Believe it or not - wardrobe makes a huge impact on the quality of your images. My goal is to ensure that you and your family are the art, that the focus of the images is the connection you have with each other, and that your images will stand the test of time.
Here are a few images of myself and my family while I tell you some major tips to making the most of your portrait session through the use of wardrobe.
Rely on Light Neutrals
I highly encourage my clients to heavily incorporate light neutral clothing into their portrait wardrobe for several reasons:
- Colors cast. If you're a mama wearing a bright pink dress and snuggling a baby, that pink color is going to cast itself on the baby, affecting the overall skin tone.
- Light colors bounce light back. A studio session is a great example for this. Indoor sessions typically have one side of good light paired with a side of shadows. By wearing light colors, your clothing acts as a natural reflector by bouncing the natural light back into the shadows of the people around you, helping give that light & airy feel to your images.
- Light neutrals provide that timeless quality that I try to provide to my clients. I want you to be able to look back in 5, 10, and even 20 years and still be able to cherish these images.
What falls into the "light neutrals" category?
For my clients I recommend the use of white, cream, khaki, light brown, sage or light olive green, dusty blue, and blush pink.
Use Small Patterns, as Accents.
It's totally fine to use printed clothing for a session. In fact, I think the right print can actually bring some great visual interest to a session. However, when incorporating patterns, here's what I'd recommend:
- Small prints that aren't overwhelming
- Still making sure they mostly fit the "light & neutral" criteria
- Using them as accents with solids as a base
You might also consider tone on tone patterns (e.g. a white dress with white lace overlay) - this is a great way to incorporate texture.
Wear the Right Shoes.
Wear the right shoes for the season, location, and outfit.
If you really want to wear heels, make sure they are thick enough they won't sink into the ground. If we're shooting near water, wear shoes that can tolerate getting a little wet.
It sounds obvious, but I've had my fair share of clients that struggled being comfortable during their session due to their shoe choice.
Accessories are a great way to add personality to a session. Bows, earrings, stockings, and the like - used right - can provide the sweetest personalized charm in your images. Here are some things I would recommend ditching:
- Smart watches. I get it, I wear mine everyday, too. But these pieces of technology will age quickly, and are generally distracting in images. If you've got a tan line, replace with an analog watch if you have one or a thick bangle bracelet.
- Transition lenses. Eyes are the gateway to the soul. I have to be able to see them to accurately capture your essence. Glasses are totally fine, so long as they still allow me to see your eyes even in sunshine.
- Phones, wallets, keys in pockets. I do my best to remind clients to remove these prior to when I start shooting, but a good rule is just to leave them in the car. You shouldn't need them during a shoot.
Don't Forget about Undergarments.
You'd be surprised how often this can be an issue.
If you're wearing light colors, be sure to wear nude-colored underwear. Square neck or off the shoulder dresses? You definitely need a strapless bra (other options: tape or braless). Shapewear can be fine, but try it on in advance. Sometimes it creates more lumps and bumps than it reduces (and can make you sweaty and uncomfortable).
If we're shooting indoors and you don't want to go totally barefoot, make sure you have outfit-appropriate socks.
Check the Weather.
Check the weather a week out, a couple days out, and a day before. Make sure you're dressed appropriately for the temps because it will affect the moods of you and especially your children if you're hot or cold, which in turn affects the quality of images I'm able to capture.
Don't let cold temps discourage you. Sweaters, cardigans, tights/stockings, etc. all photograph extremely well so long as you follow the above guidelines, and I personally love that feeling of cozy they can reflect in images.
By applying the following tips you allow you and your family to be the focus of the images - the real art.
Art that you will want to display in your homes, reminisce on with your children, and show to your grandchildren.