What to Wear to a Photo Session - San Diego Photographer Jack Wang

Tips for what to wear to your photoshoot

When I’m working out the details of a shoot with a client I inevitably get asked “What should I wear?”. The answer to this question differs from shoot to shoot since some of what I shoot is themed or we are shooting specifically to create artwork for their living room so I want it to coordinate with their decor. However there are a few “rules” I, and many other photographers, generally stick to to so I thought I’d share a few of those tips.


1. Keep location in mind

 If we are going to the beach then heels are probably not the best choice. Likewise, flip flops are not wise if we’ll be traipsing through tall grass. Those are practical choices that are sometimes forgotten when we are deciding which shoes look cutest with our outfit at home. On a similar note, wearing beige to the beach or green to a forested location might also be unwise. Check with your photographer if you are unsure!
2. Don’t wear white during midday shoots

 So, this rule -can- be broken if the photographer is prepared for it but it’s safe to assume white is not a good choice in this situation. A photographer will almost always want to meter their exposure settings so that your face is perfectly exposed and in midday sun, even in the shade, that can often mean a white outfit will come across as blown out. That’s a lot of work that could be avoided simply by making different wardrobe choices.
3. Be yourself

 You are not going to fall in love with images of yourself wearing a brightly patterned floral dress if you are a woman who almost always wears black. Similarly, men forced into a button down and vest that always wear rock band T-shirts are going to think they look ridiculous. If your usual style is not the sort of thing you want to hang on your wall then find a happy medium. When you purchase photographic artwork you are doing so because you want to remember the love, joy and experience of now in the most beautiful way possible. Stay true to your family and yourself when making wardrobe choices to make that happen.
4. Coordinate without matching

 The photos of everyone in the family wearing the same color jeans and top were trendy in the ’90s but we’ve moved on from there. The most pleasing photos nowadays have everyone in the same color scheme but without all the matchy-matchy goodness of the past. Try picking four or five colors that you want everyone to wear that go well together like brown, navy, cream and mustard. The mustard makes for a nice “pop” color too! Another combo that works would be grey, red, teal and pale green. If you need help finding palette inspiration check out design-seeds.com Find a photo you like and go off that palette or choose a hue you know you want to use and let them create a palette for you!
5. Keep pattern and contrast in mind

Color is your friend. Having a great color pop can take your photo from nice to amazing! As long as you are wearing something interesting and eye catching, the background doesn’t really matter because the subject is so interesting to look at. For groups or couples I know it can seem overwhelming, and a lot of people like to stay with the white shirts and blue jeans look. This is definitely safe! But it’s pretty common if you are looking for something a bit more unique. Try choosing a color scheme with a few different colors that everyone is allowed to work with. The general theme could be purple with secondary colors of white and mint, or everyone can wear something that has maroon and brown. ** Extra little individual accessories on each person can make the photo shoot really personalized.
6. Bring a Prop- something special to add creative flair

For engagement shoots this is just such an amazing addition to your session. Think about what is personal to you two, maybe he won you a stuffed animal on your first date, or you both love playing Baseball together. These things will make the images more special and make for something to interact with on the photoshoot as well. This also works for senior photos and modeling photos as well, if you bring a chair let’s say for you to sit on and work with. It also works really well with outdoor sessions to bring something to add like a piece of furniture or prop because a plain green background can get a little old, so it’s fun to dress it up.

What to Wear to a Maternity Photo Session

A friend of mine is having their first child this fall and I'm very excited to do a maternity photo session with them this week. "What should we wear?" is one of the most important questions I was asked in preparation for this kind of shoot. Here are some of my tips I came up with from my experience to help clients make some basic fashion decisions.

1. The Basics of Contrast
Try not to wear same color or same patterned outfit. Creating some contrast will make your photos a lot more interesting.


2. The Brights & Neutrals
The principle of picking on focal-point outfit, usually for the mom-to-be, and complimenting it with a neutral outfit for her partner to wear.

3. The Patterns & Solids
It illustrates couples how to successfully use patterns as a part of their photo session outfits. The key rule here is to stick to a single patterned garment and use solid colors for any other items of clothing the couple to wear.

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