Guys… I get soooo many emails from clients asking what they should wear to a shoot. So here is a little guide to help direct you. My husband legit described my style as “hobo chic” one day and told me to just “embrace it babe.” So chances are high that you have way better style than me. This is just what I have found works best from trial and error from past shoots. These are ONLY guidelines, not rules. You can show up wearing nothing for all I care. (I literally never feel awkward… sooo)
Okay… so here are a few little tips:
Ultimately, the MOST important thing I want is for you guys to look and feel like yourselves. Dress how you normally dress 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. An old band t shirt and ripped jeans? Perfect. A lot of my couples will go shopping for “nicer” looking clothes which is totally fine, but sometimes they regret not just wearing what they feel themselves 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 and Chacos every day. Pinky promise they’ll be way more happy to be at the shoot if you don’t force an outfit he thinks is stupid.
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 around the woods, bring shoes for walking so your comfortable and won’t twist your ankle. If we are shooting on a sandy beach, it would look weird if you’re wearing shoes (ps heels are almost always a bad idea in most scenarios, unless you’re freakishly good at walking in them haha). 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!
Props Props don’t have to be cheesy! Props could be a dominos pizza picnic, a motorcycle, your naked cats (if you have a dog and don’t bring it I’ll be pissed), blankets, a truck/car, a campfire, a bouquet, a paddle board, etc. If you have props you wanna incorporate, let me know and we can make sure to incorporate them in a non-cheesy way! I love when people bring hats, sunglasses, scarves, jewelry, etc because it’s nice to pair them with different outfit options. Just avoid wearing watches so they don’t distract from your faces when I’m getting close up shots!
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!
Colors I typically recommend sticking towards neutral, earthy tones. Neutrals doesn’t mean just greys and browns there are neutrals of every color. Mustard yellow, navy blue, forest green, burnt orange ect. Stay away from bright, fluorescent, distracting colors. I typically recommend staying away from reds and bright oranges only because a lot of the time it results in the skin looking more pink in photos. Unless of course you have that beautiful olive skin, then go for it and just know I’m jealous. Here are some tips: Try to color match the tones and colors of outfits with elements in the environment if possible. I never want outfits to be the main focus of images so making choices to help the clothing compliment the location is typically what I’m going for. Typically, if the location is really noisy, ie… lots of texture or shapes going on… choose really simple clothing options to wear. If the location is really simple as far as colors and tones go, try choosing something that stands out a little more to add interest. Like choosing outfits that add contrast to the image. So if there is a lot of orangey yellow in the location, maybe wear a navy blue. Blue compliments orange. (little art lesson)
Patterns 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 (probably because I wear one every day haha)! I usually try to avoid pairing too many patterns together because, you guessed it, 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! Here are some tips: If there are lots of different shapes and textures in a location, opt for a simpler outfit to help you stand out more. If the location has minimal texture you can go with an outfit that stands out more. If you want you can combine simple with simple and loud textures with loud locations. Like colors, you can use complimentary textures and shapes through tools like patterns, materials, accessories, etc.
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 a good option. Or if you wanna just wear a sweater with undies for a few or have your other half be shirtless, then yeah! lets do that please.
Hair + 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.” I absolutely don’t think it’s necessary whatsoever, because in my personal opinion, I would rather look like MYSELF rather than a super glammed up version of myself; especially because I wear pretty minimal makeup and on a good week brush my hair once. But, if you want your hair and makeup done, then definitely do it, because the most important thing is that you feel confident. 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 whiter than toothpaste like me and want a spray tan, be sure to get a suuuuper natural airbrushed spray tan rather than one from a salon/tanning place. They just seem to look more.. well.. natural.