April 29, 2021
As photographers, this is one of the questions we get asked most often after couples and families book with us…..what should I/we wear to our photography session?
No matter what you wear, you want to feel confident and relaxed so first and foremost start with what you love!
The next thing to consider is the time of year or season that you will be having your photos taken. Obviously light-weight, cool fabrics are a must in the heat of summer, while fall and winter make us think of sweaters and boots and maybe even thicker coats.
The season also tends to dictate the colours you choose, but if you have a certain colour that you really love to wear, wear it!
Then thinking about the place or location where you will get your photos taken is a must! Will it be at the beach? Along a pathway in the woods? Downtown with a cityscape in the background? You may want to choose your outfit based on the formality (next to an historic building, for example) or informality of the setting (perhaps at the beach). In fact, how you like to dress may determine the location. Do you love dressing in casual clothes or more formal attire? Are you happiest in jeans?
Above all, you will want to wear what you are most comfortable in.….and what suits the setting you or your photographer have chosen! If it’s an engagement session you may end up choosing 2 different looks – one more casual and one more formal. The photos that you take may end up being used for ‘save the date’ cards or perhaps for a keepsake photo album for you and/or your family, or as a canvas on your wall, so having 2 looks can give you the options you need.
Next, solid (seasonal) colours are best. You will want to avoid overly large patterns or prints if possible. Small, flowered or patterned prints may work if your partner is wearing solid colours. Or, if some in your family will wear patterns, having the rest of you in solid colours helps to balance it out. Ultimately you don’t want everyone in patterns!
Clothing with texture photographs well also (think chunky, solid coloured sweaters for fall and winter, or linen for summer). If you really want to bring in something with pattern, keep it simple with a patterned shirt under a solid colour sweater, as an example.
Ultimately a timeless, simple look will photograph the best.
Also, you will want to avoid being too coordinated, or too ‘matchy-matchy’ with everyone being photographed wearing the same outfit (for example, everyone wearing white shirts and blue jeans). Light-coloured fabrics are great choices, ensuring no strange-coloured shadows or reflections on the others being photographed next to you. This may be easier in spring and summer than in fall and winter, but ideally the lighter the colours the better. Even choosing sweaters in lighter colours help brighten an image overall.
Coordinating opposite tops and bottoms regarding colour choices often helps for a cohesive look. For example, for couple photos, having him in jeans with a short-sleeved, light-coloured, buttoned-down shirt, with her in a light coloured skirt with a light blue flow-y top. Or for a family, having dad in beige khaki pants, and a blue shirt, with your son wearing a light coloured shirt and jeans, with mom wearing a beige or tan coloured dress
One small note – while white is the lightest of light colours and coordinates well with just about any other colour, you don’t want too much white because you can lose contrast in a photo, especially if the background is bright/light as well. Wearing a white shirt under a grey blazer (formal look) for guys, or a white blouse with a darker coloured sweater (girls) can all be great choices. These are just some examples, but hopefully you get the idea.
You can be creative with your choices and you don’t need to dress according to these examples but create your own based on your own wardrobes.
Again – you don’t need to stick to these recommendations specifically. Feel free to create your own ideas and use your own clothing and favourite colours! Have some fun with it!