What Do I Wear? 2.0 | Guide to Styling Your Photo Session

I have been getting a lot of inquiries about what the wear to a photo session lately, so I decided to re-post my Guide to Styling Your Photo Session again!

Whether you're being photographed for a headshot or a family session, one question that stumps most people is: "what am I supposed to wear?" Many people have blogged about this before, but I get this question before almost every session I take. So here I am, creating a guide. Enjoy!

Coordinate: 

Two or more? Coordinate, be complimentary, but please don't match completely. This is a tough one, because so many of us have grown up seeing the studio family portraits of everybody matching. I find that if everyone is too matchy-matchy, they begin to blend together.

 This is a perfect example of coordinating without being too matchy. 

This is a perfect example of coordinating without being too matchy. 

I tend to like when people are wearing similar colors/different tones of color or complimentary colors. Neutrals are personally my favorite considering I like to spend a lot of my time in the desert. Pops of colors can be great too! Pattern are also great as long as it's not taking over and distracting from the subjects.

 Subtle colors coordinate well together. And the different textures create interest.

Subtle colors coordinate well together. And the different textures create interest.

Accessorize: 

Scarfs, jackets, hats, vests, jewelry, headbands... the list can go on and on. These are things that can make your image feel complete. Accessories are great as long as they're not overwhelming. They are meant to accent and compliment! 

 Interacting with the accessories creates movement by incorporating different poses.

Interacting with the accessories creates movement by incorporating different poses.

Interacting with accessories is a great way of showing off details that would otherwise be over looked. They are also a great way of getting you to warm up in front of the camera. 

Layer:

Layering can be great because you can easily change up your look without changing your entire wardrobe. Layers create depth and texture, which makes the photo more interesting. This is where your pop of color can come in. Scarfs, shoes, pants, whatever! Different textures like crochet, lace, ruffles create the depth add another dimension to the photo. Again this is about complementing the subject.

 The slight contrast between the jacket and wall create depth and texture.

The slight contrast between the jacket and wall create depth and texture.

Props:

Props can make a session personalized and more fun for the parties involved. It also is more fun to look at than the typical school photo. I love encouraging seniors to bring props to their sessions especially if they are into activities. I always ask what their interests are. What clubs are they in? Do they play any sports? Anything to bring that senior's personality to the image. Seniors are more likely to bring props in than families, but hey bring props. Hands are far more interesting when they are doing something.

 Props add interest and tells a bit about the subject. Giving the hands something to do also puts the subject at ease.

Props add interest and tells a bit about the subject. Giving the hands something to do also puts the subject at ease.

Dress for the scene and the season:

If it is the middle of summer (especially here in Arizona) please do not come to our session in a leather jacket and pants. Same goes for the extreme winter! Dress accordingly to the season you will be photographed in. Also keep in mind your location. If you're being photographed in an urbanscape, patterns, bring colors, and fashion foreward. If you're in nature, go with neutrals, bright pops of color, and flowy fabrics. With either, the above tips apply. 

 Dressing for the season is important. You do not want to be too hot or too cold. This will be uncomfortable and show in the photos.

Dressing for the season is important. You do not want to be too hot or too cold. This will be uncomfortable and show in the photos.

Movement: 

I love photographing little ones in twirly dresses and flowing capes. Anything that creates movement and flow. This goes for other sessions as well, this is just more common in kids.

 Kids playing and running around create movement, bringing the photo to life.

Kids playing and running around create movement, bringing the photo to life.

Comfort:

Above all, wear something your are comfortable wearing. Something you know you look good in or wear often is something you should definitely bring. Yes, I know many people go out and buy things especially for their session, but a lot of the time, they are not completely comfortable in this because well, it's new. Be comfy and you're sure to be yourself.

 Being comfortable in your clothes shows and creates confidence!

Being comfortable in your clothes shows and creates confidence!

Most importantly, be yourself! Don't let your clothing outshine your personality. Be personal, bring extra outfits and accessories. Even if you don't use everything you bring, it's nice to have options. Make sure you plan ahead, and don't hesitate to ask your photographer any questions you may have.

 This is the most important tip. HAVE FUN!

This is the most important tip. HAVE FUN!

XO, ShelbyBelll