For some people, there’s a lot of stress that goes into choosing an outfit (ladies, I’m mostly speaking to you). For others, you might not have a real taste for fashion and style. That’s okay! But clothing is an important part of photos. It can highlight you and how you feel. It can also be distracting, or even be an embarrassing joke years later.
I hope my thoughts help guide your outfit decisions. Ultimately, it’s all about making you feel happy and comfortable.
OPTIONS: YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND
Typically, most people bring around 5 tops and 3 bottoms so we can mix and match and pair them with the location. I would love if you could send me some options ahead of time to glance at!
CHOOSE COMFORT OVER LOOKS
It might be tempting to want to wear something that looks really cool or you think is just drop-dead gorgeous, but might not be very comfortable or realistic to pair with your partner. If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, you’re probably going to looks uncomfortable in every photo. So ladies, toss the pencil skirt and boxy dress back in the closet, and leave that stiff button-up shirt in the wrinkled pile on the floor, gentlemen. Come comfortable!
Think about what you might be doing in each outfit, not the outfit itself. How would those tight leather pants feel cross-legged? Would it reveal too much to only bring dresses and not able to jump on your partner’s back?
When choosing what to wear, don’t “dress up.” Guys should never wear a suit, tie, and I rarely recommend a shirt tucked in. Ladies, a dress is always nice, but don’t get too formal. Have a baggy sweater you love? Great. Scared of wearing a long-sleeve tee? Don’t be.
TONES + COLORS
Let’s be honest: your friends might comment on your “pretty dress” later, but don’t you want intimacy to be the focus? I want your faces and postures to stick out, not your clothes. That way, we can focus on emotion, not rely on a trendy outfit.
I typically recommend people lean towards neutrals, earthy tones, and metallics and to stay away from bright colors. This doesn’t mean just creams and browns and grays. There are neutrals for every single color! Instead of green, go for a soft forest green. Instead of red, go with a deep maroon. Instead of yellow, go for a mustard yellow and so on. This doesn’t mean you need to show up as colorless blobs! When you’re choosing colors, just think about what is going to pop more: you, or your clothes?
In my experience, bright or fluorescent colors don’t really trend well over the course of years and often take away from the environment in the photo and what’s going on with you.
I tell most people to choose colors that are complementary to their skin tones. So unless you have olive skin tone or darker, steer clear of reds, oranges, and pinks (for the most part).
A lot of time, the colors you wear will reflect onto your skin because the light bounces off it (especially indoors). The light intensifies those colors and makes it pretty tough for me to edit your skin tone.
If you’re going to wear a pattern, I typically only want it to be one piece of your clothing. Patterns can be our friend, but in moderation. Combining patterns can be very tricky, especially with what your partner chooses to wear.
Big, chunky patterns are a no. Neutral flannels are okay and florals can be tasteful too, but let’s triple-check the pattern before saying yes.
Logos are really good to stay away from, but we can pull it off if we complement your partner’s outfit well. Before picking it, let’s talk about it!
I’m not really picky about shoes, but ladies: heels are a bad choice 99% of the time. Not only because you’re not comfortable, but because we might do quite a bit of walking. Wear shoes that are comfortable! Most of the time, they barely make it into the photo anyway.
COMPLEMENTARY VS. MATCHING
Complementary is good. Matching is bad. When people match, they tend to blend together too much, ending up looking like a big blob in photos.
Complementary means the variety of colors, textures, accessories, patterns, and tones all sing together while there is still separation from each of you and the background.
In short, don’t wear the same colors. This isn’t the 1990’s!
ABOVE ALL, BE HAPPY!
Remember, in the end, these photos are for you and no one else. Your outfit choice isn’t going to change your life, just make for a better photo. I ultimately want you to be happy with what you’re wearing.
Still need more inspiration? I have a Pinterest board full of great ideas.