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What Should I Wear ​

We have your portrait session scheduled; we’ve gone over the details, where to meet, and brainstormed photo concepts. There’s a lot going on, and I’m sure you’re thinking, “I’m excited, a little nervous, and uh oh, WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR!?!??!”

If you’re freaking out a little, that’s okay! Wearing the “right” outfit for your session is pretty important, but the World isn't going to end if you choose the wrong outfit. We’re still going to have a great experience and capture some dope ass images.

Female looking at red dress hanging on back of bathroom door.

I definitely understand. I know your portraits are important to you, and I aim to make your session go as smooth and carefree as possible. To help, I’ve included a quick guide for what to wear, so you can look and feel your best for your portraits. These tips are applicable to fashion portraits, headshots, family portraits, group portraits, and really any kind of photography you can think of except boudoir.

So let’s walk through it. What should you wear for your portrait session?

Avoid Patterns, Logos, Graphics, And Illustrations

Pretty straightforward here, they can be distracting. Also, cameras do weird things with tight patterns and produce a funky pixelation effect.

Simple Is Better

The more complex your outfit, the more you’ll be fidgeting with it during the session to make sure it looks exactly right. Keep it simple so you can focus on having a good time during your portrait session!

Wear Clothes That Give You Confidence

Select clothing that makes you feel unstoppable when you put it on. If you have a pair of jeans, a dress or a Fedora that makes you feel like a rock star, try to make it part of your ensemble. Dressing confidently helps influence your mood during a portrait session. If you feel confident, it’ll show up in your images.

Dress Accordingly

Dress for The Weather

Don’t torture yourself! If it’s cold out, then wear the appropriate attire, such as a jacket, maybe even a sweater. If you’re miserable and uncomfortable, then your face will reflect that in the images. It’s hard to smile happily when you're shivering from the cold elements. At a minimum, bring the appropriate clothing and wear it when you’re not actively getting your picture taken. If it’s super hot out, let's try to schedule your shoot early in the morning or late afternoon/evening. Match Your Surroundings Unless you live for irony or we're going for a specific concept, a tux and a ballgown do not fit well with a forest scene. If you’re shooting in Uptown Charlotte, then dress it up a bit. And if it manages to snow, then don’t be afraid to layer it up with a jacket, vest, or sweater! Match Your Activity This goes along with the above tips – if we’re trekking to the top of a mountain, you may want to leave the Crocks or Uggs at home. At the same time, if we’re going to a farm or field, don’t be afraid to pull out the cowboy hat and boots!

Mind Your Underwear

Something to keep in mind is the color and fit of your undergarments. If you’re wearing a white shirt, ladies, don’t wear a bright red bra underneath. Double-check your outfits with your selected undergarments of choice to make sure they compliment each other. The safe option is to go with nude-toned pieces. Guys, make sure your boxers don’t bunch up underneath your pants. It could look odd or suggestive.

Minimize Jewelry

Jewelry can be a big distraction from you, the subject. I typically don't recommend wearing much jewelry, but if you do, try to wear pieces that are small and minimalist.

Clear Out Your Pockets

Talking to the guys here. Take your phone and your keys out of your pockets and put them into a separate bag. Objects create bulges in pants pockets and can draw attention away from the overall image.

Avoid Pure Black Or White

These colors are excellent; I just suggest adding a bit of texture to them.

Bring Hair Ties Or Hair Clips In Case Of Wind

There are few things more annoying on a photoshoot than the wind blowing hair all over the place and ruining all the hard work your MUA put in. Hair clips, bobby pins, and a hair tie (as a last resort) will make pictures in the wind more manageable and keep you looking put together

If Wearing Heels, Bring A Set Of Comfy Shoes Too

When wearing heels for your portraits, I suggest changing into them when you get on location. After 45 minutes of standing on your feet, you’ll be grateful for a pair of sneakers, especially if you’re walking between locations. Change back into your comfy shoes until it’s time to shoot again.

Use A Similar Color Palette

For group and family portraits, try to have everyone wear similar color tones, such as all neutrals or all-natural tones. This will make everyone in the group look cohesive and like they belong together. If one person wears something different, like a highlighter yellow shirt when everyone else is wearing pastel blues, then all the attention will go to that individual.

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