— outfit guide —
Whether this is your first time working with a professional photographer or not, I think it’s important you know a few things first! Wondering what you should wear for your session? You’re not alone!!! Almost every person I have photographed has asked me a question, or many! For you to get the most out of your session, planning your outfits is key!!! No matter if it’s an engagement session, senior portrait session or a family session, there are many factors that go into looking your very best! But no matter what… wear clothes that feel like YOU!!! Don’t change how you dress just for your session. Your main goal is to look like yourself… just your very BEST self! Clothing with some sort of texture photographs very well and hides wrinkles. Never wear something that is too form fitting. Slightly looser clothing will be more flattering for all body types! Fitted, but not too loose or tight. Neutral clothes are money and neon colors you will regret. So before scanning your closet or hitting the mall, consider these tips + tricks.
— planning for two —
EngagementS + Couples
When it comes coordinating outfits for TWO, the best advice I can give is to plan one person’s outfit at a time. You want to COMPLEMENT each other without being super matchy matchy. It’s not about matching one another perfectly… that actually doesn’t look great. You want to have a similar color story. You can never go wrong with a neutral color scheme… it’s timeless and classic. Soft colors tend to photograph better, but you can also go bold and select something with color or pattern. Just stay away from anything too busy/neon because it will take away the focus from what’s important… YOU! Even consider your wedding colors as an inspiration if you plan on displaying them at your reception. For winter session, I recommend darker colors so you pop out in the pretty white snow and MANY layers!!! The more the better so you stay warm-ish. During the summer, make sure your tan lines are completely covered… you won’t want to remember the day you forgot to wear sunblock.
Pro tip: Make sure your nails look photo worthy. This means no chipped nail polish! AND make sure your ring is freshly cleaned so it looks nice a sparkly.
Having two looks is plenty, but one backup outfit never hurts (just in case you change your mind last minute.) Ladies, you want to incorporate at least one accessory per outfit and for the guys… wearing layers of clothing adds more visual interest to a look. Aim to have one more casual look and one more on the dressier side. Couples that are also pet owners, just make sure your photos won’t show that. I always carry a link roller, but make sure your clothes have no pet hair! If you are going somewhere after the session, just remember you will being ending in your last outfit!
Pro tip: Book your makeup trial the same day as your engagement session + have a date night together after the session is over! Might as well get your money’s worth from your makeup trial.
— planning for one —
seniors + headshots
One might think planning of one person might be easier, but it’s almost more difficult. There’s so many options and it hard to think of where to begin. Things to consider… what’s your eye and hair color, skin tone. Certain colors will bring out these features so play them up!!! If you wear glasses, make sure they are nice and clean. Transition lenses tend to photograph darker outside… hence why you probably bought them so consider a pair that doesn’t have that feature or wear contacts. Most seniors bring 2-3 outfits (one might be a sports uniform). Just remember everything you need for each outfit. The last thing you want to do is forget a piece of jewelry you really wanted or a pair of shoes. Put on your whole outfit before showing up so you know everything is packed!
Pro tip: Check your yearbook guidelines for outfit restrictions. Every high school is different and it’s not my job to be checking this for you. Be sure to tell me ahead of time if you school has certain requirements.
Since a majority of senior portrait sessions are done the summer before your senior year, remember to wear lots of sunscreen!!! You don’t want crazy tan lines or a horrible sunburn for your session. I retouch certain things, but there is only so much I can do.
— planning for a group —
The best recommendation I can give is to select 3-5 colors and have people choose their outfits based on them. You never want to tell a group of people to wear the same color top and same colored bottom… it’s too uniformed and doesn’t look photograph well. Grays + beige have several different shades so it’s an easy way to complement one another without wearing identical colors. Neutrals are the way to go, but if you want to have a pop of color… blues + burgundy are the way to go! Just avoid anything to bright or bold because you all want to be the focus and not one article of clothing.
If you still aren’t sure where to start… select one person’s outfit and go from there. Women are typically more difficult to dress so start with mom and have her outfit be the inspiration for the other outfits. As long as you have one solid outfit, that is all you need. Having a group of people change is very difficult and with little one, nearly impossible. If anything bring additional layers you can add or take away as we are shooting to change it up a bit. This can be a scarf, vest, shawl, hat, etc.
Pro tip: Families with younger child… consider doing something fun after the session as their “reward" so they have something to look forward to once we are finished.