What Should I Wear to My Photo Shoot?

So you've booked your family shoot, and you're now stuck with the dilemma of what to wear, or what to dress the rest of your family in! 

I'm here to help. :) There are many things to simply be aware of, many "trends" we want to avoid, and most of all, many GREAT options for your shoot. Here are some things to consider:

1) Let's try to not be matchy-matchy.

We all have seen those photos of the family in jeans and white or black shirts. Everyone looks EXACTLY the same. While we care more about your faces, they seem to be lost within a sea of white and denim, and those great, smiling faces turn into floating heads.

If you REALLY want your shoot to be mostly denim and white, add new textures. Can someone have on a simple plaid pattern one with subtle stripes, one with a colorful scarf or shoes? We want everyone to "go" together, but we don't all want to look exactly the same.  

I found myself in a similar dilemma this year. As I tried to coordinate our outfit, I realized, we simply didn't have much that "went" with anything that I, personally, had hanging in my closet, so we went with a blue pallet and added a little pop of color on my little one. Do we match perfectly? No, but does it work? Well, I'd like to think so! 

2) Try NOT to blend into your surroundings. 

It is SUPER tempting to book a fall shoot and want to wear oranges, browns, reds and yellows, but let me give you a reason to avoid matching your background: WE CAN'T SEE YOU!  :) I LOVE fall shoots, however, with how beautiful the trees look, we want YOU to be the focus of your photo and not get lost in all the colors of the season. These families NAILED their outfits for their autumn shoots. (And p.s. That plum color looks awesome this time of year!) 

Takeaway: Don't blend into your surroundings. 

3) Choose outfits that won't cast a harsh color onto your faces.

I'm gonna say this: I love neon colors. They're fun, they make your tan look stellar, but they also cast that exact color onto your face. 

Avoid bright colors or bows right next to your face. If you want that color to be a "color pop" in your photos, try to make it a subtle addition to your wardrobe and not the main event, OR wear it on your bottom half. :)

If your face is naturally more red, avoid wearing a red shirt, as that will just make you look even MORE red. Sure, I can edit that out, but we'll lose a little detail on your face if I get to edit all of that out! Here are examples of what WORKS in a shoot:

I absolutely loved the blues and oranges in the first family's choice of clothes. Her scarf wasn't overpowering her great smile, and his color, while it had brighter colors, wasn't able to cast any undesirable colors onto his face. They looked awesome and bright for their location and time of year. 

Notice how the red sweater works in the other shoot, because it is overcast and a more "plain" or wintery scene. We shot that around Valentines Day, and her outfit was awesome for the time of year and the location. She also doesn't naturally have a super red face (or if she does, it was totally unnoticeable due to the overcast day we had this shoot), and the red was not ultra bright. It WORKS. Also take note of how her hubby wore a navy blue. They went well together but didn't blend together! 

4) Avoid bulk.

Friends, I am a huge fan of layering your clothes, but avoid extra "bulk", unless that's the look you're going for. Anything right up around the neck, puffy vests, or several layers WILL add bulk. Men usually enjoy that sort of thing, while women usually are more critical of their bodies and won't love the photos as much. YES, layer, but be mindful of how many you are putting on! 

Look at those layers! This family did a great job layering but keeping it simple. Also, take note of their great color pops hidden in there. Great outfit choices! They aren't matchy-matchy, but they "go" well together! 

Look at those layers! This family did a great job layering but keeping it simple. Also, take note of their great color pops hidden in there. Great outfit choices! They aren't matchy-matchy, but they "go" well together! 

5) Last but not least, be aware of the "cuts" of your tops (this is for my ladies ;) )

Now, before you get offended and think I am singling women out for low cut tops, I'm not here to preach to you about modesty. I will leave your convictions concerning your choice of clothing to you, unless it's just outright inappropriate, and I don't feel comfortable having those photos on my computer at home--this has never happened, so I'm certain you won't have to worry about it! 

This is mostly just about being aware of what happens when you bend over,  if I have you bend down to interact with your child, if you have to lean over while sitting, or if you're laying on your stomachs for a shot (which, we really only do if it's a last ditch attempt to get a shot with an energetic toddler ;) ) So this PSA isn't for me, it's for YOU, as I want you to feel as comfortable as possible. So many great shots have been trashed because of a wardrobe malfunction my clients didn't even know was happening, so do a little bend-over test. I'm sure your husband won't mind helping you out, you'll feel comfortable and free to move around, and you'll have more photos to choose from when all is said and done!

There are plenty of tips that I can give you, but hopefully, these 5 get you on the right path to choosing outfits for you and your family.  If you are struggling to figure out if your outfits are a good choice, you can easily message or email me, and we'll discuss them! I'm sure you'll do great! 


Shawna Pence