This past week, I was on the other side of the camera – and I dread it every time. It sent me into a spinning panic of WHAT DO I WEAR? What does my family wear? And then I stopped, and laughed, because all I needed to do was take my own advice. All i needed was to follow the tips that I tell my own clients. But to make you all feel better, just know that it stresses me out too!!!! So this weeks addition of IMHO is focused on wardrobe and styling. Keep in mind, these tips are in line with my style and feel for photo sessions, there are many different opinions on this topic and some people will differ from my advice.
1. DON’T dress your family exactly the same. To me, this look is outdated. When I say exactly the same, I really mean like everyone wearing white short sleeve button up tops and blue jeans. It’s too uniform, and not a real glimpse of your family. When’s the last time you dressed everyone the exact same on a normal day? NEVER, right?! We want to capture you being you – not some cookie cutter family that could appear on the worst dressed list =)
2. DO accessorize. Scarves, jewelry, hats, bow ties, ties, suspenders… etc etc etc. If you have them BRING THEM! The more the better. We can go through your arsenal on the shoot date and decide what will look best with your outfits. You’ll be amazed at how one simple accessory can take your look from boring to high fashion or on top of trend!
3. DON’T be afraid of color/patterns. A lot of people have the misconception that patterns and colors are BAD for photographs. That couldn’t be further from the truth!!! Patterns can really boost your look, and bright color can flatter. The only thing to watch out for is clashing patterns/colors with the rest of your family.
4. DO look online for wardrobe ideas. Whenever I put together inspiration boards for families needing additional styling help, I can pretty much guarantee that I go to one of a few online sites to see how they are putting together/styling this season. My favorites are JCrew, Mini Boden, Banana Republic, and Anthropologie. All of these sites now have specific outfit tabs where they’ve put together outfits with layers/accessories/etc. Now I’m not saying run out to these high priced stores to get your clothing, you can use them as a tool to go find similar stuff at a cheaper price a lot of times.
5. DO pick a theme. If we’ve already picked a location, think of the feel that location will bring. Ie, if we’re at a farm – a rustic vintage look would be perfect. If we’re at a pond/lake – a nautical theme would be ideal. If we’re at a fair – pick brightly colored fun clothing. If we’re in an urban city setting – dont be afraid to get dressed up and be a little more formal than usual.
6. DON’T be afraid to ask for my advice. If you’re stuck, and simply can’t figure out what to wear on your shoot – bring a few options to the shoot and I can help you put together outfits for your family.
7. DO wear clothing that you feel good in. It’s really that easy. That dress that your husband always compliments you in, the shirt that brings out your eyes – you know when you feel good in an outfit, and when you FEEL good in your photos, you’ll look good.
8. DO get your hair and makeup done. Yes, this is part of wardrobe/styling. So many people think, oh i’ll just do it myself. Well let me tell you how many times i’ve done reshoots because they did it themselves and they didn’t like their hair and/or makeup on the day of our shoot. Makeup artists know how to create a look for on camera, which is different than your every day look (this is ESPECIALLY crucial for boudoir sessions). Being pampered before a shoot will also boost your confidence, producing a more successful shoot!
9. DO bring props. Depending on the set location, bringing some props along with you can take you from your average shoot, to a modern/stylized look. Wild flowers, balloons, and old chair, a quilt, a large vintage frame etc etc etc (the list goes on and on with what you could bring) BRING IT! I have a stack of my own props that I provide, but if you have stuff that would enhance your shoot – lets use them!!!
10. DO stay away from these specific things. PLAIN black shirts. Black sucks the light right off of your face – if its a tank or strapless black shirt/dress – thats fine because your skin will break up the black – im talking about long sleeve black high neck shirts… The exception for this is newborn session when I use mom and dad in all black to get the babies skin to pop off them. Solid dark green – same thing, sucks the light off of you. Bright fire engine red (solid)- this color tends to over saturate.
Here are a few examples of ideal styling/wardrobe from a few of my uber fabulous clients. (and for those of you who I didn’t post your photo.. that DOESNT mean i didnt like your wardrobe!!! I just picked a few select to best show what I’m trying to explain) All of these are excellent examples of how to dress on a shoot.
Fun, colorful, trendy!
Simple, textured, relaxed
Urban, trendy, fashion forward
Layers, seasonal, accessorized
Stylized, modern, straight out of something you’d see in a magazine!
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