I love the energy of a pre-session consultation. We spend some time getting to know one another, either in my home studio in Chilliwack, British Columbia, or over the phone. I like to find out what it is you’re hoping to capture in your session. Then, we can discuss the look and feel of the images we’ll create together. A big part of this is wardrobe! So what should you wear for your photo session?
Many of my offerings, such as the newborn and princess portrait sessions, make the work easy for you. I provide adorable outfits and props for your child to wear, so you just need to show up! But some other sessions, such as the maternity and family portraits leave a lot of creative freedom in your corner for expressing yourself in your photos. Here are a few simple guidelines to help you look and feel your best on camera:
- Say yes to the dress! Dresses and skirts are universally flattering, especially on camera. I always encourage my clients to opt for their favourite dress over a pair of pants or shorts. Long, flowing skirts made from softer fabrics will bring movement to your photos, and stand out beautifully in nature (think photos at the lake or in the woods!). If you’re preparing for a maternity session, look for floor-length gowns or maxi dresses to best flatter your silhouette and draw attention to that beautiful bump. Bonus: a floral headpiece or delicate woven crown to compliment your dress will really make the whole thing pop!
- Keep your options open! I allow time for two outfit changes in my maternity sessions, so if you can’t decide between your top two picks, go ahead and bring them both!
- Pick your palette. When you’re narrowing down your outfit options, keep a close eye on the colours you’re selecting. I recommend selecting softer, lighter tones and more muted neutrals. At the end of the day, are the subject of the photo, not your clothing. Stay away from wearing bright or bold colours, which may overpower the overall image. Think soft pinks, muted blues, and sophisticated neutrals such as heather grey, cream, leather brown, and white.
- Flatter your features. Let’s face it – we all have areas that we’re a little self-conscious of. Recognizing those areas in advance and ensuring we’re not wearing clothing that draws attention to or enhances them is key! A few general rules of thumb to keep in mind:
- Three-quarter length sleeves create a slimming effect on all arms, as do cute jackets or cardigans.
- Skinny straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms. If your goal is to have slimmer looking arms, I recommend avoiding these.
- Heels elongate a women’s legs, and in particular, closed-toed heels because they carry out the line of your leg all the way to your toe.
- Flowy maxi dresses are universally flattering AND super comfortable, so it’s a double win! Free People is my all-time, hands-down favourite place to buy maternity dresses, even though they don’t have an actual “maternity” category. Their maxi dresses are loose and flowing and absolutely ideal.
- Make a statement! Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images, and be a nice tie-in when you’re coordinating with a group. Big statement necklaces bring a lot of pop to the photos, while the smaller, delicate ones are not as noticeable on camera. Belts, bracelets and earrings bring great visual interest, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention. Fresh florals in a crown can be a really romantic touch for you or your girls as well.
- Pamper yourself. I am all about that professional hair and makeup whenever possible. Not only does it look amazing on camera, but it removes the stress of trying to get ready on your own and instead turns “picture day” into a fun, pampering experience. So treat yourself! Whether that means a blow-out, lash extensions, or a visit to the MAC counter, give yourself permission to treat yourself to a little fabulousness. If you work with a makeup artist, be sure to ask for a “fresh” look, so your makeup doesn’t appear heavy on camera. If you need suggestions for who to go to, just let me know! I know some incredibly talented people in the area.
- Skip that spray tan!! I know, I know… we all love a nice glow, but I promise you, nine times out of ten you will regret getting a spray tan before photos. Oftentimes, even if it looks natural in person and was applied subtly by a pro, spray tans will look orange on camera. I promise, if you need a little glow, I can add it in post processing for a perfectly natural look.
- Keep it fitted. Long, fitted pants and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men.
- Compliment your partner. Solid shades of grey or navy are a strong compliment to most women’s outfits, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye. I also recommend staying away from logos and graphics.
- Layer that look! Ever notice how the J Crew mannequins are always wearing several layers at once? Well, yes, because they’re so dang flattering! Layers compliment a man on camera, so even when you’re scheduled for a session outside on a warmer day, I promise, you won’t regret putting up with that temporary extra warmth for the gorgeous photos you’ll get out of it. Think blazers, vests, or trendy coats, or, if the weather permits, a v-neck sweater over a collared shirt with a tie. Get creative!
- Mix it up. Want to wear a suit or sport coat but don’t want to be quite so monotone? Add some visual interest by pairing the coat with a different pant colour for a fresh take on a timeless classic.
- Have an eye for the details. Brown leather shoes compliment almost every look. Ties, bowties, pocket squares, coloured socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, vests and watches are sharp complements to any outfit for men and boys alike.