What to Wear Guide
So here’s the rundown.
Man oh man. I know it can feel kind of daunting to pick what to wear for photos. Here are a few guidelines I’ve put together so you guys can be sure to feel like Beyonce, while still making sure the images are focused on your guys’ love, not what you’re wearing. Full disclaimer, I don’t know anything about fashion. I wear basic t-shirts and socks with sandals every day so there’s a heck of a good chance you’ve got better style than I do, haha! This is just what I’ve found to work best from trial and error from past shoots, they’re only guidelines, not rules!
Ultimately, I want you guys to look like yourselves. Please don’t feel like if you don’t follow these guidelines that your photos are going to be less than. The most important thing to me 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 I actually recommend not going that route. Bring things you normally wear, pieces that’s already in your closet that you love and feel yourselves in. A cozy sweater and ripped jeans? Perfect. A lot of my couples will go shopping for “nicer” looking clothes which is totally fine, but sometimes they regret not just wearing they feel like themselves in. Choose comfort over trends. As long as it represented what you guys are like right now, thats all that matters. Plus, I have found that the guys (boyfriends, finances, 16 year old sons, Dads, and Grandpas - the ones that may be a little tiny bit less thrilled to be there) 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 they aren’t forced in an outfit they aren’t super comfortable in.
Here’s a few guidelines to help if you’re feeling lost about what to wear :
First off, my top three things that I think make help in the outfit department is: textures, layers, and options.
TEXTURE: jean jackets, knitted sweaters, button fly jeans with frayed hems. Different textures add dimension and break up the monotony of everyone where cotton shirts. It’s like adding a textured pillow to the couch or softening up a photo frame on a shelf with books, a plant, and a little candle. I am a sucker for home decor, so this is how it makes sense to me and how I can explain it best.
LAYERS: This not only adds a little more dimension to your outfits, but its also very practical on the Oregon Coast, and it can make your photo session stretch a little bit more in adding different looks by just taking one layer off. More often than not, it can be cold and windy here. Cute jackets, with a cardigan or chambray shirt, with another t-shirt layer under that, a cute scarf in your pony tail for the really windy days, a hat/beanie, and for the guys, usually a jacket or quarter zip or a vest just adds a little more texture, layers, and options.
OPTIONS: I always recommend to bring options. To get the best results, we can pick and pull from the options you bring for you guys to change into for each location we shoot at. This way we can make sure the outfits compliment the environment so that the focus is on you and your people, 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! If we are doing a large family session, this might be a little bit crazy especially with the littles, so here, I would just bring a couple layers that we can easily take off or on and that way we make sure they are 100% comfortable in the weather we are given and to make sure they are all smiles.
Side note: 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 3 or 4 tops each, 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! But if you aren’t 100 percent sure, just text me a few photos of the outfit options you have and we can pick it out together beforehand. :)
Also, 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 haha). 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 aren’t super sweaty in the photos. Be as comfortable as you can be!
Standing there looking at the camera smiling with no movement is not my style. And if you love that style, that’s totally ok! I am just probably not the photographer for you because I’ll be asking you guys to walk around, piggy back rides, swinging the kiddos up in the air, all the things to get genuine happy moments photographed. With that, make sure that the materials you wear will keep you comfortable during the shoot not only for temperatures but also for being able to move around in. If you're in brand new jeans that are still stiff and tight, you might be distracted during the shoot trying to make sure everything stays in place as well as lets you sit and run and move around in. I recommend bringing clothes that are "broken in" so that you'll be as comfortable as possible. I also love when people bring clothing or accessories that can show movement by catching wind, because it adds energy to the photos and looks so gorgeous!
Hooray for wind!
I typically recommend sticking with neutrals and earthy tones. Neutrals doesn’t mean just grays and browns, there’s a neutral for every color (mustard yellow, forest green, navy blue, burnt orange, etc). Stay away from bright, fluorescent distracting colors. The only specific colors I typically recommend stay away from are pinks, bright oranges, and bright reds. If you have dark or olive toned skin it might be an exception with the light conditions, but a lot of the time it results in people having a color cast on their faces. Remember, if you really want to wear something and it happens to be one of those colors, this is your photoshoot and I a thousand percent want you to express yourself but just know those bright colors can reflect back up on the skin and is nearly impossible to edit out. If you’re still feeling lost, here’s a link to my Pinterest board for more color scheme inspo!
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. When looking at your photos, your eyes will immediately go to the big floral pattern rather than your cute faces and love. Flannels are always a yes in my book. I 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!
I love it when people bring hats, sunglasses, scarves, jewelry, etc because it’s nice to pair them with different options.
When I think “props”, my mind flashes through all of the cringe-worthy Pinterest photos I’ve seen of cheesy chalkboards and other things that aren’t really authentic to who you are. While I love a good llama wedding photo, which seems to be the trend these days, but I am wondering if the grandkids will one day ask, why in the world did you have a couple of alpacas in your wedding? Unless you own a couple of wooly animals, then I LOVE it, let’s do it! But I think the props should be more about who you guys are and what you like to do, rather on what everyone else is doing… Props could be a guitar, a couple glasses of wine + a cute picnic, a motorcycle, your pets, grandma’s quilt she made you, a campfire, a bouquet, a paddle board, coffee mugs, etc. If you have props you wanna incorporate, let me 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 I say you’ll look more “in home” with more a little more skin showing! No that doesn’t mean you need to be borderline naked, I’m just saying the photos will look a lot more comfortable and intimate than if you’re in lots of clothes that you wouldn’t actually where in your home! Because let’s be real, most of us walk around without pants on at home anyways. So think of a sweater off the shoulder, your guy in a basic white t-shirt, basically snuggly clothes. I recommend setting out options of tank tops, shorts, sweaters, and super comfy jeans to mix and match.
Hair + Makeup
A lot of people ask me whether or not they should get your hair and makeup done by a pro. My answer is always “whatever will make you feel best, do that.” I absolutely don’t think it’s necessary whatsoever, because in my personal opinion, I would rather look like MYSELF rather than a super glammed up version of myself; especially because I wear pretty minimal makeup with a braid anyways. I can’t even tell you how many times I’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, I 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 me, thanks to all that Oregon sun (hahahaha, right) and want a spray tan, be sure to get a suuuuper natural airbrushed spray tan. It’s tough to edit those orange tones out!
That’s it guys!
If you have anymore questions, don’t hesitate to let me know! If you’re still freakin out about what to wear feel free to shoot me 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. These are just pointers that I’ve learned from over all the shoots I’ve done. You do you, and I promise the photos will turn out amazing!!