Deciding what to wear for your photo session shouldn't stress you out, though it can be enough to make anyone crazy. Finding a perfect outfit for yourself or your family can be simplified down to a few easy steps. I can help you select your wardrobe so you look and feel confident and photo-ready!
#1 CHOOSE YOUR PALETTE
Pick 3-4 colors as a starting point. Once you have a chosen palette, you or your family can begin to express their sense of style and coordinate beautifully. If you are not sure where to begin with choosing your color theme and aesthetics try this blog post: Your Color Aesthetics
#2 USE A COLOR WHEEL
Analogous Colors sit next to each other on a color wheel and share a common hue. Find a color that feels safe to you - say for example light blue. It falls between teal and blue-violet. This gives you a subtle 3 color palette scheme.
Complimentary Colors sit opposite of each other on the wheel. When you want to make bolder choices and stand out - this is a great way to do it! Think blue and orange! Burgundy or forest green! Purple and yellow! When choosing complimentary colors, consider the location or backdrop - it will make not only the photo visually pleasing but it will separate the subject from the background.
Triad of colors are compromised of three evenly spaced colors on the wheel - most notably the primary colors blue, yellow and red. But these are not the only possible triads. Using triadic color schemes can give you strong & bold contrast. By choosing subtle shades or secondary colors, you can tone down color drama at more manageable levels.
The triad of blue, yellow and red look great as a coastal theme - but also looks fantastic against Fall foliage.
Looking for a retro vibe? Pumpkin Orange, Sage Green and Plum Purple is a muted, sophisticated look.
Neutrals are your friends! Color mixing isn't always about bold colors. Black, white, gray, brown, & navy blue always pair nicely together. Don't be afraid to wear black pants with brown shoes or boots.
Consider denim a neutral color - you can mix it with any other color and it will look awesome. This means you can also mix denims together!
Accessories are a great way to use the color wheel to experiment and do not need to match your outfit, unless you are going full-on monochromatic. Give your style a pop of color on your belt, scarf or handbag!
#3 STAYING NEUTRAL
When you just don't have any idea what to wear or how to pair colors together, wear a combination of grays, creams and tans. It is pretty difficult to go wrong and what you get is a super soft, monochromatic look that will go with any setting. It is timeless, easy to pull together and brings all of the focus to the people in the photo as it doesn't compete for attention.
#4 DON'T BE AFRAID OF COLOR
A pop of cheery color is exciting! If dad is wearing plaid, draw one of the colors out of it and have a child wear that. Then other family members can wear neutral colors to tame the drama a bit.
#5 PATTERNS AND LAYERS
I've written a BLOG POST about using patterns but basically once you have chosen your colors, incorporate textures, patterns and layers with your solids. They should be subtle and not take over the photograph, but denim, lace, knits, fur, plaid, & polka-dots all add interest to a photo and causes the eye to scan the picture and draw you in. Layers add a level of interest as well giving you an opportunity to use color and style.
#6 USE YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT
Sometimes the perfect piece is in your closet already. It is the one you always grab when you go out with friends, the one that fits you the best & you feel comfortable & fabulous in and the one that tends to attract compliments when you wear it. Let that be your statement piece and work off of that with your accessories or for the rest of the family.
#7 DRESS UP OR DRESS DOWN
Perhaps you have a reason to celebrate. Maybe it is a special occasion. Professional photographs is a special occasion in and of itself - so go all out! Dress to the nines!! (pssssst, I have a studio closet and a hair and make-up artist to spoil, pamper and make sure you are camera ready and confident!) It's fun and different and you don't do it every day.
But you love your old favorite jeans - super ♥ look no further. Not only is it photogenic, but you are comfortable and only need to find cute tops now. ** BONUS ** Dad's, husbands, sons and boyfriends will thank you for not having to dress up!
#8 SHOW OFF YOUR BEST ASSETS
I also wrote a blog post HERE addressing how to flatter your body shape. It gives your confidence a boost that shows up in all your photos.
Being photogenic doesn't mean you have features that are attractive on camera - it is the inner light and beauty that shines through when you feel confident and naturally comfortable in front of the camera. Having comfy or stylish clothes you feel great in or are excited to wear is one of many steps in loving your photographs! I can help you every step of the way!
WAIT! THERE ARE JUST A COUPLE OF DON'TS BEFORE YOU GO:
Be conscious of your undergarments! They may or may not show through your clothes or play peak-a-boo under them.
Be mindful of your socks and shoe choices. Black pants -> white socks -> and black shoes will draw too much attention away from the face. Likewise, you don't want to have a terrific pulled-together outfit and wear your garden tennis shoes!
Your fingernails will be presented on camera, so don't forget to have them cleaned, trimmed and freshly polished (or take the old, chipped polish off).
Neon & super bright colors WILL reflect up into your face causing a crazy looking color reflection on your skin under your chin and cheeks.
You'll be glad you paid attention and avoided shirts that have large logo's or a busy graphic T - unless it is for a specific reason, it tends to be distracting and draws the eye away from the face.
Black is one of my favorite colors to wear, but often on 2D photos, without careful posing/lighting, can make your body look wider than it actually is because there is no light and shadows to define where your arms are --- you just look like a body-blob. 3/4 length sleeves, color blocking, accessories or a pattern like lace will help define your body and extremities.