What To Wear Guide

Okay, so you have booked a shoot with me, WAHOO! Now comes the part in making this session feel like you. Which I know can kinda feel daunting, do you want to feel elegant, whimsical, natural, edgy, casual? The list could go on. First step is, I want you to feel comfortable no matter what you wear. I am not here to tell you the exact outfits to choose, because I am far from a fashion pro, but I wanna guide you in what i’ve found to be great tips from years of photographing. My goal is to help you feel more prepared and like yourself in front of the camera!

To the tips!

1. Dress for the weather

First up, I want you to be in-sync with the photography location and what you choose to wear makes sense with the weather. If we are photographing in a snowy wooded area, it might not be best to pick outfits that will leave you shaking with blue lips, red noses, ears and hands. So if it’s cold, sweaters, shoes fit for the weather, coats and outdoor winter accessories are great! We can include blankets, warm drinks and campfires to bring the location to life and make you look cozy within it. 

If we are working with a warm summer day on the beach, heavy pants and tops would leave you feeling overheated and uncomfortable. Maybe lean more towards flowy clothing, light linens and cotton threads. If you have a dress that will flow in the wind, that is an extra bonus!

2. Clothing Options 

A handful of clothing options is great! If you bring a couple tops and bottoms, that gives me some options to work and if we need to trade some clothing items out to better fit the surroundings, all the better. If you want a more whimsical feel, bring a dress along for the ladies and possibly a button up for the guys. Don’t feel like you need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. If you have your favorite worn pair of jean shorts, your grandpa's vintage T-shirt, your comfiest overly worn sweater, bring it! I want you to feel like yourself and look back at the photos and have fond memories about everything, down to the clothes you chose.

3. Colors & Textures

I am a huge lover of neutral, earthy tones! I don’t mean for you to be clothed all in beige. Earthy tones such as, light blue, mustard, blush, burnt orange. Rich tones bring depth to the outfit as well. Forrest greens, navy blues, burgundy… Try and avoid bright fluorescent clothing, they are intense and overly distracting. They also can bounce light back on your skin, causing it to appear blotchy or discolored.

I am a sucker for textures! Wool sweaters, embroidered dress or a knit shawl, texture brings some depth to the image without being distracting.

4. Patterns

I’m with ya in loving a gorgeous floral patterned dress, some wild checkered pants or a cool striped shirt. Too much pattern in a shoot can be distracting though, so I always recommend minimum, small patterns and if one of you is wearing a pattern, dress the other in a neutral outfit. Keeping it balanced. A clunky pattern could distract from the location and you, the subject. Same goes for wrinkles in clothing, give them a quick iron before the shoot and chances of distractions will be minimized!

5. Movement 

I know not everyone is a fan of wind, but if you have a dress, skirt or top that could add that extra feature of motion, it brings life to the image. Movement also comes back to being comfortable in what you are wearing, choosing items that won't have you fidgeting and adjusting the whole shoot, before buying a new top or bottom, make sure you are comfortable and if not, pull something out of your closet you know you will comfy be in! I am a lover of wind, so any extra motion makes me beyond happy!

6. Props & Accessories 

When it comes to props, I want them to be special to you. I no longer bring any props to a shoot, but if you have any items that have sentimental value, bring them along. Your truck, motorcycle, your sweet puppy, a quilt a loved one made for you, if you have a horse, you best believe we will be using it for photos! A kayak/canoe, we will find a lake. A beautiful floral arrangement or some wildflowers you picked on the way to the shoot, I want to incorporate what is special to you! I love accessories, so feel free to bring your hats, bouquets, sunglasses, jackets, bring it all and odds are we will use it in your photos!

7. Makeup & Hair

If you are questioning whether to get your makeup done for the shoot or go more natural. I would say, do what you feel most comfortable with and what makes you feel like yourself. When I am overly caked in makeup and fake eyelashes, I am always touching my face and distracted by the eyelashes! I want you to look back on your photos, feel good and recognize yourself! Same goes for your hair, don’t feel like you have to outdo yourself. If you feel most comfortable with minimum makeup and hair with a light beach wave, go with that!

If you want to treat yourself and get your hair and makeup done, feeling like a total babe ready to slay for photos, please do! I want you to feel confident and as I have said a million times, COMFORTABLE!

8. Maternity and Newborn’s

ALL the above applies for expecting mama’s, but I would emphasize on wearing a dress for at least one of your outfits! It gives that extra bit of movement without making you work for it! 

For newborns I always say simplicity is best! A simple muslin or a knit/ spandex swaddle is so great to work with and I can do lots of wraps with such a simple cloth! We want to see those cute toes, rolls and fingers, so don’t feel the need to cover them up. A cute onesie, hat and diaper show off all your little ones adorable features too. And I am always down for using any ensemble you have been saving for just this occasion! Little signs, accessories, stuffed animals, or live animals are always welcome! 

Okay, that's all folks!

If you still have  questions or want some more details on what to wear, give me a shout and I can help you put together some killer outfits!

L.IsabellePhotography. Serving West Michigan and North Indiana. Available for travel.