One of the questions I get asked most before a shoot is "What should I wear?" Hopefully this provides a little insight on the do's and don'ts of dressing for a shoot.
If you're scheduled for a family shoot, you want to start with coordinating outfits. And that doesn't mean everyone show up wearing khaki pants and a white shirt. Seriously, don't do that! You want to express your individual styles but at the same time choose colors that work well together.
Colors are beautiful and can compliment skin tones and bring out the color in one's eyes. Embrace the colors! But picture if you will, a red shirt and a pink shirt next to each other. It's not going to look the greatest hanging on your wall. Dark blue and burgundy however, will work wonderfully together. Coordinating outfits is very much like interior decorating.
You can start with one person, preferably mom or a female in the family since this is where you will most likely find prints. If one of them is wearing a floral print for instance, you can pull the colors from it to start working on Dad or any males in the family, keeping in mind colors that look good on the individual, of course.
One thing I often tell my clients, is to think about the decor in your home. You'll likely (hopefully) order prints of these photos and will hang them on your walls. If you hang a large canvas in your living room it will likely be a focal point in the room so you want to make sure the colors are complimentary.
This family nailed it! There's only one print and everyone pulled colors from it to match.
If you decide to wear something with a pattern, choose small patterns that won't be distracting and use them sparingly. If you show up wearing 4 different types of plaid you're not going to be happy with the photos, (and it won't be from a lack of photographic talent!) The same thing goes with textures. Textures add interest. I LOVE great textures in photography, but make sure they compliment one another and don't distract.
These photos may hang on your wall for the next 20 years so make sure you pick out an outfit that is timeless. You want these photos to stand the test of time! We don't want any of our photos ending up on AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com because you picked something that might be trendy now, but considered pretty awful in the future.
Dress for the location. If we're doing a rural photo shoot don't show up in a formal dress or a suit and tie. Nice jeans, a shirt and perhaps a scarf and boots would be more suitable. If you have a beautiful formal dress you want to wear in the shoot then let us know in advance so we can help pick out a suitable location. Not only do the outfits need to flow well, but the surroundings need to bring it all together. The goal is to create one cohesive story where everything makes sense.
Layering is always highly recommended (although a little more difficult to accomplish in the summer months). Layers provide visual interest and allows more versatility in shots and posing. Notice how I placed the girls hands on her jacket. I can use layers almost like a prop and it helps put to rest the second most frequently asked question I get asked, "What do I do with my hands?"
Comfort is key! Especially with children. If you force your children to wear something causing them discomfort it's going to translate into the photos. The ultimate goal of portrait photography is to capture the personality and the very essence of the individual. You will end up with photos that completely miss the mark if the subject is uncomfortable. My favorite compliment I receive on my portrait photography is when I'm told I captured the subject perfectly. That goal is all but unobtainable if they are not comfortable with the clothes they are in or aren't wearing something that emanates their personality.
Sometimes kids go through phases where they cling to a certain object. That's ok! That's the point of having portraits done at different intervals of life; to capture those phases. If your child insists on having a blanket with him, let him have it. If your daughter insists on wearing rain boots with her dress I say bring it on! As you can see in the photograph we took on the right, we'll find a way to make it work!
Our full photo sessions allow for multiple outfit changes. Use that to your advantage! You'll end up with much more variety in your photos. If we discuss multiple locations before the shoot, and we likely will, think about a set of outfits best suited for each location.
Ladies, especially you senior girls, I am all about the cute shoes! But please bring a pair of comfortable shoes to wear from the car to the location. Walking on some form of non-cute-shoe-friendly terrain in a pair of heels requires a set of skills even us older shoe enthusiasts struggle with mastering. Save your ankles and bring a pair of flip flops!
If you're still not sure, just ask! It's what we're here for. Our photography service starts from the time you book a session with us so please, don't hesitate to ask our opinion of what works and what doesn't.