What to Wear

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Clients ask what to wear for their portrait session all the time, so I have a few guidelines I’d like to share. If you are an overthinker like me, I want to help make the process as simple, stress-free, and fun as possible! Rather than outfit formulas, this is general advice for any photoshoot and any style. Let’s get right into it!

  1. Wear something that you love and makes you feel the most comfortable and confident in. This affects the result more than anything else.
  2. Avoid small, thin striped patterns. In portraits, this creates a shifting “moirĂ©” pattern that’s very distracting to the eye.
  3. Avoid ill-fitting clothing. If something is pulling, gaping, too loose, too tight, constantly needs adjusting (e.g. the wrong undergarments, a broken zipper, ect.), it’s going to be a distraction and affect how you feel about the final result. If you feel you are not a good judge on fit, have someone you trust come along with you to pick out your outfit and provide helpful feedback.
  4. Avoid clothing with logos on them.
  5. Focus on texture, rather than pattern, to add interest to your photos. Use pattern sparingly.
  6. Choose complimentary colors. You can study the color wheel if you want to get scientific about it, but generally color pairings that naturally work well together also make beautiful portraits. Consider the environment you will be photographed in as part of your color palette.
  7. Add layers for visual interest. For men, adding a shirt under a sweater for a collar peek or a jacket over the sweater are a couple examples. Ladies, you have so many ways to layer in texture, color, and pattern. An example might be an off the shoulder top over a spaghetti strap top and an accessory or two.
  8. Focus on the details. Have your nails clean and manicured, beard groomed, face shaved without nicks and cuts, ect. Use powder make-up sparingly as it tends to leave the skin looking lifeless in photos.
  9. For multiple subjects, focus on coordinating colors and not matchy-matchy outfits. Don’t overthink it, but keep complimentary colors in mind.
  10. Bring a bag of props for accessorizing, allowing some variations without having to do a complete wardrobe change.

Remember! YOU make the photos, not your clothes! But with a little planning, you can create the best possible images and ensure you are happy with the results for years to come.

Have questions? Drop them in the comments or shoot me an email!

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