Thursday, July 28, 2011

What to wear for a photo shoot

This is a question I get ALL the time- "Do you have any suggestions of what to wear for our engagment/family/senior photo shoot?"
I myself am DEFINITELY not a fashion diva. I live and work in the country, and most days I'm doing pretty good to get my makeup on and throw on jeans and a nice shirt with my "dress" crocs. (So if you're coming to visit me, you may want to call first if you're hoping that I look decent!). Even when I dress up, I often have just two or three outfits that I wear over and over, because I'm horrible at picking new ones. When I do need new outfits, I call my sister to come over and "style" me.

Luckily, I now have a new assistant who is in training now, Callie (who happens to be the sister of Emily N., my other assistant, not to be confused with Emily Folk, my album designer/lighting assistant/2nd photographer).  OK, if you have all the Emilys sorted out, let's continue with Callie. Callie will be taking her sister's place in August, and I've heard (and seen) that she is quite the fashion expert! She always wears the cutest shoes, and anytime Emily has a cute shirt on, she explains to me that it actually belongs to Callie. I'm hoping that in the future, Callie will be able to put together some sample outfits here on the blog for everyone to see, because you certainly don't want me to try! I just like to photograph pretty outfits.

But for starters, a small google search helped me find some links to other photographers' blogs who have done a great job of showing what to wear. Another source that I like to use is Pinterest.  There, you can actually see outfits that other people have picked out and "pin" them to your fashion board if you'd like.

Although I'm awful at picking out clothes, I CAN tell you from previous photo shoots the Good (what looks good and photographs well,) the Bad (what tends to look kinda bad and is more difficult to balance in a photo) and the Ugly (things that are just plain unflattering and should be avoided.)

The Good:
*Complementary colors.
*Accessories, like scarves, necklaces, cool shoes, umbrellas
*Ruffles, textures, and anything else that can make the outfit have a little more dimension (or is it dimention?) in the picture.
*Dresses! For some reason, dresses seem to make every girl look her best.
*Your favorite jeans. 

The Bad:
*Multiple neon or pastel colors. Please don't make me show you the family picture I did a few years back in which all the family members wore a different colored pastel shirt with jeans. Oh boy.
Once, in Texas, I did a group photo shoot for a local chamber of commerce of around 20 people, and they were all told to wear neutral colors. Well, one lady didn't get the memo, and she wore a bright pink shirt. Guess what was the first thing that caught your eye on that picture? 
*All white. This is just a preference of mine, because the "white shirt picture" is a traditional engagement and family picture, and I dislike tradition without purpose. Not to mention, it's quite difficult to properly expose white clothing in photos. I feel like the "all white" can make your photos look just like the next person's pictures.
*Loose, wrinkled t-shirts (or anything wrinkled, for that matter.) Wrinkles DO show in pictures, and loose t-shirts are generally unflattering. I do like, however, the fitted, cool t-shirts on seniors!

The Ugly: (things to avoid)
*If you feel like your arms are larger, cover them - avoid sleeveless shirts.
*If you are well-endowed on your top half, cover those girls up a little! Avoid strapless anything, because it can sort-of make you look like a push-pop.
*If it's a windy day, avoid flowing shorts skirts or dresses. I don't particularly want to see your underwear!
*Showing too much skin. I like to take some flattering pics, but I want to produce something you'd be proud to send your grandmother. 

As a rule, bring at least 2-3 different outfits, wear a little more makeup than you normally would, and fix your hair.

For the record, I've included a few pictures in this blog of some of my FAVORITE outfit choices that people have used in their shoots.



Here are some helpful links with pictures:






  

Hopefully this helps! If you have specific questions, give us a call on a day when Callie is here, and I'll bet she'll be happy to help you out.
TM














Emily Folk, Trey, & Festus

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