Why It Matters
Yay! You're booked! I'm SO flipping excited for our session, as I'm sure you are too. But in all the excitement, I'm guessing the thought has already entered your head... "What the HECK do we wear???"
No fear. I got you boo. ;) Keep reading. I'll answer and ease all your questions and concerns in this guide.
Here's the deal. I want you to look back on these photos and really FEEL the moments. I want you to feel the love you have for each other, the quirks, the silly moments, and the messy, beautiful in between moments. I mean, that's why you hired me, right? ;) In order to capture all that, clothing matters. Your outfit choices play a HUGE role in making that happen successfully. I want all the focus to be on YOU and your love, and while some outfits are freaking awesome in real life, in photos they can be hella distracting from the main point.. ummm that's YOU babe. ;) Now keep in mind, everything I'm about to tell you is a guideline, not a rulebook. The main point is that you guys are comfortable and feel 100% yourselves. I want these photos to represent you both and your personalities. At the end of the day, if you show up wearing a clown suit because clown suits are your fave, then clown suit it is. ;)
So here we go: Wearing something you would normally wear is a great start! I know it's SO tempting to want to go out and buy something brand new for a photoshoot, but I actually discourage people from doing that. Simply because if something hasn't had time to be worn in, you might not feel as comfortable in it - and that will ultimately affect the candid, fun photos we're able to get. If new jeans are too stiff or that new dress you just bought doesn't fit right like it did in the dressing room, you aren't going to feel 100% comfortable, and that's a no in my book. Comfort is everything when getting those candid, authentic, and REAL shots! Wanna show up in an old band t-shirt and ripped jeans? HECK yes, do it. Plus, your guy will most likely be 1000% more down for photos if he's wearing something he naturally feels comfortable wearing like a plain black tee and ripped jeans. We all know men are typically not super gung ho for photoshoots to begin with. ;) If you guys wanna go fancier, go for it, just make sure it's something you would actually wear and is comfortable! Comfort over everything, remember!? ;) For this reason I highly discourage girls from wearing heels (unless you can walk like Heidi Klum on a runway in them haha). I suggest leaving them behind for something more comfortable and easier to move in - i.e. boots, sandals, flats, etc..) For most of my shoots, we're either on a beach or going on some sort of hiking trail, so heels won't make much sense anyway. Speaking of which.. leads me to the next point!
Make sure it makes sense
Wherever our session is happening, make sure your wardrobe choices make logistical sense with the location. For example, like I mentioned above, high heels on a mountaintop will look pretty silly, not to mention dangerous. If we're shooting here in Hawaii, then a thick sweater wouldn't make sense. Likewise, if we're in the mountains of Colorado and it's cold, maybe stray away from something that shows your legs and arms otherwise you'll be freezing. If it's cold outside, wear multiple layers with fun, warm accessories like beanies, flat brim hats, scarves, flannels, etc.. If it's warm outside (like nearly all of my Hawaii sessions are) then make sure to wear clothing that breathes easy so we don't see any of those nasty pit stains! ;) For in home sessions, think of wearing something that actually makes sense to wear in your home. The more skin the better typically for in home sessions! Not saying you need to be naked at all, but think of when you're casually lounging at home anyway. Comfy pants or jeans with a simple tee looks authentic, whereas a fancy dress in your kitchen just creates something off in the image since it doesn't make sense. Again, these guidelines are to just help you feel the most comfortable possible. If you are freezing or worrying about sweat stains, it prevents us from being truly in the moment to get more of those authentic shots you're hiring me for!
Bring MULTIPLE outfit options! Most people bring about 4-5 different shirts, a couple of dresses, and a few pant options. There's a few reasons why I say this! Depending on where we're shooting and the landscape, what you guys wear plays a HUGE role in how the images come out - and we both want them to be the absolute BEST! :) I love having your outfits flow with the scenery, compliment the colors of the sky or the landscape, so as we hike or change locations, having different outfits available is super handy! Depending on the weather of the day of your session, we could get bright sun, we could get clouds, storms, it could be hot or cold... you get the idea. I want to make sure your outfits make sense with the weather and that you're comfortable at all times. So having a jacket handy if it's chilly or just having different options to cater to the weather and lighting is best! Also be prepared for the adventure of potentially changing in your car or in the wilderness depending on where we are!
Clothing that shows movement or allows movement to happen is always my favorite, because it infuses energy into the image. Anything long and flowy like a maxi dress or skirt will almost always look better than a short stiff skirt. Not only does it limit the wind from moving through your outfit, but stiff items of clothing can be more uncomfortable and prevent us from doing some prompts and actions to get candid shots. For guys, slightly oversized tee's that can catch the wind look amazing! Infusing energy into my images via movement is another reason I LOVE wind. A lot of photographers hate it because people's hair get's out of place, but I personally love when we get that windswept hair across your face look (and I'm guessing you dig that too since you hired me!) Embrace wind. Embrace movement. Yeah!?
When choosing what colors to wear, I highly recommend staying away from neons and bright, fluorescent colors. When a color is super loud and bright, it distracts the viewer from the main point (aka YOU) and makes it all about your outfit instead. Notice how in the photo on the right the guy has a super bright pink/coral shirt, and it kind of distracts your eye from the connection happening in the photo? No bueno. Neutrals, earth tones, and metallics all look AMAZING since I shoot outdoors a lot and those tones are more earthy if that makes sense! I love trying to color match your outfits to the landscape a little bit - which is why different options are good depending on where we go when shooting! And when I say neutral that doesn't mean you have to wear no color. :) Every color has a neutral in my opinion. Orange? Think burnt orange. Green? Forest green. Yellow? Mustard. Blue? Dusty sky blue or navy. You get the idea. haha. That said, you cannot go wrong with whites, blacks, and any form of beige, brown, etc.. Here's a bunch of examples of colors that work really well with the landscape and with each other below!
Patterns can be great in photos, but have the opportunity to get real crazy real quick. So be wary when choosing patterns. Don't be afraid of patterns, but make sure they are simple, delicate, soft patterns. Big, loud, bold, patterns while awesome to wear in life, get SO distracting in your photos. When viewing your photos I don't want the viewers eye to be immediately drawn to what you're wearing instead of YOU, and loud patterns tend to distract the eye. Instead of thinking of your clothing as fashion statement pieces, think of your clothing for a photoshoot as complimenting the main thing - aka YOUR LOVE. I want your clothing to compliment you both, not become the star of the show. That's what fashion photography is for. ;)