I get this question all the time. This is one of the reasons that I do wardrobe consultations before the shoot, and people find it so helpful because generally speaking, they aren’t sure where to start. Also, I want to eliminate as much stress as possible so that you feel confident in what you are wearing for your shoot.
“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression - there are hints about who you are in what you wear.” -Marc Jacobs
So the first answer is – be true to you and your own style within reason….I don’t know who is reading this so I’m not sure exactly how stylish you are. J Therefore, I want to share with you some things to consider in order to capture flattering, timeless photos. These will also be great things to consider any time that you think you’ll be photographed which is typically when you are out for a fun evening or at an event.
Generally speaking for timeless photos consider these 3 things:
Wear solid colors. Jewel tones look good on all skin types, and black is typically flattering on most people.
Try to stay away from busy patterns and floral patterns. They will date the photograph and distract from your face.
Wear fitted clothes. Fitted is always best because the camera distorts and flattens so if you wear a black flowy blouse you will likely look like a black box. I’m just speaking from experience.
In my shoots, I typically allow cllients to bring 3-5 outfits. With the chance to wear several different outfits, we can showcase a variety of moods and qualities. We are multi-faceted, and I want to capture that. So, if you are doing a personal, contemporary beauty shoot, I typically advise bringing the following:
Something Light. Bring something in a soft shade of gray, blush, nude, cream or white.
Something Dark. Black, chocolate, charcoal, or dark, rich jewel tones will all work well.
Something Classic. Put together an ensemble (or two) that’s timeless and chic. Whether you need images for business, want to keep things casual, are aiming for something a touch dressy and ladylike - or even all three.
Something Sexy. Sexiness can mean wearing a backless gown or beautiful lingerie. Even a sweater can feel sensual when worn off-the-shoulder; and slip-dresses nod to lingerie while still feeling dressed up.
Something Epic. A photo shoot is the perfect opportunity to dress like a movie star, (and a great excuse to go shopping). You might even rent, borrow, or custom make your dream outfit. Give yourself permission to go all out.
If we are doing business portraits, all of this applies except the sexy and epic suggestions. I’m sure you figured that out but I never like to assume. :)
For men, I would just add, keep it simple…think business, business casual and casual. A suit or a pair of nice dark jeans with a blazer or t-shirt or button down. Keep your ties and pocket squares classic.
Since, I mostly get this questions from women, here is a photo example and guide. Now you are ready to strike a pose!