Here's the Gist
We know it can feel kind of daunting to pick what to wear for photos. Some things are too big, others too small. Here are a few tips we’ve put together so you guys can be sure to look incredible and be the focus of the photos, not what you’re wearing. We don’t know anything about fashion FYI. We wear t shirts and socks with sandals every day so there’s a hell of a good chance you’ve got better style than we do haha! This is just what we’ve found to work best from past shoots, they’re only guidelines, not rules! You can show up wearing potato sacks for all we care.
Ultimately, we want you guys to look like yourselves. Don’t feel like if you don’t follow these guidelines that your photos are gonna suck. The most important thing, is that you guys feel and look like yourselves, how you normally dress, so you can be as comfortable as possible! A lot of people try to go shopping for new clothes for the shoot beforehand but we actually recommend not going that route unless you really want to. Do not feel obligated to be in new clothes. Bring stuff you normally wear, stuff that’s already in your closet that you love and feel yourselves in. An old band t shirt and ripped jeans? Perfect. A lot of my clients will go shopping for “nicer” looking clothes which is totally fine, but sometimes they regret not just wearing they feel like themselves in. Who cares if you look back at the photos in 20 years and laugh about what you’re wearing? As long as it represented what you guys are like right now, that's all that matters. Plus, guys are usually not all that stoked about putting on a collared ironed button up with dress shoes if they’re used to wearing flannels and Chacos every day. Pinky promise they’ll be way more happy to be at the shoot if you don’t force an outfit he thinks is stupid.
Here’s a few guidelines to help if you’re feeling lost about what to wear :
First off, we always recommend to bring options. To get the best results, we’ll pick and pull from the options you bring for you guys to change into for each location we shoot at (if applicable). This way we can make sure the outfits compliment the environment so that the focus is on you, not on any distractions, which yes, can be your outfits. All you have to do is make sure you bring stuff that you feel like a million bucks in that we can pick and pull from!
Don’t bring your whole closet though. It will take too much time for us to go through everything and will take time away from your session. Most people bring about 2 or 3 pairs of bottoms and 4 or 5 tops each if the session calls for outfit changes, then you can bring dresses, accessories, jackets and whatnot as well. Also, just know that depending on where we are shooting, you’ll most likely be changing in the back of the car on the side of the road. If you aren’t down with that, that’s totally fine and you can just bring one outfit! Just make sure to text me a few photos of the outfit options you have and we can pick it out together beforehand.
Make sure it makes sense.
Think about the conditions and locations we are going to be shooting in and plan around it. If we are going to be hiking around the mountains, bring shoes with good grip and you won’t twist your ankles in. If we are shooting on a sandy beach, it would look weird if you’re wearing shoes (ps heels are almost always a bad idea in most scenarios, unless you’re freakishly good at walking in them). If it’s freezing cold outside, bring lots of layers and warm clothes with wool socks and boots. If it’s going to be hot, bring clothes that can breathe more so you don’t have sweaty pit stains in the photos. Be as comfortable as you can be!
Avoid big, loud, chunky, crazy patterns. The smaller or more subtle, the better! If the pattern is too loud, it will distract from your faces. Flannels are always a yes in our book (probably because Cedric will wear one every day in Fall)! We usually try to avoid pairing too many patterns together because, you guessed it, it makes the photos feel a little hectic and distracting from your faces and the location. Also, be sure to iron your clothes before so there’s not huge wrinkles distracting from your faces either!
Props don’t have to be just chalk boards, and flowers, or toys. Props could be a Domino's pizza picnic, a motorcycle, your naked cats (if you have a dog and don’t bring it we’ll be pissed...jk...maybe), blankets, a truck/car, a campfire, a bouquet, a paddle board, etc. If you have props you wanna incorporate, let us know and we can make sure to incorporate them in a non-cheesy way!
In Home Sessions
All of the above applies, but for in home sessions we say the more skin showing the better! No that doesn’t mean you need to be borderline naked (unless that's the shoot you are going for), We're just saying the photos will look a lot more comfortable and intimate than if you’re in lots of heavy layers! Cause let’s be real, most of us walk around without pants on at home anyways. We recommend bringing options of tank tops, shorts, sweaters, and jeans to mix and match! Anything that will show some skin is perf! Or if you wanna just wear a sweater with undies for a few or have your baek be shirtless, then heck yes to that. We pinky promise we're not a creepy hahah.
Hair + Makeup
A lot of people ask whether or not they should get hair and makeup done by a pro. Our answer is always “whatever will make you feel best, do that.” We absolutely don’t think it’s necessary whatsoever, because in our personal opinion, we would rather look like OURSELVES rather than a super glammed up version. We can’t even tell you how many times we’ve had girls show up to shoots wiping off the caked on makeup and taking out 500 bobby-pins their makeup and hair artist did because it just doesn’t look like them. But, if you want your hair and makeup done, then definitely do it, because the most important thing is that you feel confident like Beyonce always. If you’re getting hair and makeup done, we recommend you schedule to be done at least an hour before you have to leave for the shoot so you aren’t late. Also, if you’re whiter than toothpaste like one of us, and want a spray tan, be sure to get a suuuuper natural airbrushed spray tan rather than one from a salon/tanning place. We don’t want you looking like an oompa loompa!
