Choosing outfits for a portrait session can sometimes be slightly stressful, but it doesn’t have to be!! It does not seem like what you wear would make a big difference in how the photos look, but it absolutely does! Here are some tips to help you choose the best outfits to wear for your photo session!
I have found that more neutral, muted, or jewel tones really work well with outdoor landscapes! Think about the location we are shooting in, what colors might we see there and how can you compliment them and stand out! Keep in mind that whites reflect a lot of light and can wash you out if it’s really bright and sunny (another reason I aim for close to sunset but it can still be pretty bright out)! Also, you don’t need to match with any others that might be in the photos with you, I would consider wearing different colors that complement each other well! Take a look at the color wheel below, colors compliment best with colors opposite them on the color wheel! For example if we are going to a very green/yellow woodsy location, consider wearing reds and purples. If we will be near Lake Superior with lots of blues, consider wearing oranges. Canva has an awesome color theory calculator that can help you as well! It can also be nice to wear colors similar to the background, but keep in mind this will mean you will blend in a bit more. It really depends on the aesthetic you are going for!
Be careful with patterns, unless they are subtle and the location backdrop is not real busy. They can be distracting, and will often make your eye go directly to them and miss the rest of the photo. They can definitely work with many back drops but its a good idea to have a more solid colored alternative with you just incase! Bold patterns are certainly a way to stand out if that is what you are going for! They work best with simple yet colorful backgrounds.
Remember we may have a hike to the location! If you are planning to wear your outfit on the way to the session be sure to wear breathable fabrics that are comfortable. I do have a little changing tent so feel free to wear something else to hike in, as you can change to your outfit once we get to the location! Long flowy fabrics are fun for locations that may be windy! Avoid fabrics that are super shiny or reflective as that will reflect light away from you.
This is may be obvious, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes with a good grip! You can always bring other shoes to wear just in the photos, but we don’t want any sprained ankles or falls on the way to our session location if we can help it! (I am certified in wilderness first aid, but I would rather not have to use my training, haha) Lastly, let’s just be honest, most outdoor locations do not lend well to high heels at all, so I would highly advise against them! If you must insist, try to find shorter, thicker heels or there are some neat little heel stoppers you can buy to help keep them from sinking into soft ground and give you more stability.
Absolutely feel free to accessorize with jewelry, hats, scarves, whatever is YOU, but again, keeping it neutral will allow you to stand out more. Also, consider the weather, hats may be tough to keep on your head if it is windy so have a backup plan. Baseball caps really darken your face and can cause shadows so I highly discourage them.
Well I think that is it! I hope this guide is helpful with choosing the best outfits for your photo session. Do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or would like me to give any input on outfits you have picked!