What to Wear Guide

I know how difficult it can be to choose an outfit for photos. I've been there. But thanks to help from India Earl, I have created this guide to help you find something that will make you look and feel like two million bucks (because one just aint enough), but is also complimentary to our location! Before we start, you should know that I know next to nothing about fashion (I'm wearing a dress as a t-shirt with my ripped jeans as I type this right now) so you won't be receiving unsolicited fashion advice from me. BUT, what I do know is what looks good in photos and what is distracting from you guys as the subjects.

So just remember that these guidelines are just that - guidelines. You can wear whatever you would like to wear and there won't be any judgement from me. Pinky promise. The key to getting fantastic photos that you'll want to put up everywhere and constantly go back to look at is wearing something that you can move around in comfortably, feel like yourself in, and makes you feel like, again two million bucks. This goes for both of you. Guys are usually less stoked about coming to a shoot, but if they can wear clothes that they're used to wearing and are comfy in, they'll be in much better spirits! Alright, let's get started!

Let's walk through it

First of all, I highly recommend bringing options. They will be our friend on the day of. You can bring 4-5 tops and 2-3 bottoms (and a couple dresses and accessories as well if ya want more options) with you, and I’ll help you choose from them so we end up matching the scenery and get bomb photos. Your other half can do the same thing, and we’ll choose from his picks as well! If you’re not down to change in the car on the side of the road, no worries, send me a few pictures of the outfits you’re deciding between beforehand, and I’ll help you choose!

I also recommend bringing a second layer of some sort, maybe a jacket, kimono, scarf, or sweater. Especially if we’re sticking to one location, being able to take it off throughout the session and have a bit of a different look going is great to get some more variety in your gallery!

Just make sure you guys bring clothes you’ll feel comfy and confident in, and I’ll do the rest! So you might be thinking, “but I’ve got this really great outfit I bought just for this, are you saying I might not be able to wear it?” Maybe. Something that looks dope in everyday life, may not look as good in your photos because they could be distracting, a colour that doesn’t look good in our location, or a style that just doesn’t match the setting. I’ll give you examples in a minute.

Lastly, just remember that none of these guidelines are rules, they’re guidelines. These are what I’ve found look best in photos, but if you want to wear a cow suit for your photos, go ahead and wear a cow suit for your photos.

Make sure it makes sense.

Think about the conditions and location when you're choosing an outfit. If we're going to the beach, being barefoot in a bathing suit and kimono or a summer dress might make the most sense. Unless it's winter, then I definitely suggest jeans and a sweater over a summer dress. If we're hiking to a waterfall in Hamilton, I HIGHLY recommend you don't wear heels. But if you're that good in walking in them, then hey, go for it.

If it's the middle of the winter, wear lots of layers and wear shoes or boots that you're going to be comfortable in. If you're freezing cold, you'll be able to tell in your photos. So bundle up in layers so we can make sure you're feeling good and loose.

If it's the middle of summer and probably going to be hot, wear something breathable so you don't end up with sweaty pits in all your photos. The comfier you are, the better you'll feel for your photos!

Colours

As soon as I say neutrals, you're probably going to think greys and browns. I don't want you to think that. Every colour has a neutral, (mustard yellow, forest green, burnt orange, navy blue). So I recommend wearing neutrals and avoiding bright, florescent colours that will inevitably distract from your faces. That being said, if the colour you're hoping to wear isn't neutral, but is still complimentary to the location, then go for it! I just say neutrals because it's the best way to make sure the sunlight won't glow crazy colours onto your face by bouncing off your shirt. Make sense? Cool.

When it comes to colours, coordinate, don’t match. You’ll want to avoid wearing the same colours because you’ll look begin to look like one blob with two faces when you’re standing close together. But if you draw from the same colour pallet, you’ll compliment each other without matching too much.

If you’re in need of some inspo for colour pallets, check out my pinterest board. You can find that link just up and to the right.

Patterns

These photos aren’t perfect examples of how to do it right. If I could go back, honestly, I’d probably have all three of them change. They’re here more so we can learn from them. The right picture is an example of too much pattern at one time. Both of them are wearing patterns. His shirt is an example of wearing too small a pattern which is confusing to the camera. Avoid tiny patterns and too many patterns at once. Keep it simple with only one of you wearing a pattern at a time. More on this below.

As a rule, avoid patterns that will be distracting.

That usually means large patterns and busy patterns. The bottom photo is an example of a large pattern. She’s almost getting lost in the trees because the pattern blends in too much. That being said, the colour of her dress matches very well with the blossoms. The top photo is another example of too much pattern/texture. They’re both wearing some kind of pattern that distracts from the wonderful emotion on their faces. So basically what I’m telling you is that my outfit guidance was lacking before, so I hope you’ll head this advice so we can end up with the greatest photos possible! And lastly, make sure to iron or steam any wrinkly clothes beforehand so your photos are simple and clear of any distractions.

Props

Props don't necessarily have to be those traditional ones! Props can be anything from your dog (if you have one and don't bring it I'll be seriously disappointed), your motorcycle, a canoe, pizza, a truck, longboard, a bouquet, blankets, etc. If you want to bring props, let me know and we can figure out how to incorporate them in a natural way.

In-home sessions

Everything that I've already said applied for in-home sessions. But for these, I say the more skin the better. I promise I'm not a creep and this doesn't mean you have to be wearing next to nothing. That being said, you'll look a lot more comfortable and fit in the setting better if you're in shorts and a loose tank than if you're wearing jeans and a bunch of layers. I'm pretty sure most of us don't wear pants at all around our house anyway. SO, wear what's comfy and feels normal, and make sure you still have some options for me to pick from.

And yes, it's completely okay if you want to be in a sweater and undies for a few or have your babe be shirtless. There's not a lot of settings where that would fly, so if you're comfortable doing that, let's do it! (Again, I promise I'm not a creep haha)

Hair + Makeup

Should you get your hair and makeup done for your session? Honestly, that’s completely up to you! What would make you feel the most confident? Looking like the everyday you or the glammed up you? If these are your engagement photos, it might be a great idea to schedule your hair/makeup trials on the same day. But keep in mind it may not look what you were hoping for, so if you decide to do this, allot enough time for yourself to wipe it all off and redo your hair just in case. If you’re more of a no-makeup everyday kind of person, you might not feel like yourself with a whole bunch of makeup on and you may not like how you look in the photos because of it. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re going to feel like yourself and confident coming to your session. Confidence does way more for your photos than some makeup will. And if you’re pasty white like me and are considering a spray tan, make sure you get a suuuper natural airbrush spray tan. You don’t want to end up like Emma in Bride Wars showing up to your session looking like an Oompa Loompa.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all this, set it aside for a day or two and come back to it later. If you have any questions, shoot me a text! And if you want to review some outfit choices before your session, feel free to text me some pictures and we can go over your options together!

Whew. That’s it!

If you need me before the shoot: