As a photographer the most common question I get asked by my clients, besides what kind of camera are you using, is what
should I wear? If it's a family or couple it's more like what should we wear?
They often call or text me the day before our shoot to describe all of their clothes in their closets. They want me to approve
or disapprove outfits and color combos. I totally understand. It's an excellent question. Everyone wants
to look good in their photos and it's my job to make sure they do! So here is some general advice on getting
yourself or your family ready for a photo shoot.
First, let's talk about what you should wear. Of course, dark colors are the most flattering and solid colors will isolate
your face and make it pop but my favorite answer to this question is for you to wear whatever you feel
the most comfortable wearing. If you love the way you look in sweaters and jeans then that's what you should
wear. Anything you are unsure about or that you feel uncomfortable in will show in your photos. These photos
are for you to remember this moment forever so love what you are wearing. I am up for a quick outfit change
during a shoot. You can always bring more than one outfit if you want to try something a little different.
If you want to mix and match family outfits I suggest you stick to one or two colors. For example, girls
in dark purple shirts and guys in black shirts or parents in dark green and the kids all in shades of blue.
Everyone, adults and kids, will look good in solid black shirts and a pair of good ol' blue jeans. If you
need to iron your outfit, try to iron the night before. If you’re wearing something that wrinkles easily,
don’t wear it on the way to the shoot. You can just change when you get to the location and be wrinkle
Ladies, please don't forget about your undergarments because bra straps won’t do anything to help your outfit look its best.
Be sure you bring the bra that matches your shirt straps or lack of them. There are strap-adjusting accessories
that can help with many outfits and I always try to have some on hand for emergencies but we totally want
to keep those straps hidden. Guys, you should make sure your boxers are below the waistline of your jeans.
Sagging is not one of my favorite looks and many people agree with me.
What's on your feet? Ladies, you can’t go wrong in heels or wedges. If you hate wearing heels and wedges, don't wear them.
Just make sure your shoes are in good shape and clean. I am always a sucker for a clean pair of Converse
or a nice pair of boots. Guys, put your feet in some dress shoes to look your best, but a new clean pair
of sneakers can look pretty awesome. If you are unsure about this ask someone to help you decide on a good
look for your feet.
Now let's cover the rest of you, starting with your hair. Ladies, if you want a hair cut for your shoot you should get it
done about two weeks beforehand, just in case it doesn't turn out the way you expected. You'll have time
to get your look right. If we are shooting outdoors, please be ready to put your hair up and make it look
nice in case of a windy day. Bring bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any one of your favorite hair accessories.
Guys, you are the opposite, a fresh cut just a couple of days before the shoot is a good way to keep that
neck line all cleaned up.
If your friends and family wouldn’t recognize you without your glasses you will want to wear your glasses but sometimes the
glare off glasses can detract from your eyes in the photos. There are a few ways I can position your glasses
on your head so the glare is minimized. It doesn't always work. If you don't want to worry about this or
find moving your glasses at different angles is uncomfortable you can have your lenses removed from your
frames for your shoot. Don't worry this is what famous people do to avoid glare in the movies and in major
magazine cover photos. You can also ask for a loaner pair of similar frames or you could visit an inexpensive
company online and buy a suitable pair of duplicate frames on the cheap.
My husband always has red dry eyes. If you have this same problem then Visine is your friend. Drinking to much the night
before your shoot will also cause red puffy eyes. It is always best to get a good solid amount of rest
the night before so your eyes can be fresh and bag free.
If you want to brighten up your smile, start treating your pearly whites about two weeks before your shoot. You could also
give up coffee and wine during that time but that's not something I could handle doing.
I don't generally wear make-up when I shoot, otherwise I end up with one raccoon eye but ladies, a subtle amount of make-up
can really soften your skin and accent your facial features. Please make sure you don't try a brand new
look for your shoot and always make sure your foundation matches your skin tone. If it's more than a shade
darker than your neck, your face will be orange compared to the rest of your body. Equally important, don’t
cake on a lot of make-up to try to hide blemishes. It is so much easier for me to Photoshop away any pimples
than it is to clean up overdone make-up or to un-orange your face. You will probably wipe or lick your
lips during your shoot, so bring fresh lip gloss or lipstick to do touch-ups in between takes. Guys, you
can also benefit from a nice touch of sheer powder on your faces before a shoot. It's a good idea if you
have a completely smooth shaved head to dust with sheer powder to reduce the glare. Both guys and gals
should use a little lip balm for a few days in advance of your shoot to make your tulips (two lips) look
Guys, you should be freshly shaved with a new razor, shaving cream and a moisturizing after-shave lotion to avoid those pesky
bumps and skin redness. Go ahead and trim up your beards, sideburns, moustache or any other facial hair
you have. Please look for those crazy wiry stray hairs. Guys and gals you should both pluck and clean up
A fresh coat of nail polish can really add a beautiful touch to your photos. Ladies pick a neutral color that won’t distract
the eye in your shoot or clash with your outfits. Guys, you should also think about your hands. Trim your
nails and apply a little moisturizer on to them for a few nights before your photo shoot. Dry skin will
show up in your photos.
Sun burns and tan lines. No one thinks of this but Photographers. If your shoot is booked for Sunday, please don’t go hiking,
skiing or to the beach on Saturday. Be mindful of clothing tan lines, sunglass tan lines, goggle tan lines,
hat tan lines, you get the picture. You don't want weird tan lines on your back while in your strapless
dress or across your forehead once the baseball cap comes off. If you do want to tan for your photos do
it a week before your shoot and don't get a sunburn.
I know we all love high salt and high fat foods, but to avoid feeling bloated you should lay off of them for two to three
days before your shoot. Whether your a guy or a gal, being bloated will sap your energy and confidence.
That will effect your comfort in front of the camera and your photos will show it.
This last little bit is the most important. Don't forget to wear your sense of humor! Photo shoots can be unpredictable,
especially with little kiddos running all around. The weather can change or the peaceful park we decided
upon could have a giant birthday party show up mid shoot. Just leave the stressful things for me to figure
out and enjoy your moment. Laugh. Have fun. Be in love. Dance with your children. Hold hands. Create a
true memory to keep forever.