Let’s talk clothes.
If you’re anything like me, I know how overwhelming it can feel to decide what to wear for photos. Just getting dressed on a regular day is hard enough for me. Ha!
Here are some guidelines to help you all look awesome, while making sure that the photos are focused on your love and not what you are wearing. Chances are you have better style than me, but this is what I’ve found seems to work best from trial and error. These are guidelines, not rules. You can show up wearing whatever you want!
Ultimately, I want you guys to look like yourselves. Don’t feel like if you don’t follow these guidelines that your photos are not going to be good. By far, the most important thing is that you all feel and look like yourselves, how you normally dress, so you can be as comfortable as possible! It’s tempting to go shopping for new clothes before a shoot, but I don’t necessarily recommend it. Bring things you already love. You can wear an old t-shirt and jean shorts if that is you. Jeans people? Rock them. Want to dress up all fancy? Awesome.
Wear what represents you guys now. Don’t force outfits.
Here’s a few guidelines:
Bring options. I always suggest having back up clothing. This is beyond important for families with children. In 75% of my shoots, kids go in the water. This number goes up to about 90% when I shoot on the beach. It’s just too tempting for them! Some of my favorite shots are little girls in dresses in the water, but a change of clothing is usually a good thing, too. Adults as well, you’ll be happier if you have a choice or two in the car that we can pick and pull from… even if we don't touch them. Don’t bring your whole closet though.
This might sound super strange, but consider your underwear. Make sure it doesn’t show ahead of time. And men, have a place to put your wallet and phone so it’s not in your back pocket. Ladies, bring a hair tie just in case.
Make sure it makes sense.
Think about the weather, temperature, conditions, and locations, and plan around it.
If you’re camping or playing on the water it wouldn’t make sense to be fancy.
If we are hiking, bring grippy shoes.
If we are beaching it, bare feet are usually the best choice.
If it’s freezing cold outside, bring layers and warm clothes with wool socks.
If it’s going to be sweltering hot, bring airy options so you don’t have sweaty pit stains in the photos.
Be as comfortable as you can be!
Comfortable fabric is a must while shooting because it also tends to move beautifully. Broken in clothing is easier to move around in. Clothing and accessories that catch wind are AWESOME choices as well. They add so much drama and energy. Yes, please.
I typically recommend neutrals with pops of brighter neutral colors. Neutral can be colorful, too - shades of orange, red, mustards, blues can be neutral such as this example here. Avoid bright and distracting colors. Neons and fluorescents usually don’t look great.
Check out my galleries for color inspiration.
Black or dark brown can photograph flat, and I don’t recommend them. If you want to wear a black dress though, I’m not going to stop you!
Patterns can be tricky. In general, avoid loud and crazy patterns. Subtle and more minimal are better choices. Avoid wearing too many patterns together because it can overwhelm the images and distract from everything else.
A flannel pattern on men is always awesome.
Every member in the family should not be wearing a pattern - one or two max.
Hats are always a good choice.
I get really excited when people show up with hats, sunglasses, jewelry, and scarves.
Let’s be clear here. I’m not talking about anything cheesy here.
Props can be: a blanket, a bike, a dog (hopefully yours), beer, snacks for the kids, pizza, your child’s favorite book or toy, your car, flowers, a SUP board, etc. Let me know what you want to bring!
Hair + Makeup
I’m going to come back to this - it’s important that you look like yourself. If you want to get your hair and makeup done because that’s your thing, then knock your socks off. Somewhere in the middle? That’s great, too. Wear the kind of make up you like to wear. Avoid trends. If you are a bare faced gal than go bare faced. I know I personally prefer to look like me, and never feel right when someone else has done my hair or put eyeliner on me. If you have a pimple, I’ll edit it out. Don’t worry. Pimples are one of the few things I photoshop for.
Be careful on self-tanner. It can look orange or splotchy. And while I’m talking about skin, please be careful with your time in the sun before the shoot. I do not edit out tan lines, and sunburns can be made to look not quite so red, but it’s much easier not having one in general.