I have so many of my clients ask me before a session, “What should we wear?” It’s a great question because what you wear can really add the “wow” factor to your images. You guys do such a great job choosing your outfits, but for some of you it adds a little stress before your session. So, I’m going to share some tips with you to try and eliminate the frustration.
First and foremost, it is such a personal preference and what you wear should reflect who you are every day. If you are a jeans, t-shirt and boots kinda girl, then you are not going to feel comfortable or relaxed in front of the camera all dressed up in a dress and heels…unless maybe it’s your wedding portraits we are shooting! 🙂 What you wear should reflect your personal style and personality. Don’t try to conform to what you see others wearing in their sessions if it’s just not you. Sometimes I see moms put their kids in formal portrait outfits and the kids won’t relax and loosen up in front of the camera; then as soon as the mom changes the children into jeans and a t-shirt, out comes the playful personalities and smiles. Same goes for adults. You must be comfortable and confident in what you have on to be relaxed in front of the camera.
I like for families to wear clothing that compliments each other but doesn’t exactly match. Gone are the days of entire families in white shirts and jeans. Color is back in — in a very big way. Layers such as shirts with sweaters and jackets work great! Tasteful accessories like a scarf draped loosely around the neck or a great cuff bracelet add a little something extra while keeping accessories minimal and understated. Less is definitely more. Anything that screams “look at me instead of who’s wearing me” is a distraction from the focus being on the person. If an infant’s headband is as big as her head, then it will probably fight for your attention in the image and leave you wondering if the shot was about the headband or the baby. It’s also good to avoid huge logos and clunky watches. This is especially true for closeups.
This time of year I just love anything with boots! Girls can throw on a dress and boots, with or without leggings, and boys can wear sweaters layered over a shirt, jeans and boots. I also love closeup shots of kids wearing their brightly colored winter hats. The focus in these shots is always on the eyes. Another fun look is to put your kids in different brightly colored down vests layered over shirts or hoodies with jeans and boots.
When considering what to wear, also think about your location and its surroundings. If your session is at the gardens where there is a lot of green, it’s not a great idea to wear green or you will blend in to your background. If your session is at a cabin, think of colors that will compliment the gray wood, such as purple, turquoise and red. Artists use a color wheel to find color compliments. I have one I refer to when doing hand tints. You can also use one to find color compliments for your clothing. You can find a reference for using the color wheel here and a color wheel tool here.
I hope these tips help! And remember, you can always email or call me if you have any questions. In the meantime, here is featured selection of what to wear during the months of October and early November. All fashions shown are from Gap, Old Navy and Piperlime, which are hopefully appealing to every budget. It’s not about buying these exact outfits, it’s more about providing you with a visual aid for looks, styles and colors that work well together when photographed. I’m going to be posting a visual suggestion like this each month to help you in your decision making. I’d love to hear your feedback. Have fun shopping!