Our clients often ask us what they should wear to their photo shoot. While everyone certainly has their own unique style and body type, we’ve come up with a list of some general tips for picking the right outfit(s) for your photos. These tips will help you feel comfortable and uniquely you during your photo session.
1. Choose dark over bright.
Darker colors help to slenderize bodies, and also bring the focus of photos more to the face (the most important part!). Bright colors, on the other hand, tend to attract attention away from the face, and may even be reflective. We recommend that clients steer away from neon colors and choose lighter, pastel tones instead, as these colors work much better in natural settings.
2. Stick to solids.
While certain subdued patterns and designs may be okay, clothing that is too busy is an unwanted distraction in photos. For that reason, we recommend that clients avoid wearing clothing with logos, prints, or patterns, and instead stick with solid color clothing. Because solid color clothing can sometimes look flat, we recommend using a variety of textures instead (think pairing a cable-knit sweater with flattering denim and leather boots).
3. Don’t go too casual.
If you’re paying for professional photos, you should definitely dress up more than you usually would for a casual outing. Avoid strapless tops, white tees, sweatpants or joggers, baseball caps, and athletic wear. These clothing items are generally not very flattering in photos, and just look too casual. There are exceptions of course, but in general, you’ll want to choose an outfit that is more dressy than what you normally wear at home.
4. Avoid overaccessorizing.
Dramatic jewelry and other accessories can be a major distraction in photos. As a general rule, simple, minimal choices are best. If you’re not sure about your choices, you can also go without any jewelry or accessories or bring them along and ask your photographer before the shoot starts.
5. Choose low contrast outfits.
Low contrast outfits (outfits where your top and bottom are similarly colored) photograph well. If you’re wearing a white shirt, go for a lighter color bottom. Vice versa, if you’re choosing a black top, go for gray or dark denim bottoms instead of tan or light denim.
6. Long sleeves, pants, and dresses are preferred.
In general, long is more flattering. Showing a lot of skin can be a distraction, and can take away from the focus of the photos. Longer sleeves, pants, and dresses can cover up any areas that you may be insecure about, and flatter your body in a way that you’re comfortable with.
7. Accentuate your favorite features.
When choosing an outfit for your photo shoot, pick something that makes you feel confident. The clothes you choose for your shoot should flatter your body, and make you feel comfortable. Take some time before your shoot to try some of your favorite pieces out in front of a mirror. Look at your body from different angles, and make sure that you are happy with what you see.
8. Choose a limited palette (2-4 colors) for group photos.
If you’re taking group or family photos, you don’t want things to be too matchy-matchy. Instead, we recommend choosing a smaller palette of colors (about 2-4 works great) for everyone’s outfits. A great rule of thumb for coordinating outfits for group photos is to pick one item of clothing with a few colors (like mom or daughter’s dress) and pull colors from that for everyone else to wear. Using different textures in the same few colors can also add some great contrast, while still looking put together.
9. Don’t change your hair too close to the photo shoot.
If you plan to try a new cut or style before your shoot, we recommend doing it at least two weeks before. That way, you will have experience with your new style and will be more comfortable with it during your photo shoot. If you have longer hair, we recommend bringing along a few hair clips or bobby pins in case of wind.
10. Always bring a second outfit.
When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to bring a second outfit to your photo shoot. A secondary outfit that has a different look and feel from your first choice will help you to get a good variety of photos. Wearing a different outfit may affect the way you carry yourself, which can change the way you look in your photos.
With these tips, picking out the perfect outfit(s) for your next photo shoot doesn’t have to be intimidating. When in doubt, always check in with your photographer for feedback. At Airavata Studios, our team of professional photographers is always ready and willing to offer guidance so that you feel comfortable and valued during your session with us.