Updated: Sep 7
Choosing the right outfit for your photo session is so important, but it can take effort to figure out the best choice. So many of my clients ask for advice on choosing the right outfit for their photoshoot. My goal is always to make my clients feel comfortable and express themselves with what they wear! I’ve had years of experience styling photoshoots and working with families and individuals with different styles. Here are my best tips for choosing an outfit for your photo session:
Consider the Setting and Purpose of the Photoshoot
The first question you should ask yourself as you choose your outfits for your photoshoot is, “Why are we taking photos?” Maybe you are updating your family photos. It might be a good idea to choose a color theme that is easy for everyone in the family! Or perhaps you are taking engagement photos at one of your favorite spots in town. Some couples like to dress up for their engagement session, and others enjoy wearing jeans and sneakers! Or maybe you are taking photos for a maternity session. So many fun outfit ideas will show off your baby bump and celebrate your pregnancy. These are just a few examples of why it’s essential to start with the purpose of your photoshoot!
Next, consider the setting or location for your photoshoot. Some outfits may be practical for a studio session but less comfortable for an outdoor setting. Depending on the time of year, the natural backdrop for your photos can change drastically. In spring, you might find fresh blooms, bright greens, and pastel colors. In the summer and fall, your backdrop might have more warmth. And in the winter, cooler colors set the stage for outdoor photos. Once you consider the setting of your photos, it’s time to start looking at some outfits!
A good tip is to look at a color wheel. If your session is in the summer and with a green backdrop, choose colors that are complimentary to green such as pinks for a bold look or mauves for a more neutral look.
Embrace Your Style
For the longest time, I thought that boho-style clothing always photographed best. I mean, who doesn’t love a long, flowy dress moment? So I would recommend that style when photo clients asked me for outfit advice. Then one day, I had a family shoot, and the family showed up dressed in mariachi-style outfits. When I tell you I fell in love with their outfits, I mean I really fell in love! It might not be my style, but it looked incredible. That’s when I realized I don’t want to convince my clients to dress in a way that doesn’t celebrate their personal style. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a boho dress moment, but the most important thing is to be comfortable and to be you! If that means highlighting your culture and traditions, perfect! Or if that means being comfy and laid back in a t-shirt and jeans, perfect!
Choose the Right Fit
Once you have a good idea of the style you’re going for, it’s time to try on a few outfits that fit your style. Look for clothing items that fit well and make you feel great! Avoid anything that makes you feel insecure. If an item is too big, it might not lay correctly. And if an item is too small, it could need constant adjusting! So try to find the best fit possible, so you can look great and feel great in your photos.
Play with Colors and Patterns
If you know what style you’re going for but aren’t sure which colors to go for, I always recommend imagining your photos hanging in your home. Will your colors look good with your decor? If you use more neutral colors, stick to whites, creams, or greys. If you love a pop of color, try finding a color family that goes well with your personal style. That might be anything from pastel colors to earthy or jewel tones. Colors and patterns can add interest to photos, but make sure you choose elements that complement each other instead of clashing. A good rule of thumb when it comes to patterns is that small patterns create a strange visual effect in photos, so go for patterns that are larger than a dime. Avoid logos!
Accessorize and Add Layers
The last step to pull your outfit together is to accessorize! Accessories and layers can add depth and texture to your photos. Choose a few accessories that enhance the outfit instead of distracting from it. That might be a pair of boots, a hat, or some jewelry. Depending on the weather, add a jacket or shawl as an outer layer.
Coordinate, Don't Match
If you are taking photos with your partner or family, ensuring everyone’s outfits look great together can be an extra challenge. Instead of looking for matching outfits, try coordinating your outfits by using complementary colors! To check and ensure all your colors will look good together, you can lay out everyone's outfits side by side. It can also help if one person selects their outfit first, then everyone else can coordinate their outfits.
Outfits for Your Photoshoot
In conclusion, it’s always best to embrace your personal style when choosing outfits for your photoshoot! Make sure everything fits well and makes you feel great. Play with complementary colors to coordinate your outfits instead of matching. And don’t forget to add accessories and layers! Here are some photos from some of my favorite photoshoots with a few different styles of outfits. Looking to plan a photoshoot here in New Mexico? Let’s chat!