What should we wear for our Photo Shoot?

When a client has booked a shoot I always get asked “What should we wear?”   The answer to this question differs from shoot to shoot since some of what I shoot is outdoors and some are indoors.  Some shoots might be themed and other more relaxed.  However, there are a few “rules” I, and many other photographers, generally stick to.  Let’s have a look at some of them.

  1. Keep location in mind

If we are going to the Kgaswane Mountain Nature Reserve then heels and an evening gown are probably not the best choice. Likewise, flip flops and a skirt are not wise if we’ll be hiking through the tall grass in Rhenosterfontein. Those are practical choices that are sometimes forgotten when we are deciding which shoes go with our outfits when getting dressed at home. Always check with your photographer if you’re unsure about what the location is like.

  1. Just be You

You will not feel comfortable with images of yourself wearing a striped maxi dress, if you are a woman who almost always wears jeans and flip flops. Similarly, men forced into a suit that always wear shorts and T-shirts are going to feel like they are the laughing stock of the family. If you usually dress in a very informal style (may I call it sloppy?)  And you do not want pictures of your sloppy self; I suggest finding some middle ground without completely losing your individual style. When you look at photos, you want to remember the good feelings you experienced and not how uncomfortable you were because your heels were too high. Just try and be you all the way.

  1. Avoid Mitchy-Matchy

Yes.  In my world, that is a word.

The photos of the whole family wearing jeans and white T-shirts are a little bit old-school and I believe we’ve moved on from there. Nowadays, the most visually pleasing photos have everyone in more or less the same color scheme but without being mitchy-matchy. Think of about four or five colours that you want everyone to wear that go well together like browns, blues and creams. If you like, you can add a pop of colour.  An Aqua or a Turquoise will complement the browns, blues and creams very nicely.

  1. Make your mama proud

Did she not teach you to always iron your clothes?  Let’s face it….a wrinkled shirt will not make pretty photos.  Always be neat.  Iron your clothes (and they should be clean of course) Wear clothes that fit you, in other words avoid too tight or too loose fitting clothes.  These don’t flatter anybody.

  1. Let’s talk patterns

I am a jeans-and-flip-flops-kind-of-gal myself, so I don’t personally wear patterns but I have always admired people who do.  Patterns CAN be beautiful in a photo if you do it right.  The trick is to avoid having too many different patterns in a photo.  A great way of incorporating a pattern is by having only one person wear patterned clothing, and the rest wear colours that match with that pattern.  Like this example of the little girl (in the Featured Image up top) wearing a flower pattern dress and the rest of the family wearing colours that feature in her dress.

So, now you have the guidelines of what you should wear to your shoot……go rummage through your wardrobe and find that perfect outfit (not forgetting the perfect shoes) and if you can’t find something you like you have my full permission to go shopping!



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