Here are a few suggestions to help you on your way:
- Think about what you are going to use the photos for. Is it quite formal or do you want fun images to put up around your house? Do you want to use the picture to create an invite for an event or a card to make an announcement? The purpose of the final image will give you an idea to the style of clothing you should choose.
- If you are doing a solo shoot, what you wear can be a completely unique; you can even give Lady Gaga a run for her money. In a group, it looks best if everyone is co-ordinated. You can still go Gaga, but make sure the others in the pic will go there with you. A theme is good, but it can be as simple as everyone wears jeans and a t-shirt.
- Talking about jeans and a t-shirt... Stick to one style. Everyone casual or everyone formal or...
- Bright, solid colours work well, with a neutral, like black or white. You do not have to go and buy matching outfits, but use your theme. If it’s black and red, one person could wear red and black, one only red and one only black, but don’t wear blue.
- Unless you are trying to achieve a muted look, preferably stay away from pastels. Pastels just don’t pop. And don’t be the only one wearing pastel if everyone decided brights. You might stand out, but not in a good way. Babies can get away with pastels in baby only shots.
- Rather don't wear logos. Unless the brand is paying you, in which case: wear the logo with pride.
- Everyone wearing white shirts and blue jeans works great on location (where you are often against a green or brown background – you know, trees and leaves). In my studio something like everyone wears for example jeans, black and a bright works well (big white wall). You can wear white in the studio - gives a very "pure" look, but bring a colourful "something" along.
- Patterns can work very well, as long as it is not overpowering. Smaller "artistic" (in other words vague) patterns work better than big and bold. Remember, the focus should be on you, not your clothes.
- Comfortable shoes are essential for location shoots; in the studio we often go bare. (Feet that is.)
- I’m not a fan of ironing, but crease-free clothes just looks better (not starched to death either though). And clean is good. If you have pets, a brush down might be a good call.
- Not quite about what you wear, but if you are doing a natural lifestyle shoot, do you hair and make-up as you usually do, maybe just spend 10 minutes instead of 5. If you are doing a glamour shoot or a portfolio shoot you can bring on the war-paint and big hair, but it might be a good idea to do a test run with your hairdresser/makeup artist first.
- If you have an hour or more studio shoot you can always bring a change or two of clothes. For shorter shoot and on location where changing is tricky, a jacket or scarf can bring some variety.
- Most importantly – be comfortable in what you wear. If you haven’t worn a dress since kindergarten and the whole time you worry about how your legs look sticking out the bottom of the one you are wearing for the shoot, it will show on your face. Be yourself.
For the sample pictures below the Hunn family was nice enough to demonstrate some of what is mentioned above. I tried to get shots with a similar feel, so that you can see the impact of the clothing choices.
A big THANK YOU to the Hunns.
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