Dressing yourself in the morning is hard enough when you don’t have to stand in front of a camera and be your best self. Choosing what to wear for a photoshoot can trigger even the most confident, farshun-ey fashionista to pull their entire wardrobe out onto the floor in search of the perfect outfit.
So, if your nerves start to fizz when you think about what to wear, don’t worry. This is SO normal! Before you lose sleep to late nights spent online shopping--putting articles of clothing in your cart only to take them out again--let’s talk about what works and what doesn’t. Number one thing I want you to remember: Being comfortable is EVERYTHING. You should look and feel like yourself, first and foremost.
It’s not uncommon for people to want to shop for new, sparkly, fabulous clothes to wear to a photoshoot. And that’s totally fine - if that’s your jam. But let’s talk about comfort a little more. Do you think you’d be more comfortable in your favourite t-shirt and jeans or a new clingy little black dress? The best route is usually to go with something that’s tried and true. Something you know moves with you and hugs you in all the right places. Don’t get me wrong - it 100% does not have to be jeans and a t-shirt. You can glam it up a bit more if that’s what you fancy. But if authenticity is what you’re after, you’re going to have to show up as yourself. And if you want to capture this time of your life in all its glory, then it’s about the feeling of being in your own skin.
MATCH YOUR OUTFIT
TO THE LOCATION AND SEASON
If you’re wearing a fancy ball gown in your living room, the viewer might assume you’re going to prom. Don a little sundress number in a snowy field and the viewer might suffer from a crippling amount of pity for you. You and I will be collaborating on telling your story together, so let’s get this right.
Plan your outfits around what you know about the conditions at the location we’ll be shooting at. You’ll want to be warm enough (or cool enough!), have pain-free feet, and look relatively native to your environment. For at home sessions, slip into your comfiest comfies and rock that (pants optional). The idea is to authentically capture you wherever you are. Think through your clothing choices logically based on location, vibe, and comfort level.
Gather up 2 or 3 outfits that you feel amazing in and we can play around with different combinations on the day. I’m not trying to photocopy trends in all their boring hues, I’m looking for the you-est you. Bring things that help you express yourself--I want you to grace my lens with your true, full personality! Providing options helps me to make sure your threads compliment the environment - keeping the focus on you, where it should be!
I’m up for it all. If you’re in a heavy metal band and want to smash some things and scream at the sky, throw on your best concert attire and count me in. If you’re a drama kid at heart and live for the spotlight, I’ll help you turn your front porch into a stage and feed you the lines you’ve forgotten. If you’re a jeans and a t-shirt kinda person, let’s work with that. I want your shoot to be different from everyone else’s. I want it to be you.
iNCORPORATE TEXTURE & MOVEMENT
Pick fabrics that move and flow with you. Ones that add a cosy texture, or get picked up by the wind, filter the late afternoon sun, and glow in the morning light. Natural fibres like linen, cotton, or wool are amazing. Avoid stiff-seeming garments with collars as they look a bit too formal and often get tucked in weird spots and need adjusting.
Aim for neutrals, earthy tones, and metallics. These colours compliment the outdoor environment almost anywhere you go and look damn fine as a printed, framed photograph. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for a beige world of quiet and inoffensive colours. By neutrals, I just mean softer tones. Primary colours are incredibly striking, but can sometimes have the effect of detracting from the main subject (which is you). So for example, instead of electric blue, go for something closer to sky blue. Instead of bright orange, opt for ochre or apricot. A rule of thumb here is to choose to either complement your natural environment or contrast it. A mustard dress in a deep green forest will look epic, whereas a bright pink, patterned dress doesn’t really fit in with your surroundings. It totally depends on what you’re looking for! For families it’s best to keep your colour scheme limited to four colours. You can choose one person to wear a feature colour and have everyone else’s outfits complement that.