The one question that has us all baffled. Most times it leaves us feeling completely defeated and deflated after the search has begun. So what should you wear to your portrait session? What will bring out the best YOU, the natural YOU, the YOU that we all have come to know and love?
My goal with every session is to be as natural as possible, but most of all comfortable and confident with yourself. Here are a few tips on what to wear to your portrait session:
Tip #1. COORDINATE your colors instead of MATCHING! I LOVE color!
Keeping it neutral with blush, cream, grey, white, light blues, tans, and teal all photograph really well together and result in a more light and airy look in your final images. I do also love the look of navy, brown and black in photos as well. Plus! They make great accent colors!
Try to avoid using super bright, neon colors in your outfit. Neon colors reflect a lot of light and generally put color casts on the clothes and skin of the person next to you when photographed.
I do not recommend everyone wearing white as a top. Matching outfits and colors tends to make everyone look like a big blob and leave you searching for the faces you want to see in your photos. It becomes more about what you are wearing than the people in the photo.
Tip #2. WEAR SOLIDS! Patterns are not always flattering to the body and they date your photos. Keeping everyone in a solid color will provide a much more classic and clean look.
Tip #3. DRESS IT UP!
Everyone sees you in jeans and a shirt everyday. Consider something dressier or different than what you would normally wear.
FOR THE GALS: Wear something that you feel confident in and flatters the parts that you love. If you look in the mirror and don’t feel comfortable, it’s not the outfit for you. You shouldn’t have to suck it in or only like the way you look from one angle. I know you will love your portraits so much more when you are not worried about how your clothes fit.
I recommend a flowing maxi-dress or skirt. The movement in the extra fabric photographs beautifully! Adding scarves, fun accessories, like hats, statement necklaces (like the long and dangly ones) and kimonos to your shirt and pants outfit will add personality to your images.
SPLURGE a little by having professional hair and makeup done. Manicures and pedicures never hurt anyone either! You are investing in a lifetime of memories, so having your hair and makeup done is a great way to celebrate the occasion and boost your confidence!
If you decide to go the extra mile and get acrylic or gel nails, do so about a week before the session. It will look more natural in photos because your nails have had time to grow a little and adjust to the filling.
FOR THE GUYS: If you must wear a plaid shirt (again, solids are best!), try to avoid patterns smaller than a nickel. These patterns can create strange visual effects (called moiré) in camera and possibly show up on your printed photos.
Polos, t-shirts with a button up over it and a nice pair of pants are great options. Also, consider a sports coat with your outfit. It doesn’t have to be on the entire shoot (because I know it gets super hot), but it will add variety to the images. Closed toed shoes photograph really well and I recommend avoiding graphic t-shirts and tennis shoes.
There’s a small honest truth I feel that everyone needs to know before we go any further. EVERY photographer will have a little bit of a different idea of what to wear to their sessions. Not every one of us will want you to follow the same guidelines from your last photographer. That is why selecting a photographer who’s right for you is SO VERY important. That, however, is for another blog post at a later date and time.
Tip #4. BREATHE! If this is just too much for you, I am here for you! Send me an email with your outfits and accessories laid out on your bed next to each other and the choices you are considering with each one. I am more than happy to help you through this. You don’t have to do this alone! Plus you are going to be amazing models!
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