What to Wear Guide
Here’s the rundown.
I know it can feel kind of daunting to pick what to wear for photos. Here are a few guidelines I’ve put together so you guys can be sure to look great while still making sure the images are focused on your guys’ love, not what you’re wearing. This is just what I’ve found to work best from trial and error from past shoots, they’re only guidelines, not rules! You can show up wearing whatever you want.
Ultimately, I want you guys to look like yourselves. Don’t think if you don’t follow these guidelines that your photos are not going to turn out great. The most important thing to me is that you guys feel and look like yourselves so you can be as comfortable as possible! A lot of people try to go shopping for new clothes for the shoot beforehand but I actually recommend not going that route. Bring stuff you normally wear, stuff that’s already in your closet that you love and feel yourselves in. Who cares if you look back at the photos in 20 years and laugh about what you’re wearing? As long as it represented what you guys are like right now, thats all that matters. Plus, guys are usually not all that stoked about putting on a collared ironed button up with dress shoes if they’re used to wearing flannels or t-shirts every day. I promise they’ll be way more happy to be at the shoot if you don’t force an outfit he thinks is stupid.
Here’s a few guidelines to help if you’re feeling lost about what to wear:
I always suggest that the woman choose an outfit she feels confident and beautiful in and then plan the color palette for you and your babe. Try to avoid large logos and text, neon colors, and be aware of any tan lines and how those will look in your chosen outfit. If you feel like you need assistance, I am happy to help you! Arrange your outfits on a large bed or on the floor, and then send me photos of your favorite combinations. We can work together to ensure we find the perfect combination!
Keep our backdrop in mind when choosing your clothing. If we are near a field with grass in the background, aim to wear a color that doesn’t blend in the green/yellow grass. If we are surrounded by fall leaves, layering in great textures is a great option, and just about any color would look great. Most importantly, be sure to wear clothes you feel comfortable in. Your confidence will really shine through in your photos!
Make sure it makes sense.
Think about the conditions and locations we are going to be shooting in and plan around it. If we are going to be hiking somewhere, bring shoes with good grip and you won’t twist your ankles in. If we are at a fancy location and you’re going for a more glamorous and classic vibe to your shoot, wear a dress with heels (I always recommend to do one fancy outfit and another that’s more comfortable, such as jeans and a sweater). If it’s freezing cold outside, bring lots of layers and warm clothes with wool socks and boots. If it’s going to be hot, bring clothes that can breathe more so you don’t have sweaty pit stains in the photos. Be as comfortable as you can be!
Like I said, make sure that the materials you wear will keep you comfortable during the shoot not only for temperatures but also for being able to move around in. If you're in brand new jeans that are still stiff and tight, you might be distracted during the shoot trying to make sure everything stays in place as well as lets you sit and run and move around in. I recommend bringing clothes that are "broken in" so that you'll be as comfortable as possible. I also love when people bring clothing or accessories that can show movement by catching wind, because it adds energy to the photos and looks freaking gorgeous!
I typically recommend people lean towards neutrals, earthy tones, and metallics and to stay away from bright colors. This doesn’t mean just creams and browns and grays. There are neutrals for every single color! Instead of green, go for a soft forest green. Instead of red, go with a deep maroon. Instead of yellow, go for a mustard yellow and so on. If you’re feeling lost on this, feel free to message me for some inspiration and I can help out!
COMPLEMENTARY vs. MATCHING
Complimentary is good. Matching is bad. When people match, they tend to blend together too much, ending up looking like a big blob in photos.
Complimentary means the variety of colors, textures, accessories, patterns, and tones all go together while there is still separation from each of the subjects and the background.
Find a color palette that you love and choose outfits that complement each other without looking too “matchy”. You’ll both have a unique look without clashing in the photo. You can choose to do neutrals with a few pops of color or a softer palette that has different ranges in tone of the same shades. If you both wear the same color, you won’t really stand out in pictures as they will be blended in with each other.
Avoid big, loud, chunky, crazy patterns. The smaller or more subtle, the better! If the pattern is too loud, it will distract from your faces. Flannels are always a yes in my book! I usually try to avoid pairing too many patterns together because it makes the photos feel a little hectic and distracting from your faces and the location. Also, be sure to iron your clothes before so there’s not huge wrinkles distracting from your faces either!
If you have a fun patterned outfit you would like to use, limit it to one person. That way they will pop and still coordinate with everyone else. Multiple patterns can look busy, and this way they won't be competing with one another. Add dimension and interest by mixing up the texture of the clothing material and accents.
Accessories & Props.
Feel free to bring cute little accessories such as scarves, hats, belts and anything with a fabulous texture. Accessories can pull together an outfit and make it look complete. Plus, by switching up accessories and layers, you can get multiple looks without having to do complete outfit changes.
When I think props, my mind flashes through all of the cringe-worthy Pinterest photos I’ve seen of cheesy chalkboards and hobby lobby props brought to shoots. But props don’t have to be cheesy! Props could be a romantic picnic setup, your dogs (if you have a dog and don't bring it I’ll be pissed), blankets (perfect for Fall and Winter sessions), a campfire, a bouquet, bottle of champagne, etc. If you have props you want to incorporate, let me know and we can make sure to incorporate them in a non-cheesy way!
Hair and Makeup.
A lot of people ask me whether or not they should get your hair and makeup done by a pro. My answer is always “whatever will make you feel best, do that.” If you want your hair and makeup done, then definitely do it, because the most important thing is that you feel confident like Beyonce always. If you’re getting hair and makeup done, I recommend you schedule to be done at least an hour before you have to leave for the shoot so you aren’t late. Also, if you’re wanting to get a spray tan for your shoot, be sure to get a super natural airbrushed spray tan rather than one from a salon/tanning place. We don’t want you looking like an oompa loompa!
In Home Sessions
All of the above applies, but for in home sessions I say the more skin showing the better! No that doesn’t mean you need to be borderline naked, I’m just saying the photos will look a lot more comfortable and intimate than if you’re in lots of heavy layers! Cause let’s be real, most of us walk around without pants on at home anyways. I recommend bringing options of tank tops, shorts, sweaters, and jeans to mix and match! Anything that will show some skin is perfect!
If you have anymore questions, don’t hesitate to let me know! If you’re still freakin out about what to wear feel free to shoot me a pic or two of what you’re thinking, or we can create a little Pinterest board together! But overall, just wear what you’re comfortable in and feel like you in. You do you, and I promise the photos will turn out amazing.
If you have any questions, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!