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What to wear guide
A wedding and portrait photographer with a cinematic/editorial approach, based in Perth, WA
Dressing yourself in the morning is hard enough when you don’t have to stand in front of a camera and be your best self. Choosing what to wear for a photoshoot can trigger even the most confident, farshun-ey fashionista to pull their entire wardrobe out onto the floor in search of the perfect outfit.
So if your nerves start to fizz when you think about what to wear, don’t worry. This is SO normal! Before you lose sleep to late nights spent online shopping--putting articles of clothing in your cart only to take them out again--let’s talk about what works and what doesn’t.
Number one thing I want you to remember? Being comfortable is EVERYTHING. You should look and feel like yourself, first and foremost.
Be comfy. Please.
It’s not uncommon for people to want to shop for new, sparkly, fabulous clothes to wear to a photoshoot. And that’s totally fine - if that’s your jam. But let’s talk about comfort a little more. Do you think you’d be more comfortable in your favourite t-shirt and jeans or a new clingy little black dress? The best route is usually to go with something that’s tried and true. Something you know moves with you and hugs you in all the right places. Don’t get me wrong - it 100% does not have to be jeans and a t-shirt. You can glam it up a bit more if that’s what you fancy. But if authenticity is what you’re
after, you’re going to have to show up as yourself. And if you want to capture this time of your life in all its glory, then it’s about the feeling of being in your own skin.
Location & season
Match your outfit
to the location
Plan your outfits around what you know about the conditions at the location we’ll be shooting at. You’ll want to be warm enough (or cool enough!), have pain-free feet, and look relatively native to your environment. For at home sessions, slip into your comfiest comfies and rock that (pants optional). The idea is to authentically capture you wherever you are.
Think through your clothing choices logically based on location, vibe, and comfort level.
tiP: MAYBE DON’T WEAR ALL BLACK ON A STINKIN’ HOT DAY. JUST TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.
Bring multiple outfits
Gather up 2 or 3 outfits that you feel amazing in and we can play around with different combinations on the day. I’m not trying to photocopy trends in all their boring hues, I’m looking for the you-est you. Bring things that help you express yourself--I want you to grace my lens with your true, full personality!
Providing options helps me to make sure your threads compliment the environment - keeping the focus on you, where it should be!
Lead with personality
I’m up for it all. If you’re in a heavy metal band and want to smash some things and scream at the sky, throw on your best concert attire and count me in. If you’re a drama kid at heart and live for the spotlight, I’ll help you turn your front porch into a stage and feed you the lines you’ve forgotten. If you’re a jeans and a t-shirt kinda person, let’s work with that. I want your shoot to be different from everyone else’s. I want it to be you.
Incorporate texture and movement
Pick fabrics that move and flow with you. Ones that add a cosy texture, or get picked up by the wind, filter the late afternoon sun, and glow in the morning light. Natural fibres like linen, cotton, or wool are amazing. Avoid stiff-seeming garments with collars as they look a bit too formal and often get tucked in weird spots and need adjusting.
These colours, the ones that look incredible together, are called complementary colours. They complement each other and create a visual harmony. They’re salt and pepper, Bonnie and Clyde, peanut butter and jelly. Complementary colours sit across from one another on the colour wheel (i.e. blue and orange, red and green, yellow and purple).
Do's and don'ts
Makeup and hair
So this is totally your call! But, if I may... I want you to look like you. So do whatever you need to do to feel confident and beautiful.
Hands tell such a story about who you are and where you’ve been and play a crucial role in portrait photography. Sometimes photographs magnify bright nail polish, chipped manicures, and dirty fingernails. And once you see it, you can’t un-see it--your eye just keeps on zooming in on that one bit of the photograph. It’s really distracting. Treat yourself to a little subtle manicure or make sure your nails are neat and tidy before the shoot.
As for hair... Oh boy. I’m a sucker for the way a wild mane blows in the breeze. Up-dos are alright, and I totally get it--it’s so easy to throw your hair up! But when it comes to saving a moment and putting it in your pocket, hair down is the way to go. With your hair down, you get movement, you get interest, you get some perfect slices of imperfection in the best possible way.
- Dress for the season
- Dress for the location
- Compliment - Don't match (unintentionally)
- Wear something comfortable that you feel like yourself in.
- Natural fibres and earthy colours look amazing in most settings.
- Avoid large prints, logos, and patterns (unless it helps tell your story).
- Throw some accessories like a hat or denim jacket into your bag.