If you’re here you’re probably stuck in the midst of figuring out what to wear for your photography session, and looking for something that simplifies the process (who needs more complications in life, am I right?). So, I dedicate this session wardrobe guide to you!
It can be overwhelming enough to make you want to give up and just wear whatever, but don’t! The more time you put into planning for your session, the better it turns out, and the more you’ll love your photos. Trust me on this!
It’s simple… Bit of Styling + Planning Ahead = A Flawless & Carefree Time for you! After all, it’s your personality and your style that’ll be shining through.
This blog is a breakdown of a few easy steps to styling your look for your session.
1. What is your goal for the overall look?
In other words, are you leaning towards romantic, casual, fun, or a mixture? This part is easily the most fun to think about! If you only plan on wearing one outfit, it’s essential that it meets the tone you want, because this outfit will be making a huge statement. Long, solid or less busy patterned, flowing maxi’s catch the wind like no other and that in itself screams Danielle Steel romance book cover. The cherry on top is doing something as simple as pairing it with a denim jacket, and instantly creating a quick second look on the spot.
Since I typically shoot in the southern part of the country, wearing flowy clothing goes well with staying cool, flowing (which gives that romantic feel), and shoots beautifully well. If you’re unsure of where to go to get something along those lines then reach out to me and I’ll send a few sites for you to look over. For the guys it can be as simple as wearing a suit, dress pants, or a nice button up with dark denim!
For the ladies, I still think that flowing dresses are a great option! Doing a more fun floral print or a shorter length allows all the benefits I’ve mentioned before, but with a much more down to earth look. If a dress or playful romper isn’t your style, then focus on a cute blouse with jeans. You can check out more ways to do this on my pinterest, where I’ve made some inspo boards specifically for types of sessions. One of the most important factors is the balance between comfort and looks! Can you hop onto your partners back for a piggy back ride? Or run around a bit with them with what you’re wearing?
Crazily enough, the same can be said about men as well. Switching out dress pants for jeans but keeping that button down can turn the outfit into something fun and laid back. Wearing what you would wear in your day to day life is spot on! Solid tees and sweaters up top, with neutral solid colored pants on the bottom. Keep it simple!
When it comes to being casual you want to tweak a nice outfit just enough for it to be so, but stay away from coming across as if you don’t care. One thing to remember is that casual does not mean wrinkled clothes, ill fitting, or wearing whatever is clean. Keep that in mind 🙂
General rules are to stay away from logos due to them making a photo look less timeless. Large loose clothing, turtlenecks, and overly tight items can make your neck disappear, or make your body look wider than it truly is. Dressing for your body type helps you feel more confident with whatever you’re wearing, and that’s a fact for every day dressing.
Personally, I would always recommend solid colors simply because they fit into most environments easily. Urban areas, desert, in the bayou, on a mountain top, or wherever you can think of, solid colors will work. Keeping with solids also helps with easing the planning process, so if you’re not big into getting dolled up, this may be perfect for you.
Things to remember: heavily saturated colors like bright oranges, neons, and florescent colors are always no go’s! Instead, wearing subtle colors like navy, grey, burgundy/wine, and white will help your beautiful location stand out more. If you’re into bolder more vibrant colors then feel free to go with shades of green (NOT neon, lime, or the like), yellow, and even a darker toned orange. I’m all for body positivity so rock your body! If you’re wanting a slimming effect though, it’s nice to know that darker colors do tend to produce that whereas brighter colors do the opposite. Last tip, avoid stripes and other monotonous patterns as they are very busy distracting in photographs! People want to see your face and your body language, not your perhaps very cute, but very busy shirt.
Once your outfit is together, if you’re going to be doing a session with a loved one, ensure that your outfits are coordinated. Being matchy isn’t the way to go, but wearing complimentary tones definitely is. (Think: Charcoal for your partner and a navy ensemble for you, with similar accents)
3. Footwear or Barefoot?
Truth be told, shoes can be a bit of an afterthought. Sometimes that’s just fine, and sometimes it can present a bit of a problem. Where do you fall? If you’re looking for gorgeous head to toe looks then taking into consideration what shoes you wear definitely should happen. If you’re going for a casual, adventurous, or playful look then it’s less likely to matter. Typically, this is more so an issue with guys (sorry, y’all, but it’s true). Running shoes, albiet comfy, are never good options for photo shoots. I’m talking the Asics and others with similar styles and builds. Usually, these don’t flow with outfits other than that of a runner, who’s having a session done centered around them running…which isn’t very typical. Nice clean sneakers can be passable depending on whether they fit the outfit, the person’s personality, and/or the environment. If you want a romantic session, then probably not. If your day to day is a cool street style or a balance of edgy and refined, then come on with it!
Sneakerheads tend to be exceptions to this rule seeing that they truly do have a sneaker for every occasion. Ladies, if you are a stiletto loving babe, remember to bring a cute pair of flat soled shoes good for walking and standing. Having comfortable shoes for poses where your feet aren’t visible allieviates your feet from wearing heels the entire time, but also allows you to get the look you’re going for.
And if you’re a wild, free soul, bring whatever you need to make it from point A to point B and go barefoot during the session. After all, it’s all about letting yourself show through.
4. To Accessorize or Not?
Wearing jelwery for a non-jewlry wearer can seem awkard, and if that’s you, don’t force it! If you tend to wear a cute pair of studs or you’re one to rock statement necklaces, then by all means, do it! Personally, I feel just a dressed up with a cute necklace and bracelet as I do when I go out of my way to wear earrings. That’s just how I am. Who are you and what jewlry is YOU?!
Hats, scarves, and other accessories of that nature are always fun to bring to your session and look amazing in photographs. As a photographer they’re always a joy to work with, and for you they bring variety to your session. Wearing a hat can change your look, and take your one outfit into a completely different vibe. If you aren’t 100% certain, I advise my clients to pick their top three accessories and bring them in a bag for safe keeping. It doesn’t take much to pull out a floral crown or a statement bracelet, yet they bring so much to the table.
If you’ve found this session guide to be of any kind of help, drop a comment below or share it! If you’re looking for a teensy bit more help or more interested in a visual guide, then check out my pinterest where there are boards aplenty for wardrobe guides.