Photo Style Guide: What to Wear (& Not Wear)

One of the most common questions I get, no matter the type of session, is what should I/we wear?

I am always happy to answer that question. In fact, I encourage my clients to text/email me their ideas or to send me photos of actual outfits before the session so I can provide input and let them know if I think it will work with their vision for the shoot.

In order for you to get the most of your session, we are going to go over some do’s and don’ts for styling your session.

For Individuals:

  1.  Go for solids and/or large patterns. Feeling extra bold? Mix a solid color with a large pattern. If you want the more romantic, whimsical feel you’ll love pastels, off-whites and soft prints. If you want a more dramatic feel, choose bold and bright. If I’m styling you to my portfolio, I lean towards the jewel tones, but in the end these are your photos so pick a color you look good in and matches your theme.
  2.  Avoid small/busy prints. Small prints and stripes do not photograph well so it’s best to steer clear. 
  3.  Pick an accessory to be a statement piece (if you so choose), but don’t overdo it. One statement is all you need and the rest should compliment, but not stand out. Unless it’s for product, we want you to be the focus.
  4. Build your outfit with visual interest. Find items that have texture, wear layers, or something with some ruffles. Pair these textures with something simple.

For Groups:

  1. Coordinate your outfits, but don’t match. Trends have changed from everyone wearing the same exact outfit, to coordinated colors. Choose a color scheme and select your outfits based on that. This way you can allow for individuality and get creative while still keeping with a consistent theme. 
  2. Avoid lots of small prints and everyone in the same color. Too many prints gets overwhelming to the eye and is distracting. Wear colors that compliment each other, but aren’t exactly the same. And if someone is going to wear a print, it should be one or a max of two people. Everyone else should wear a solid color.
  3. Minimize accessories. The more people, the busier a photo will be so you’ll want to reduce that and make sure the focus is on your connection and not the accessories.
  4. No Logos! Avoid shirts with big logos printed on them. Stick to basic solids or patterns to avoid drawing the eye away and distracting. Also, nothing dates a photo like a big logo. 

The best advice I can give is to wear something you feel comfortable in. You will feel your best when you are comfortable and trust me, when you feel good in your clothes it shines through. 

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wedding and portrait photography

chico & northern california