What to wear to a photo session
The question I get asked the most as a photographer is ‘what should I wear when I get my photos taken?’
This will vary depending on the type of portrait session you are having. Boudoir will involve a very different wardrobe from your professional headshot (unless you happen to work in the glamour business)!
Once you book with me I provide a helpful tips document relevant to your session. But in summary.
If you feel good, you radiate confidence and that shows up in your pictures so wear something you feel good in! My only aside to that is to wear something you can move in. If it’s too tight or short you might not be able to sit down comfortably which will limit your photo options.
Unless you are extremely thin (you lucky devil!) I always suggest you wear something that covers your upper arms or ‘bingo wings’, as mine are affectionally called! Long or three-quarter length sleeves are very flattering.
If you are going to wear jewellery, aim for subtlety and not something that you will be fiddling with.
Makeup is recommended. If nothing else go a little heavier on the mascara and wear a lipstick that isn’t too dark but shows a nice contrast against your natural colour – this will look awesome in the finished product. If you are wearing nail polish make sure it isn’t chipped (and if not make sure your nails are clean).
Have a fresh shave or trim, and use a new razor with shaving foam and a moisturising after-shave lotion to limit bumps and redness. Make sure nails are clean and trimmed.
Make sure your shoes are clean and your socks don’t have holes in them! Go for jeans or trousers, tucked polo or dress shirt with a belt, or go casual with just a T-shirt or untucked polo, casual shirt, etc.
My top tip for children is clean, clean, clean! Clean nails, clean hair, wipe away eye boogers, clean feet, wipe snotty noses, fresh-scrub teeth. The cleaner the kid, the better their photos will turn out.
If your child is still in nappies or pull-ups, tuck them in or cover them up where possible.
For girls, you can’t go wrong with cute dresses, romper suits, and dainty hats or headbands. For boys, jeans and polos or a button-up shirt, or a T-shirt with a button-up over it can be very cute. Overalls or dungarees on the right age and personality can look great on both girls and boys.
For siblings, the children don’t have to match perfectly, just coordinate. You can’t go wrong with dark, rich monotones, which drive the attention in photos to sweet faces and innocent expressions instead of loud prints or colours. If in doubt or undecided, pick a colour that compliments your child’s eye colour.
Newborn babies will be swaddled in the studio so they can wear what they like!
You don’t all need to match (unless you are going for the Waltons or Brady Bunch look) but you should coordinate and make sense. So if Dad is in a T-shirt don’t put the kids in dress shirts, etc.
If you are into Pinterest take a look at family images you love and check out what they are wearing. Do you have similar colours, styles in your wardrobes that would work? Or think about where you might like to hang your finished picture. Do you have clothes that coordinate with the wall colour?
Lay all the outfits out on your bed, go out of the room and then go back in…does anything jar or stick out? If so remove it and replace with something that makes the overall scheme look and feel more pleasing.
Try to avoid anything heavily logoed, large stripes or overly baggy. Fun patterns can work well if they coordinate with everyone else but if in doubt stick to solid colours.
Don’t over think it, have fun. If in doubt bring a selection of outfits and we can select on the day. I can’t speak for other photographers but personally, I love a good costume change 🙂
One group bought a suitcase of outfits with them to a shoot once and I fricken loved that session.