How to Choose Outfits for Your Photo Session

February 14, 2020 Tips

What to Wear to Your Photo Session

This is such an important question because outfits can make or break photos, not to mention it's one of the question I get the MOST. I want clients to LOVE what they are wearing during the photo shoot because it will make them more likely to fall in love with their finished photo gallery.

What to wear for professional photos can be a ton of pressure but there's simple components you can think about when planning outfits that really narrow down the perfect look. It's challenging for me, as a photographer, to tell clients a list of "yes and no's" when explaining what wear but here's criteria your outfit(s)should meet:

Choose something true to your style, yet something you wouldn't wear everyday. Photos are special and I highly recommend choosing outfits you wouldn't wear everyday, but rather on Easter Sunday, to a gala, a wedding, or for date night. I ask my clients to bring one "over the top" outfit that looks like something in a magazine. Maxi dresses or dresses with movement are always a great choice, as well as suit jackets for men! I promise clients feel like a million bucks and they love their images when they choose this type outfit. I also ask clients to bring a "casual" outfit that showcases more of their personality and offers a more fun look, including jeans and a nice top/blouse (complete with accessories, of course).

Choose something you feel good in! It's important that you feel excited about your clothes and you feel confident! I tell clients to have a friend or family member take their photo on their cellphone to ensure the outfit is exactly what you envision (and to make sure undergarments don't take center stage). You don't want anything accentuating a particular area you're self-conscience about because that's what your eye will go to first when you get your images back. I want clients to feel confident in their clothing choice and comfortable to walk, play, tickle, or even dance in to achieve those classic dreamy images!

Choose clothes that are seasonally appropriate. For example:

  1. Spring photos tend to highlight pastel, floral, light clothing.
  2. Summer makes me think of crisp, clean, light clothing that will show more skin.
  3. Fall is the time for cuddly, warm, heavy materials. You'll want bulky sweaters, scarves, boots, etc.
  4. Winter is great for cuddly blankets, coats, ponchos, and even head wraps/hats that can make your session unique.

Colors and patterns are huge for making your photos stand out! Once again, it's hard for me to say "this not that" and it seems like there's always exceptions to rules but I do have general colors I gravitate toward and stay away from. For example, my photography style is very light and airy which is great for light colors. I am always a fan of neutrals, as it doesn't ever go out of style, creates classic images, and keeps your eyes on the subject. Unless it's a tux or leggings, I tend to ask clients to stay away from black because it's a heavy color in images and shows lint. I also don't think neons photograph well because it can be detracting and creates harsh color casts on skin within the image. Patterns are generally okay, as long as they aren't large logos and there's only one pattern within the image. More than one pattern in a set of outfits can be overwhelming and takes away from the subjects. When planning planning outfits for a couple's session or family session I'd keep 1-2 "colors" and keep the rest neutral to accent those colors. Think of it like decorating a room - the interior design of room should be cohesive!

I hope this blog has been helpful when planning your next photo session! Ultimately, your outfits should represent who you are as an individual and make you excited for your photos. If I've left something out, please feel free to let me know in the comments. Enjoy!