One question I get asked before every shoot I do is:
“What should we wear for our Photo Shoot?”
As I always give the same response, I thought it might be more useful to add that info here along with some photos for reference and inspiration so I hope it helps!
The first thing to think about is where you are going to display your images in your home? What colours do you have in that room and choose colours that will work well in that setting? If you are someone who likes Greys for example, then either choose a complimentary colour to grey like soft blues, navy, pinks, yellow, white, or Grey itself! If you are someone who prefers beige or cream, then stick with whites, creams and pale greys or pastels. If you like a pop of colour in the accessories in your rooms (i.e. bedding, curtains or cushions) and choose clothes in a colour to match those. Or if you like darker colours in your home, choose a dark colour to match like in the image of Issy below from her maternity shoot.
I always recommend clients avoid large logos and stick to block colours if possible as patterns and prints can be too busy, distracting to the eye and really I want peoples eyes to be drawn to the faces in the photo, not what they are wearing. But saying that, a subtle print can be nice too like in the image above.
If you don’t want your images to date, choose more classic items that will still look good 20 years from now.
If one person really wants to wear a print, I recommend that the rest of the family wear block colours to compliment the colours in that print. See below, the girl on the right is wearing a blue striped dress and the Grandad is wearing a pale blue check shirt but as they are subtle and work well with the other outfits, it’s not too noticeable. I have also placed them at opposite ends of the grouping so the prints don’t clash with each other.
Again in the photo below, the colours the family have chosen are muted greys, blues, whites and beige and all of those colours match well with the ladies patterned top in the middle so the overall look is cohesive and works well together.
The family below came for an Autumn mini Session and their colour choice of beige, mustard, navy and charcoal worn with brown boots was very in keeping with the season and brings out the golden tones in the leaves on the tree’s and on the ground. I’m not usually a fan of black worn for outside shoots as it can drain the colour from an image but these clients have lifted the overall look with the mustard and light beige so the black is not overpowering.
Think about the type of shoot you want and choose clothes to suit.
If you are going for a Fine Art Portrait, then styling is very important. Vintage or classic clothing teamed with antique props or accessories will help give a timeless feel to our images and a beautiful piece of art to display in your home.
Or if you are having a Beauty Portrait Shoot and you’d like your images to look more editorial, like from a magazine, then a more modern/contemporary piece of clothing would be more fitting.
Add something extra with accessories like hats, jackets, scarves, funky glasses or jewellery to really make your images stand out!
If you would prefer a relaxed Family Shoot shot outdoors or in the studio, then smart casual is always a good look. Decide if you are all going for the same colour (like jeans and white tops or white dresses for instance) or mixing up the colours but keeping to a certain colour palate like in the images below. I always recommend starting with one person (usually the Mum) and working out what she wants to wear, and then choosing outfits for the rest of the family that work well with her outfit. Laying all the clothes on the floor together to see how they work is a good idea. Go for muted tones like below:
Or add a pop of colour with the yellow in this image. Be careful of very bright colours though as they can throw an unsightly colour cast onto peoples faces which is why I always prefer more muted tones. This yellow is soft enough to work though.
If bright whites are your thing, let’s shoot white on white background. Jeans break up the colour a bit and you get beautiful, crisp and white contemporary portraits.
Also don’t forget your shoes and making sure they work with the outfits you have chosen. Going for muted tones in your outfits and then allowing the kids to wear bright red or pink trainers doesn’t really work, and your eye will instantly be drawn to that which can ruin the effect. Simple sandals, brown boots or even bare feet are preferable.
Pick a main colour and stick to it! Feel free to bring up to 3 different outfits but if they are all in a similar colour, the images will work well when displayed together as Quannas photos do from her Beauty Shoot below.
Or if you are feeling a bit lost, want help or inspiration, feel free to talk to me about your shoot, your images and what your likes and dislikes are. In Cery’s shoot, we wanted to photograph her outside and I knew I wanted to photograph her sitting in the lilac bush as it was looking beautiful at that time, so we opted for purples for her session. We both looked on ASOS for dresses and found the dark purple one and the softer purple one too, which worked beautifully against our barn wall and in the flower field. Again, all these photos could be displayed together and work beautifully as a group or individually.
My Studio Wardrobe
Feel free to borrow something from my studio wardrobe which has grown a lot over the last few years! I now have an extensive (and growing) collection of multiway dresses that can be worn for maternity or non-maternity shoots. I have them in the colours below and have just bought more in emerald green, pale blue and navy. For maternity shoots, I also have bodysuits, polo necks and panties (models own), and simple flowing material which all make for beautiful images.
In addition, I have other non-maternity dresses for ladies in lots of sizes, dresses for little girls (vintage and modern), rompers, babygrows, hats, headbands and leggings for newborns and babies up to a year old, and shirts, shorts, jeans and jackets for boys. I also have lots of hats including top hats, bowler hats, straw hats, baker boy hats etc, so feel free to borrow anything you like for your session!
It’s impossible to include images of everything I own but if you see something on one of the images on my website or Instagram page, feel free to ask if it’s mine and if it is, you are welcome to use it.
Whatever you decide, remember it’s your shoot and the images will be yours to look at for the rest of your days. So it’s important you like what you are wearing and it represents you!
Great places to shop for outfits for your Photoshoot
Zara – lovely vintage style with modern twist, I find it especially great for kids fine art shoots.
ASOS – Fantastic selection of dresses in all styles, colours and at really great prices.
Boden – Those that know me well know that most of my own wardrobe comes from Boden. They do lovely colourful outfits with options in block colours as well as prints and patterns. Again great for all the family.
And if you have any other questions, feel free to get in touch!