You’ve booked the photographer, rounded up your whole family for an afternoon in front of the camera lens and then it hits you: you’ve no idea what to wear to a photo shoot. Don’t panic: figuring out what to wear to a photo shoot can be a lot simpler than you think.
While fashion may not be your forte, keep in mind that the clothing you choose to wear to a photo shoot is as important as the skill of the photographer and the lighting. Ideally, the clothing you choose should flatter your body, make you the main subject of the photo and not steal attention away from you.
Here are a few pointers on what to wear to a photo shoot:
When white just ain’t right.
Let’s face it: the white shirt, blue jeans idea has pretty much become a staple for many photo shoots but you don’t need to be limited to white as your only colour option. Try using a range of neutrals or light pastels, ranging from oatmeal to khaki or pastel green to pastel pink. Lighter colours will bring a soft feel to your shoot while deeper, richer hues will bring a more urban edge. Avoid neons as these can be particularly harsh in a photo shoot. Also take the time to consider what colour suits your skin tone while deciding what to wear to a photo shoot. What tones bring out your eyes? Does a certain colour make you look washed out or tired? Here’s an important point: put on the item of clothing you want to wear and look at yourself in a mirror in natural light – if the clothing is causing a reflection on your chin or neck, perhaps choose another tone. And avoid sheer clothing which could shine through in a photo. If you’re interested in doing a photo shoot at sunset, go for colour such as blues, purples and pinks to offset the yellow/gold of the sun.
Mix and match.
Want to tie your family photo shoot together with outfits but you don’t want to look like clones of one another? That’s great! Take the time to plan your outfits so that they are co-ordinated and complement one another but not matching. Let individual personalities shine through and balance out colours and patterns between family members as you pick out what to wear to a photo shoot. If you’re doing a shoot with more than four people, aim to wear solid colours in a variety of the same shade, so that your faces become the focus of the photo shoot, not your clothing. Keep a theme running through the outfits to tie the look together, whether it’s a pattern or colour or texture. And don’t forget about paying a little extra attention to what shoes you’re going to wear – lose the old tekkies! Also keep in mind that large prints or wording on clothing can distract the eye and clothing which might be in fashion now, will end up making your photo look dated within a season. Aim for timeless and classic styles. Want to wear something with a bold print, stripes or a fun accessory? Use a neutral, solid colour as the basis of your outfit and jazz it up with pops of colour or prints in your scarf, jacket or even shoes.
Don’t try to assume a style that isn’t yours just because you have an idea in your mind of how the photos should look. You need to be comfortable in what you wear to a photo shoot, it needs to reflect your essence! Wear clothing tailored to your shape and which you can move easily in.
Keep your location in mind.
Dress to suit the location your photos will be taken in. If you’re planning on having a shoot done in a nature reserve, for example, taking only a pair of stilettos could make for a long and painful afternoon in front of the lens. And wearing browns and greens will only serve to make you blend into your surroundings. Bring a pair of comfy flats if you really want to show off your favourite heels and find a colour that suits your skin tone while bringing you into the limelight, not your surroundings.
What’s your best feature?
If you’re not sure, ask a friend or your partner to tell you which is your best asset… and then make the most of it! If you’ve got long legs, highlight that by wearing skinny jeans. When you’re pondering what to wear to a photo shoot, keep in mind that the goal is bring out your best features!
Let’s face it: a photo shoot is just more fun when props are involved. Simple items such as hats, scarves and flowers in your hair for the ladies or bow-ties, suspenders and waistcoats for the guys can add an element of fun to your photo shoot. When deciding what to wear to a photo shoot, consider your accessories carefully so that they don’t take centre stage! The main attraction is you.
Love those layers.
Layers give you plenty of options to play with and they add texture and warmth to a photo shoot. Consider wearing an item of clothing which has denim, lace, wool, embroidery, ruffles or ribbons in it and layer it over other items of clothing. Think boots and scarves, belts and hats. Particularly layers which show aspects of your personality. Layers also make it easy to change your look during the photo shoot without having to completely change your outfit.
Can’t make up your mind?
If you’ve got more than one outfit you want to wear to a photo shoot, bring them all! A change of outfit during the photo shoot will bring a fresh feel to your photos and offer additional shoot options and ideas.
No dramatic changes.
While it’s tempting to go wild and have your hair and makeup done for a family photo shoot, don’t have your hair cut a day or two before or have a fancy style done. New haircuts take a week or two to settle while a fancy hairdo won’t look natural. Neither will heavy makeup so if you do add a little extra liner, that’s great but we still want your natural beauty shine through.
As you work through your wardrobe, deciding what to wear to your photo shoot, remember this: the most important thing is to look like the best and most natural version of yourself. After all, that’s when you look the happiest!
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