This has to be one of my most frequently asked questions from my couples right behind, “Where do I buy my engagement session dress?” which I will be writing about shortly.
Getting your photos taken can feel scary, and whether you’ve booked a session with me, or with another photographer, I’m hoping to help make at least the getting ready portion of your day a little easier. This blog will cover basic outfit suggestions that can be used for any and all photo shoots.
Of course, and I hope this goes without saying but if you are paying for your photo to be taken wear whatever makes you happy. I’ll say it again for the readers in the back, WEAR WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY! Ultimately if it feels like you, wear it!
When choosing what to wear it helps to think about the style you would like to achieve in your photos and where you decide to take your pictures.
As a general rule of thumb, neutral colors are always a solid choice. Our main objective is to make you and your face the star of the show. Colors or loud patterns can often distract, but if you’re a colorful person wear your truth. If you want to wear green, a darker or soft green is ideal. If you would like to wear red, something like a maroon is a wonderful neutral choice. Softer and solid colors are more ideal than very bright neons, textures and patterns. But if that’s your jam, then live your life and wear that pattern! Overall, just try to visualize what you might look like against your background and with your partner.
When there are two or more people in a shoot it is nice to contrast or match colors. If you both want to wear black, or white, that works perfectly. If one of you wears black and the other wears a white, cream, or beige the opposite color will make for a great picture too.
Another thing to keep in mind is that logos are not ideal for photos unless the logo is the focal point of the photo shoot. Unless this is a branded shoot we want your beautiful face/faces to be the focus of our pictures. Small logos on a polo or sweater are typically fine.
Big fan of jeans-just wanted to mention. If this is your vision they are always a good go-to!
Always aim to be comfortable in what you choose to wear. It can be difficult enough to have a camera in your face (and trust me, us photogs like to be all up in there), the last thing you need is an outfit you’re unsure of or uncomfortable with. I would also check with your photographer to see how many locations are expected for your shoot. If you have multiple locations or hiking or walking to surrounding locations, I always encourage my clients to bring a pair of shoes they can slip on for walking. Uggs, flip-flops, slides are all easy on shoes for travel. Once we get to our destination then we can put on the heels or dress shoes you had in mind for your outfit.
I know what you might be thinking. This post sounds like Devyn wants me in the most boring outfit ever. I swear this is untrue. These color and clothes combinations work because they don’t distract from the main focus, YOU. Additionally, pictures can last you a lifetime, choosing clothes that have style but are timeless will help you avoid boxing up your photos because they look outdated. I also want to mention that although patterns can be distracting, they can also look beautiful in photos. They just have to be paired correctly and with intention. Often patterns give great detail and depth to the photos but typically smaller patterns or more subdued textures photograph best.
Above all else, the one thing that looks best on camera ALWAYS is a happy, rested, well-fed client. I’m joking but also kinda not. Your emotions can easily transfer through your body language and this can be one of the best things to photograph. I know this is true for me, I wear my heart and everything else I’m feeling right on my sleeve. When getting ready for a photoshoot take your time. Plan so you have enough time to get ready. Go slow and be intentional with your day. I usually suggest that my clients take the day for their engagement shoot. This helps them keep calm and relaxed for our shoot and makes it more of a date day than something that is stressful, or just a task that has to get done after work but before grocery shopping.
Some other tips for specific shoots:
Engagement shoot: I always like to offer the option of at least two outfits for my engagement sessions. One look can be kinda casual and the other formal or semi-formal. I think this is something that is really cool because then you get two completely different vibes to your session and also just more variety within your gallery. If someone wants to wear a dress, I will often suggest they look at flowy options. Anything that can create movement in your photos is a win. We love a dramatic dress moment. I mentioned it earlier, but I will be making another blog about great places to get engagement session dresses, but really any type of shoot dress can be found in the stores on that blog.
Family shoot: I don’t photograph families often but what I have learned is it’s easiest if the mom or family lead finds their outfit first, then pick or work together with the rest of the family to build and match off the family lead. I really like this method and so far it has worked in all my family shoots. Just like in the above, neutrals look great in family pictures and mixing and matching the neutrals or different tones of the same color/colors look great too!
I hope this helps when planning your outfits before a photoshoot. If you’re ever unsure what to wear, asking your photog is always a smart move. I love the collaboration and am always happy to help. Follow along for more bridal tips.