pick a color scheme and mix it up between shorts, shirts, skirts, dresses, hats, shoes, everything!
Example: Ivory, beige, navy
Little girl wearing ivory dress, little boy wearing navy pants and a beige shirt, Dad wearing khakis and navy shirt, and Mom wearing navy skirt and beige shirt.
There are a billion color schemes and combinations, this is just one example. So no more matching white shirts. We stand for complementing not matching! Yay!
Start with one outfit - the rest will follow
So how in the heck do you come up with complementing outfits? It was so much easier to just get matching white shirts!
Trust me - I know. But it is so worth it. My advice: Take one person, usually the hardest person to dress, and make their outfit. The rest will come easier. For instance if you are the hardest person to dress and you're wearing white pants, then you know you don't want another family member wearing white pants.
Dressy or casual?
Do you want super dressy outfits like fancy dresses, heels and button downs or do you want Jeans, casual skirts, and polos?
Answer these questions and that'll help determine which to go with:
Do you want to wear heels to walk around in for an hour?
Will you be walking in grass?
Do you want the running around, candid photos? (aka no heels)
Do you want more posey/still photos? (aka can do heels)
Do you even wear dressy clothes all the time? Is that a representation of you?
Will you be taking pictures in a field or at a plantation?
Easiest outfit possible
I mean it doesn't get much easier than this. Don't come with this complex outfit with 1000 layers and the positioning on it has to be exactly correct in order to look good. Or it rolls a weird way so you will have to constantly be fixing it. Easiest Outfit possible. The last thing you want to be is worried about your outfit.
Variety is best
Pants are comfy, let's be honest. I love me some good old pants. They suck everything in, hold it tight and show off the curves. However... variety is best. If everyone in the family is wearing pants, the picture can look a little stale. If you have movement such as skirts and dresses and pants and jumpsuits it is going to look 10x better with a lot more versatility, movement and dimension. Who knew an outfit had so much power?
Patterns vs. Solids
Ahhhh. A long battle I fight all the time. Did you know that small plaids, pinstripes and small boxy patterns can mess with the camera and distort the look? Yes! It is so frustrating! I know men's #1 thing to wear is a good ole plaid button down but please switch it out for a plain color or something different!
Another thing about patterns, sometimes they're necessary, sometimes they really aren't. Don't pick patterns that are too busy. If one person is wearing a pattern I would suggest nobody else wear a pattern unless it's the exact same pattern. Also pick a pattern that doesn't take away from the photo - one that isn't too busy and isn't too bold. After all, the main focus is on you!
Solids! I love them! We are BFFs and we bond perfectly! You can't go wrong with a solid!
Neon is a no on all levels
No. No. No. No. and No. Neon just doesn't work well for photos. It pulls focus away from the main focus AKA YOU! It's bright and doesn't edit well so it could make your editing look funky. And honestly, it is just super hard to complement with your family member's outfits.
Dusty over Bright
Think dusty colors. It helps make the photo coloring and lighting more balanced. So instead of wearing turquoise wear a dusty light blue or muted blue. Instead of wearing white, choose ivory. Light pink over hot pink. Mustard instead of yellow. Olive instead of Lime green.
The weather is a huge factor. If it is going to be hot, please please please don't show up in a sweater or jacket just because you'll look nice. Sweat Stains, sweaty hair, perspiring upper lips, red faces, dying and heat anger.
If it is going to be chilly, wear a sweater, put on that jacket, because shivering smiles are a thing and it does not look good.
Comfort is key
If you are comfortable, it will reflect on your pictures. If you are wearing a tight shirt and you aren't body confident (although you definitely should be because you are rocking), then it will show how uncomfortable you are in the photos and you will be picking out everything wrong in the photos. Don't say "no it will be fine if I just don't sit this way." no. Don't wear it. Save yourself the stress, the uncomfortable, the constant readjusting, the nerves. Trust me.
Wear something you are comfy in. Something you know you ROCK. Something you absolutely love. It will reflect positively on the photos. Again, who knew clothes had so much power!
C O M F Y S H O E S!
I cannot stress this enough! Don't wear shoes or let anyone else wear shoes they can't walk, run, skip, walk in circle, spin around in. Just don't. If they hurt your feet - don't. If you are likely to break an ankle in them - don't. If they are super nice and you don't want to get them remotely dirty by being in grass - don't.
This is by far the most important. Nothing can ruin a photoshoot faster than if you aren't comfortable in your clothes because they just don't represent you. If you are not a pink girl, don't wear pink. If you are not a dress girl, don't wear a dress. If you are a rocker motorcycle chick, don't wear a ball gown.
Let your clothes reflect you and your personality. Spunky, fun, calm, casual, punk, school teacher, pantsuit, dressy dress, heels, boots, whatever it may be - wear it and rock it!
These are YOUR pictures. So be the best YOU you can be!
What the kid wants matters too!
Happy kids = Happy Photoshoot = Photos we love = Happy Parents = Less Stress
Please Please Please don't force the kid to do anything. Most kids aren't a fan of photoshoots so anything we can do to help that is a great idea. If they don't want to wear the sweater vest, please don't force them to wear the sweater vest. It may go perfectly and complete the outfit but it's not worth the screaming, tears, and all that follows. Because then they show up to the photoshoot with a negative mindset which makes everyone on edge. Save your temper, save your stress levels. Don't make them wear the uncomfy dress shoes, don't make them wear the bow in their hair if they don't want to. Trust me, it's worth not having the item to have a good one hour session!
So to recap!
- Be comfortable
- Add a pattern but not too many
- Clothes that fit
- Show your personality
- Ivory instead of white
- Wear complementing colors
- Pick a 3-4 colors in your color scheme
- Ask your photographer for help! Send pictures! I guarantee you I looovvveee receiving pics!
- Suits and prom dresses
- Matching shirts
- Neon - yikes
- Small plaid, small stripes and complex patterns
- Too many colors
- Forcing kids to wear unnecessary items
- Unnecessary sweating because of improper clothes
Well that's all I have for now. I know that was a lot to digest but hopefully it helped! Some of my favorite colors to photograph are: burgundy, dusty red, light blue, olive, beige, tan, black, brown, grey, mustard, burnt orange, blue jean, and dusty pinks! But every photographer is different!
PLEASE send me photos! I LOVE helping people pick out their outfits! I will update this list as I see necessary to make sure you keep up with all the up to date trends since this is my most asked question!
Here is my Pinterest link with outfit combinations: https://pin.it/4acms94
Below are some pictures and I will tell you what I love about them!
What I like: Neutral colors, comfy clothes but still looks really nice, pants and shorts combo
What I like: because the photoshoot location was in a Sunflower Patch, the family wore white, ivory, beige and navy to counteract the green patch!
What I like: One bold pattern and the solid to complement, colors are complementing and super simple, comfy clothes they can move in, no shoes because it's the beach!
Hehe this is my family so obviously I chose this outfit combo :)
What I like: Complementing colors, lots of neutrals, even matching whenever we broke into couples so we didn't clash with our significant others.
What I like: A bold pattern with a complementing outfit to follow, heels but she can still move, movement in the dress because it's flowy, solid button down so there's no conflicting patterns or distortion.
What I like: A great color scheme, bold dress pattern, a dress with pants so there's variety, and the dresses flows nicely with mom's hair! Also everyone look comfy and kids look happy and comfy!
Hehe... also my family!
What I like: a 4 color color scheme, not too many khaki pants, not too many blue jean, I added a Blue jean jacket to my dress to put more blue jean on top, nobody stands out in a bad way, everyone is comfy, everyone looks good in these neutral colors.