Selecting an outfit seems daunting, because it is daunting. I’m excited to share 3 Tips for selecting an outfit. There are so many elements to think about when selecting the ideal wardrobe for a portrait session. Questions like: What should I wear? What color should I wear? Do I dress up? Do I dress casual? Will ‘MY’ style look good in pictures? What about the weather?
You are not alone. Almost all of my clients (if not every single one) of the portrait sessions I’ve done in the past have asked me at least a few of these questions.
As a result, I’m finally writing this blog about outfits and wardrobes for all of you out there who are pondering the same questions as everyone else. Let’s dive in!
Outfit Tip #1: Consider your location.
When selecting your wardrobe for your senior session shoot, consider the locations that you will be using first. This is a great springboard for choosing your outfits. First, it is important to understand that your location is filled with general colors that can either complement or clash with what you are wearing. Check out my Top 5 Amarillo Portrait Locations post if you need some ideas.
Take for example, Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. If my model is wearing a highly patterned, highly textured dress with a lot of color, there will be nothing to contrast her from the background. Cadillac Ranch is filled with bright spray-painted cars with vivid colors.
In order to create a beautiful dichotomy between the two, I would have my model wear white or black to really bring her to the forefront of the image instead of blending in with all of the colors.
Outfit Tip #2: Have a good mix of dressy and casual.
After considering your locations, create a good mix of dressy and casual pieces that complement your location. The outfits you pick should reflect your style. In my experience, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to clothing. The best portraits I get are when my model feels confident in what he or she is wearing.
Whether that is distressed jeans, a crop top, and heals, or a floral summer dress with converse, it really doesn’t matter as long as YOU feel good. What I encourage my models to do is to select a couple of casual and more dressy outfits based on their style preferences.
Ladies, if you need a little help, I highly recommend Dotsy’s Boutique in Amarillo. They are super helpful and can help you pick out that perfect outfit for your session. Bonus: Use my coupon code JPEGJOE at checkout, you’ll receive 25% off your purchase in-store or online.
Guys, I get it and I’m no fashion expert. I found a shirt and pair of pants that I liked about a year ago and I bought one of each color and that’s about all I wear. This is a good time to be humble. Ask your lady friends and family for some help. Trust me, they know what looks good on you!
Outfit Tip #3: Don’t let the weather determine everything.
Hear me out on this one.
Yes, keeping in mind the season is important, but it doesn’t have to dictate exactly what you wear for your senior shoot. In fact, many of my models have worn short dresses and open-toed shoes in the middle of winter to get the exact look they are going for.
What I recommend is letting your photographer know before the shoot that you have something out of season you’d like to wear. If there is colder or warmer weather than expected, request that this outfit be shot within a 5-10 minute time frame. This will allow your senior portrait photographer to plan accordingly and be prepared for the faster frames. Yes, it will be cold (or hot), but the end result will be worth it!
The pics above of my friend Mackie were taken over Christmas break in the middle of winter. The temperature was in the mid-20s and we had a healthy West Texas wind! We left my diesel truck running with the heater on HIGH, and I prepped all of the shots before Mackie would run out for 30 seconds for a few shots.
If you’ve been stressing about what to wear I hope this post has given you a little inspiration and a lot more confidence! Make sure to loop in your photographer to your wardrobe discussions. I’m always happy to help my clients.
Bonus tip: Stay away from busy patterns and designs, as they can be distracting. Also, try not to wear shiny or metallic fabric. If you do, let your photographer know. We can make it work, but it can reflect funny if we use off-camera flash.
Top 5 Portrait Locations
Here's my top 5 portrait locations in the Amarillo-area. Use it with whatever photographer you decide to use for this special milestone.