Client Tips and Tricks

Dressing for the Camera

Ladies, how much of your life have you spent convinced that wearing black is the most slimming, flattering color option on the planet? Well, today I want to share a few tips, from my perspective as the one on the other side of the camera, on what REALLY looks good in photos. From styles to color schemes and even some helpful tips for your guys, let’s talk about dressing for the camera! I encourage my clients to chose two looks for their full portrait sessions. A dressy look (which this post will focus on) and then a more casual, everyday look so that you have a variety and a good representation of yourselves.

First of all, don’t be afraid to dress up for your engagement or portrait session. Just go ahead and say YES to the fancy dress! It might feel a little weird to be out in a natural environment in a long flowing dress and your man in a suit but I promise the translation into your photos will be magical and oh so worth it. I mean, what is so weird about standing in a field with waist high grass in cocktail attire anyway?? Answer is, it’s not weird at all. Long, flowing dresses and gowns are my favorite to photograph because they create a feeling of movement in photos with just a few simple posing tricks. They are also super flattering to the female body and create the dreamy, romantic look that I strive for. As for your guy, he may spend 90% of his time in shorts or jeans but trust me when I say that dress pants or khakis are the way to go! Also, layering looks great on men so a jacket or vest over a solid button up makes for the perfect formal outfit selection. Remember, you can always dress down a bit for your second outfit of the session if being super formal just isn’t your style.

Now let’s talk about the most photogenic clothing colors. Pssst… it’s NOT all black! The camera actually produces far more pleasing results with muted, soft, neutral tones and pastels (think blush and creams or even grays and navy for your guys). Following this color scheme will do wonders to complement skin tones and it also contributes to the dreamy, light look I work toward capturing. Bold colors can darken the overall look of your photos as well as take the focus off of your faces, which really, are the most important part of the image. When planning outfits for other people in your photos, I recommend avoiding the urge to match. Choosing an outfit for your hubby, fiance or children that complements your own rather than matching will give a much more natural look to the finished product.

Lastly, I’d like to touch on patterns for just a second. I’m all about patterns. Unfortunately, my camera doesn’t always treat them so well. Tight patterns, like stripes can cause some weird things to happen on a digital camera and so for that reason, I recommend avoiding them. Less busy patterns can work well, like florals. And if your guy just can’t live without plaid, let him have that for his causal outfit choice but choose a soft, solid outfit for yourself. All I ask is if one of you chooses a pattern for an outfit, chose a solid for the outfit it’s paired with.

Finally, a few quick tips to end on for the week. Heels look great on every woman and so do close toed shoes. Men in brown or other earthy toned, leather shoes shows as a really polished look on camera. Bold accessories add so much extra depth and interest to even the most simplest outfit. Just remember, the most important thing is to be yourself. Follow these basic guidelines to choose something that makes you FEEL awesome because if you feel it, it’s going to translate beautifully on camera. Next week I’m going to be finishing up this short series with a few of the little things you can do to add a LOT to your session. After all,  if you know me and my style, you already know I am always all about the details! Stay tuned and have a wonderful St. Patty’s Day weekend, friends!




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