What to wear: A style guide

One of the questions I am asked most frequently by my clients is “What should we wear?” And it’s no wonder! Your photos are an investment that you have most likely spent some time and money on, and besides adorning the walls of your home and probably your Christmas card, they will be passed down for generations to come. It is understandable that you want to look your best! I have compiled a few tips here that I am hoping will help you feel less overwhelmed when it comes time to pick out your wardrobe for your next photo session.

Keep in mind that these are all just ideas! You certainly do not have to implement ALL of them… or ANY of them for that matter! The most important thing is that your photos are a reflection of YOU. But if you’re feeling stuck, or just need some inspiration, here are a few tips to guide you.

Start with what you love

Do you have a certain colour that you really love to wear? Wear it! Do you love dresses? Wear one! Find something that makes you feel beautiful! If you are comfortable in what you are wearing, it will transfer to your photos. Being comfortable and confident in what we’re wearing can make a huge difference in how we feel and how relaxed we are in front of the camera.

Still stuck? Here are a few recommended pieces to get you started!

FOR MOM: Dresses are the most flattering, and photograph beautifully. Dresses with movement add an extra touch of grace and elegance to your photos!

FOR DAD: Chinos and button up shirts or henleys look sharp, masculine and tailored in photos. Keep in mind that fitted slacks, as opposed to cargo styles, photograph best.

FOR KIDS: Same as mom and dad! Don’t forget to accessorise! Little touches like hair accessories, bow ties and suspenders can add the perfect stylistic touch to your photos.

Coordinating vs. Matching

There is an old fashioned idea floating around that everyone in the picture needs to have on matching clothing. This is not true! Coordinating is far better than matching. Choose colours that look nice together, but don’t fall into the trap that you all need to be wearing the exact same blue shirt. Your photos will be far more interesting with some variation! Add interest to your photos by incorporating plenty of colour and/or patterns. Don’t be afraid of either of these! If you’re overwhelmed with where to start, or wonder “How much is too much?” you might start with a print that you love, and pull in some of the coordinating colours with other pieces.

I always recommend having at least three colors in your palette. Adding in a couple of patterns looks nice too! Add in a solid shirt for one person, maybe some stripes for another. Remember, the key is to coordinate, so the colors in your prints and patterns are your friend!

If your personality is suited to a more subtle look, neutrals photograph beautifully as well. You can easily keep your colour scheme neutral and add in smaller amounts of colour for variety.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on a colour palette, let the colours of your home inspire you! Since your home is where your images will be displayed, think about the colours that will coordinate well with your home and style of décor. I also like to recommend that my clients consider the Pantone Colour of the year as well! Because fashion designers utilise the Pantone Colour of the year in their design choices for the coming seasons, making selections from these options will usually result in colour choices that are fashionable and on trend. The Pantone website will provide you with an array of coordinating colours and hues!

Finish off your look with accessories and layers. This can really make your photos “YOU” and looks fantastic in photos! Consider adding a statement necklace or scarf to your outfit, and for your family, consider accessories such as a vest, belt, jacket, hat, suspenders, headband, etc. Accessories are the perfect way to give a finishing touch to your look, and they can really set your photos apart.

Things to Avoid

There are a few tones that are less flattering for photos that I usually recommend my clients avoid, specifically neon colours, and wearing all white. White tends to wash out most people’s skin tones and isn’t most flattering. This isn’t to say you can’t have any white on, but it might be best to not make it your principle colour of choice for every person in your photo shoot. Neon colours will cast bright colours onto your skin in photos, and can make it difficult to capture your natural skin tones. While neon colours are a lot of fun, it’s best to save them for occasions outside of photo time.

Helping my clients get ready for their photo session is one of my greatest joys! I hope these tips give you some ideas and help you to feel a little more prepared. If you have any questions, or even any more tips or ideas, don’t hesitate to ask!