Wardrobe Styling Guide for Photoshoots
Updated: Jan 14, 2021
It can be overwhelming to choose outfits for your portrait session, but choosing an appropriate ensemble can make a HUGE difference in the overall look of your session. Here are some tips that should help you put together an amazing look!
Here are some things you SHOULD do...
Consider the weather.
Nothing is more miserable than a session where the weather wasn't taken into consideration during the outfit planning process. If you're hot or cold, your discomfort WILL be visible in your images, and it might even affect the total amount of time we're able to shoot. Check the weather... and then check it again the day before your session.
What I love about this look: Weather appropriate clothing through layering and accessories, use of pattern as an accent only (see below).
Wear appropriate shoes.
For outdoor sessions, heels aren't a great option. If you really want to wear heels, opt for wedges or chunky heels so that you don't sink into the ground or struggle to move around. Avoid athletic shoes.
Opt for fitted clothing.
Dressing for your body type and overall style are wonderful things to do, but if you're uncomfortable with your body, it's actually best not to disguise it with clothing that is too large or flowy. This actually makes your body appear larger than it is. This doesn't mean that you have to wear sleeveless if you don't love your arms or a bodycon dress if you're less than thrilled about your tummy. Just try to make sure there is balance - Example: Pair a relaxed sleeve with a well-defined waist or a flowy (but appropriately sized) top with form-fitting pants.
What I love about this look: Momma opted for a flowy dress, but still had definition on and under the bust and at sleeve ends.
Wear clothes that reflect both your typical style and are comfortable on your body. Make sure clothes aren't too tight by trying them on well in advance and stand, walk, and sit in them to see if all positions are comfortable. Also, don't make your significant other wear a blazer if he's never worn one in his life, or force your child to wear a sweater that they think is itchy.
Accessories are one of the easiest ways to transform an otherwise average outfit into perfection! Think hats, scarves, sentimental or unique jewelry, cardigans, kimonos, belts, shoes, etc. This is also a great way to save money by bringing new life to an outfit you already own. You can even ask to borrow a piece or two from your stylish friends & family.
What I love about this look: Use of statement/unique accessories (necklace was her grandmother's), outfit selection that reflects her typical style
What I love about this look: Great use of a variety of accessories - including a hat, which makes a big statement, but is also easy to remove for a different look during a single session.
Here are some things you should AVOID...
Neon or overly bright colors.
These create skin color casts and often appear overpowering. Choose more muted versions of your favorites such as mustard over bright yellow and burgundy over fire-engine red.
What I love about this look: More subtle tones - a pale pink and navy blue - were chosen over more vibrant options.
Text and large logos.
These are distracting and can cheapen the look of your final images.
Wearing glasses, especially if you wear them regularly in your daily life, is totally fine, but connection is created through the eyes, so it's important to be able to see yours.
What I love about this look: His clear lenses and frames allow us to see as much of his (adorable) face as possible.
Lots of patterns.
Too many patterns are distracting and overpowering. Try using patterns more sparingly as accent pieces rather than the "base".
What I love about this look: Out of five individuals, only mom is wearing a print, while the rest utilize solids to create a balanced and cohesive look.
Going "match-y match-y".
The days of a whole family in jeans and white button downs have passed. Coordinate your outfits instead by choosing a complimentary color palette and a similar degree of formality among all family members.
What I love about this look: Everyone is in a complimentary color scheme, without anyone looking identical. Also, use of patterned accents.
What I love about this look: Both couples have a similarly formal outfit that matches the feel of the shoot location.
Hopefully these guidelines help you in your session prep and ease any pre-shoot stress you may have. Also, never hesitate to reach out to your photographer if you have any specific outfit questions or need some additional recommendations based off of what you've got in your closet. If they're like me, they love to help create a vision and assist their clients in any way they can.
Good luck and happy styling!