TONES & COLORS
We are always aiming to keep the focus on the clients faces, since our style is so heavily based on emotion and its what drives us the most. So if there's a lot going on in the rest of the frame that’s distracting us from the emotion (whether that be on your faces or through your hands or what your doing) we want to eliminate as much noise as we can, and a huge way to do that is using tools like strategic tone matching and color choice. We do this through choosing outfits that either compliment or stand out from the environment’s tones and colors.
We 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.
In our experience, bright fluorescent colors don't really inspire us since we typically shoot in earthy natural settings, and they end up becoming more of a distraction which is why we recommend to stay away from them. We tell our clients to choose colors that are complimentary to their skin tones and that unless they have an olive skin tone or darker skin, to steer clear of reds, oranges, and pinks for the most part. A lot of the time (and this totally depends on the light) the colors the clients are wearing will reflect onto one another because the light is bouncing off of it. It intensifies those colors and makes it pretty tough for us to edit skin tones.
COMPLEMENTARY vs. MATCHING
Complimentary is good. Matching is bad. When people match, they tend to blend
together too much. Complimentary means the variety of colors, textures, accessories, patterns, and tones all sing together while there is still separation from each of the subjects and the background.
Logos can be done well and so so wrong, it honestly just depends on each shirt.
Usually you can take one look at a shirt and tell whether or not it will look stupid in
photos or not so that’s how we go about logos on shirts.
We LOVEEE graphic tees and band t-shirts though, so we typically encourage
clients to bring a variety of shirts so that in case the shirts they bring with graphics
on it won’t look great in photos or be too loud, then we can just keep them in the
other options! Hooray for options!
We are not really not picky when it comes to shoes. We basically just tell girls that heels are 99% of the time going to be a bad idea unless they’re really good at walking in them. Most of our shoots involve some hiking or walking so heels just aren’t realistic unless were talking about a wedding or formal event. Other than that, we just recommend to wear shoes that are comfortable and if we will be doing a lot of walking around, avoid super slippery shoes so you don’t slip!
say no to:
Let your clothing match your surroundings. A tuxedo or formal dress will look out of place in the woods.
These shades are best avoided:
Bright white (try off-white or ivory instead)
Black, dark navy, dark gray, and brown (they’ll darken the overall look of your photos)
Neon and very saturated colors (these create issues with color casts on skin)
LOGOS & TEXT
Words will draw attention away from your faces.
If you wear glasses every day, please wear them in your shoot! However, lens glare and shaded lenses will keep your eyes from being seen. You can have anti reflective coating added to your lenses or wear just the frames.
Even if you’re planning to use these images for your holiday cards, steer away from holiday colored clothing (bright reds and greens) and let your card design incorporate those instead. That way you’ll be able to enjoy your images year-round!
TINY PLAID, SMALL STRIPES, & COMPLICATED PATTERNS
These don’t always translate well in photos.
Family Photo Color Schemes
There’s plenty of common color combinations, leaving plenty of options for the perfect family photo. So if you’re looking for the right outfit color combination that will make your framed pics pop, check out the popular options below:
Denim and Tan
Brown and Maroon
Denim, Yellow, Crimson
Navy, Tan, Cream
Glitter and White
Crimson, Tan, Denim
Red, Grey, Black
Navy and Crimson
Blush and Teal
Blush and White
Light Blue, Tan, White
Navy, Yellow, White
Tan and White
Orange and Teal
Light Blue, Tan, White
Blue, Green, Yellow
Spring Family Picture Ideas
These spring picture ideas will help your family look picture perfect and ready for the new year.
Family Picture Outfits Summer
Summer weather comes with a whole new color scheme and dress code, so make sure to stick to the color schemes below when picking out your family outfits.
Neutral and Earthy Tones
Fall Family Picture Outfits
The best fall pictures make perfect photo books to keep forever and look back on. Plan ahead with the following color schemes that suit the changing colors just right.
Dark Shades of Green
Family Winter/Holiday Pictures Outfits
Looking for just the right family Christmas gift? Look at the winter color combinations below. You can use them to create the perfect family photo to turn into your best photo gift yet. Or better yet, to use for your annual family holiday card.
Medium to Dark Gray
Navy and crimson
Glitter and white
Crimson, tan and denim
Red, gray and black
Earthy schemes that mix well
Welp, that’s all folks!
If you have anymore questions, don’t hesitate to let us know! If you’re still freaking out about what to wear feel free to shoot us a pic or two of what you’re thinking, or we can create a little Pinterest board together! But overall, just wear what you’re comfortable in and feel like you in. A pair of Vans you’ve had since 8th grade? Great. A sweater you wore for basically a month straight? Awesome. A hat that you know your mom hates? Perfect. You do you, and we promise the photos will turn out amazing.