If you’re like most people, you don’t take professional photos very often. Seniors – you haven’t taken senior photos before. Engaged couples – you haven’t taken engagement photos before. To save you an afternoon of Googling and tearing apart your closet, I’ve created a list of tips to make sure you’re prepared and confident before your portrait session!
Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself. This is the most important rule. It’s so easy to get lost in Pinterest boards and Instagram posts and end up forgetting what your style actually is. Stick to:
1. Clothes that have been your favorites for a long time or
2. New clothes that you loved as soon as you saw them. Don’t try to talk yourself into a new style.
Matching vs. Complimenting
Wear colors and patterns that compliment each other (or your partner) without exactly matching. Don’t worry about matching exact colors across your outfits. Just watch out for colors, shades, or patterns that clash. For example, a striped shirt with a polka dot skirt would clash, and a red dress next to your fiancé’s orange shirt would most likely clash. An interesting pattern should not be paired with another pattern. Stick to a solid item that compliments its colors.
Heels, Flats, Wedges, Boots?
Girls – even if you don’t wear heels on a regular basis, you’d be surprised how great they look on everyone in photos. Heels and wedges can elongate a woman’s legs in a very flattering way. Boots can also add a stylish touch to your photos.
There’s no such thing as “too dressed up”
When it comes to couples portrait sessions, you won’t regret dressing up a little. Have you always wanted to wear a flowy tulle skirt, sequined gown or flower crown, but haven’t had a reason to? Now is the time!
Guys – Long pants and closed-toed shoes look the most sophisticated and masculine on men. So for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts and sandals at home. Suit pants and colored pants with leather dress shoes look fashionable and photograph well.
Well-made clothes and fabrics will usually photograph better than cheaper clothes, which are more likely to get wrinkled, not fit perfectly, or move in an unflattering ways.
Add-ons like watches, earrings, necklaces, and scarves can be used to add style to your outfit and show off your personality. Just make sure they don’t distract from your overall outfit or are so large that they’ll be the focus of the photos. Layers like cardigans and sweaters can also add dimension to your photos.
Seniors – feel free to bring your class ring, letter jacket, and cap and gown.
For engagement sessions, don’t forget your engagement ring! If you met in college, bring your class rings too!
Wear something bold, but not distracting
Bright or neon colors or graphic patterns can distract from what really matters in your photos…you!
Hair and Makeup
For engagement sessions, I love it when girls get their hair and makeup professionally styled. You’re probably still shopping around for hair and makeup vendors, and this can be a great time to test out your top contender. A good makeup artist can really make your best features pop.
Seniors – feel free to go all out and get your hair and makeup professionally done as well. It’s a special occasion after all!
Watch out for branding
Avoid large logos, brand markings, or wording on clothing.
Empty your pockets
Having a phone, keys or wallet in your pocket will create unattractive lumps and bumps.
Bring some extras
It may be helpful to bring along a hairbrush, makeup for touchups, extra bobby pins/hair ties, and a small towel (for sessions during the summer). Throw these extras in a just-in-case bag and leave it in your car during your session.
Wear what makes you feel good