Last month we talked all about selecting a flattering color pallet. In this article, we'll apply that color pallet to your clothing choices.
Picking out what to wear day-to-day is hard enough. Picking an outfit for a photo session can feel like you have to hunt down the absolute perfect outfit. But there are some tricks to help narrow down your closet, which is likely full of great choices!
Be conscious about your undergarments. Make sure to wear pieces that will be 100% hidden during your session. If you have a lighter blouse, make sure to pick a nude-colored undergarment to blend in with your skin tones. Inspect your final outfit closely, in a full length mirror. If you can see your undergarments (in highlight or shadow, or as bulkiness/texture) through your shirt and pants or dress, the camera will surely see it too.
Embrace your shape - if you have learned what cuts frame your figure best, stick with them. If you are not sure, that's OK. As the subject of a photograph, we want to see YOU. Form-fitting pieces that fit you correctly will do just that, for both men and women. For example, wear well fitted jeans instead of baggy jeans. For women, choose pieces that cinch at the waist to accentuate the female figure.
What is this photo shoot for? Narrow down your attire choices based on the theme - family, senor portraiture, business, springy, summery, fall? You want to look the part, so consider your casual vs. professional looks and how they play a part in the intended use of your photographs. If you want to style your look to the season, that's fine as well, but avoid strong seasonal pieces that may affect the timelessness of your photo.
Ditch the trends. For a timeless look, keep your style simple. Avoid strong patterns, textures, and wild accessories (such as wedge heels and thick belts, or too many accessories in general). Instead, look for long lines, well-fitted and tailored pieces. When in doubt, solid neutrals or jewel tones are a very safe option.
Consider easy layers & accessories. Layers allow for a quick and easy way to change your look, and accessories help to achieve the same thing. Accessories can be kept fairly simple, or light. Simplicity applies to accessories too. In other words, you could wear one chunky bracelet OR a few slender bracelets. Wear one large accessory, like a hat, a scarf, or a bag, but not all three. Wear bold earrings, but maybe not paired with a bold necklace as well.
When being photographed with others (a family photo session, for example), we need to work together harmoniously. Picking a flexible color pallet allows a grouping to match organically. What I means is picking a neutral or two, and a bright color or two, that can be mixed up among each individual's outfits. For example, navy - white - caramel - grays - yellow is a color combination wide enough that almost anyone could find this outfit in their closet. Each individual personal doesn't have to use ALL of the colors, but a combination of them. Going for a more organic look allows each person to show their personality, play with accessories, and introduce layers and textures and patterns.
Whether you are shopping new or thrift, be prepared. Have an idea what you are looking for before you walk into the store. If you are pairing this piece with another article of clothing or accessories, bring them with you. Bring your shoes. Wear the right undergarments. The last thing you want is to be unsure in the dressing room because you didn't dress right for the part.