Other than location, choosing your outfit for your lifestyle photoshoot is one of the most difficult decisions to make. And as it should be!
When there is more than one person in your photoshoot — like, if you’re having an engagement session or a family session — you will want to put some thought into your group’s attire. Your outfit can make your photos look drab or fab! (Hee hee… sounds like an ad jingle, doesn’t it?!!)
You want to look coordinated, but NOT matchy-matchy!
The modern way of coordinating groups is to let everyone be unique, as we all are. What you want to avoid is having everyone in identical outfits, like the same colored shirts and the same kind of bottoms. This was a photography trend in the ’80s and ’90s.
I am not saying that anyone — clients or other photographers — who prefers that groups entirely match in outfits should change their style or have bad taste. Style is completely subjective.
These tips are to help those who would like tips in choosing outfits. Please remember, in the end, wear what you (and the rest of the group) feel most comfortable! Being comfortable and “yourselves” is what will make you the most relaxed at your shoot.
For instance, if a woman decides to wear a skirt with high heels, but she hasn’t worn heels in years, her discomfort will show in the photos. If little Bobby prefers soft cotton shirts, but his parents put him in a crisp linen button-down….oh boy!
Whether you follow my tips or the tips of others, always remember who you’re dressing and what everyone will enjoy wearing. Being comfortable and happy in what you wear should trump any tip!
Tip: Be an Individual, Not Identical
One way to start is coming up with a color scheme, style, pattern or theme. It could also be a piece that inspires you, like a scarf, a shirt, or a hat. Then tie everyone else’s outfit around that inspiration piece.
Example A: A flower theme. Mom can wear an outfit with a floral pattern. Dad can wear jeans and a green shirt. Baby can wear a pastel outfit with a flower clip in her hair.
Example B: An inspiration piece. (This is an example from my own family shoot! A photo is included below.) I chose the entire family’s outfit based on my daughter’s patterned shirt. I pulled different colors from her shirt to create everyone else’s outfits.
Example C: Style similarity. Everyone is wearing casual Summer attire. Or dressy evening attire. Pick one and stick to it.
The attire: cocktail dresses.
If everyone wore different length or style dresses, like full-length dresses, cocktail dresses and sundresses, then they wouldn’t look coordinated!
This is from a recent shoot and I just loooooooved their outfits!
The mom’s top was the inspiration piece. (When the baby was clothed — tee hee — he had a cream shirt and a navy blue jacket.)
Okay, I did this shoot yesterday, but it’s another good example…
Blue is the coordinating color, and everyone had on Converse All-Stars! As you can see, everyone’s top is entirely different. This gives them individuality, but keeps them visually unified.
The color theme is earth tones and the style is dressy-casual.
Again, they all have different patterns, but it works!
There we are from last Fall! You can see my daughter’s top was my inspiration piece.
(Photography credit goes to Christine Szeto.)
Attire is casual. Everyone was wearing short-sleeves.
Parents were in muted colors and the kids wore bright colors. The style was urban chic!
[Note to ATP Clients: You will receive more tips on what to wear after booking your shoot. If you need further help, I would be happy to help pick out your outfits in the beginning of your shoot or you can send me photos of what you are considering prior to your shoot. I am here to help!]