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The Step-by-Step of your “Outfit of the Day”

As a wedding photographer, I’m always at special events capturing a couple’s magical moments. On the side, I’m a family and portrait photographer, where the type of work ranges from baby showers to family to individuals. These types of engagements typically consist of clients who have little to no modeling experience. They don’t quite know what to wear coming into a shoot. Unlike a wedding, there is no exact dress code for them to follow. To help answer their questions, I like to send out a guideline to my clients on how they should dress. Outfits do indeed enhance the photo and every set can give off a different story. For this post, I will be laying out and my “Dos and Dont’s” for what to wear at a photoshoot in hopes to help you in any future engagement.

Before I lay out my suggestions, I want to mention that all the recommendations are based on my photography style and the type of engagements I work with. A majority of my shoots are shot outside and during the day. Therefore, I work with a lot of light which results in higher exposure photos. I also work with a set of more neutral colors such as green, brown, and yellow. When it comes to the end goal of my photos, I aim for colors on the lighter side which provides brighter energy. I will give my recommendations starting from the top of the outfit and work my way to the bottom. Continue reading to get the perfect outfit for your shoot!

I believe that the top is the most important part of an individual’s outfit. The top leads the way for the rest of the outfit. For gentlemen, a button-up, polo, or t-shirt with an optional jacket is always the move. For the ladies, a nice top or sundress will provide good results. Always stick to solid colors with no big patterns so that viewers’ eyes won’t be distracted.  Light colors always work in bright situations; examples could be baby blue, tan, light pink, etc. I always go with lighter colors because light will always reflect off of it and distribute among the surrounding. This will give the photo an overall bright color composition. Of course, if you prefer to wear other colors it’s totally fine. Darker tones will give more of a contrast and provides a popping effect. Having a certain image in mind will help determine what type of color attire to wear. 

For the bottom portion, this includes the pants and shoes. Any dark-colored pants or light tan is suitable. Jeans are also a good option! Remember when choosing pants that it needs to match with the top you want to wear. Then working our way down I always recommend a belt the same colors as the shoes. Shoes and belts should stay within the darker colors. Don’t wear sandals to a shoot unless the photographer’s specified. The only open-toed shoes that are fine are heels. With these tips, your top and bottom half should complement each other! 

For socks, it’s important to wear long socks if you’re planning on wearing shoes to avoid the ankles awkwardly showing when sitting. I would say that it doesn’t matter what type of socks you stick with. When clients want to wear goofy socks it does add some diversity to the gallery. If you don’t want to wear goofy socks, then a black long sock is a safe route to stick with.

I always remind my clients to iron or steam their outfits before the shoot. I have been guilty of doing this step and when I see my creases it just bothers me the whole day!  If I can notice them on myself then I can notice them in photos. This small step will do wonders for the final edit of the photo!

Thank you for reading my Do’s and Dont’s when it comes to these types of shoots. It can be very confusing on what type of attire is expected when going into these engagements. You check out the photos below to see how the recommendations were applied! I hope that these tips help you or your clients in deciding what to wear in the future! If you have any questions please leave a comment or send me a message.

  • lisa

    I wish I asked you beforehand! Great points!

    August 23, 2019 at 9:03 pm