Back in the time before photography became my full time career, I used to write a blog. My blog was primarily a record of what was going on in my children’s lives and my parenting successes and fails, littered with photographs of them. It was a nice way to showcase my pictures but also some of the bits and bobs I did for friends. When my photography became more than just a hobby, I started another blog that fell by the wayside as teaching was still there getting in the way. Since, I’ve created my website and now it’s time to start blogging again, all in once place. It feels good to be writing again.
As the weather improves, of course the number of enquiries popping into my inbox for family shoots has increased hugely, and I find myself sending my clients to other people’s blogs for guidance about what to wear for a photoshoot. While I use them because I think they’re great, I could be sending people to take a glance at a little more of my work. So without further a do… Here are my top five tips for dressing for photographs, whether it be a family session, a maternity session or a pre-wedding session.
Your photographs are an investment. They are a snapshot of what you looked like, how tiny your kids were, time spent with people that won’t be around for ever. And if you’re investing your money in booking a photographer then I strongly recommend you also invest a little time and money in what you wear. Well chosen outfits can enhance a great image even further and really make your photographs ‘pop’.
2. Coordinate. Don’t match.
Chose two or three colours and style within those colours. If you’re stuck for inspiration, you might find that paint catalogues or even wool combinations for knitters are a great starting point for ideas! My favourite combos are blues and whites, greys and mustard yellows or burgundy, navy and grey. Try to combine block colours and patterns; for example if my groom to be was wearing a checked shirt, I’d encourage my bride to be to choose a top that was a block colour from the check. Too much pattern can be overkill! Add accessories and layers; a scarf, some chunky beads or layers that can be removed, like an open shirt over a t-shirt add to the variety. The details really make a difference too – paint your nails, have a hair cut the week before and polish off those scuff marks from your boots if it’s something that’s likely to bother you when you look back at your images!
3. Consider your decor.
Clients sometimes look at me like I’m crazy when I say this, but it’s so true. If your lounge is light and airy and you plan on displaying your images there, then an autumnal shoot where you’re all wearing dark, earthy colours might not be the best choice. A spring shoot with pastels might be more up your street.
4. Avoid logos.
These can be distracting in your photographs and can also really date an image. Timeless is key if you want to be able to display them for years to come. By the same token, be careful of choosing anything that’s really now in case it very quickly becomes so last year.
5. Be comfy.
This above all else. If you don’t feel comfortable, you won’t look comfortable. That means you need to be able to move in what you’ve chosen to wear, as you might end up skipping, running or sitting on the floor. Don’t pick a sleeveless top if you’re really self-conscious about your arms, or flip flops if you hate your feet. Make sure that what you choose to wear is still you.
There we have it. Some little nuggets of wisdom to help you get the most out of your photographs. If you’re in doubt about the scarf, bring it along. Better to have too much than not enough.