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What To Wear For A Photo Shoot

Updated: Jun 15, 2023


Curly dark haired white woman with blue eyes wearing a chic, fashionable beige professional dress poses for camera with one hand behind her hair.

We get these types of questions all the time – such is why we decided to write this article which will hopefully answer them all. However, please note, that these are just our general recommendations not explicit instructions. Each photo session is unique to you and your goals, so it is better to directly contact your photographer before the session if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Are you planning to or have already booked a photoshoot with your favourite professional photographer, but are not sure what to wear or what colours are best? Choosing what to put on should never cause you stress, but it is practical to consider your outfit as part of your preparation for your professional photo session. Undoubtedly, deciding what to wear and when is an important stage of preparation for all participants of the photo session, and we are more than glad to assist everyone.

 

Properly selected and harmonious clothing and accessories will create the right mood, highlight your greatest features, and neutralise possible flaws.

The tips below will help you perfect your look.

 

Comfort is the key

Leave experimental and uncomfortable clothing to professional models - they learn to work with them for years. During the photo session, you should be comfortable and relaxed as you will be required to change positions and even locations easily and without restriction for beautiful, dynamic pictures.

 

Harmony must be maintained by all those at the photo session.

This means that all images taken during the photo session should match in style, and thus be in harmony with each other and with the chosen location.

 

No to prints

As a rule, plain clothes look best on photos. Try to say no to prints, logos (unless in a corporate photoshoot), inscriptions, rhinestones, and patterns - as we want you to shine and not to draw attention from you.

 

Shoes

Appropriate shoes should complete your image and reflect your chosen location. For example, formal shoes will not only look out of place on the grass or sand, but they may also sustain damage.

 

Talk to your photographer

If you have any severe doubts regarding your choice of clothing for a photo shoot, the best solution would be to consult your photographer. Feel free to attach pictures of several clothing options if you require any suggestions or recommendations. We are always more than happy to assist you.

 

Colours are extremely important

To understand what outfit colours are most preferred, you must consider the setting of the photo session (studio, beach, park, etc). Always remember to take into account your personal preference in colours, after all you know what fits you best – what makes you feel like you! Commonly – each image will centre around the choice of a ‘main colour’, after which stylists recommend adding 2-3 more complementary colours. Among these colours, low contrast outfits, in which similar value tones are worn together, are preferred. For example, if you’re planning to rock a light blue top, lighter beige or jeans bottoms will be an ideal low contrast piece.

 

For photo shoots, it is generally encouraged to select relatively plain pieces with no inscriptions, large colourful patterns, and drawings. Such outfits draw attention to the clothing rather than to the true star of the show – you! The same notion applies to overly bright clothing. Therefore, calmer, still shades and minimalistic patterns are ideal for photo shoots unless, the focus of the shoot dictates otherwise. When choosing your colour scheme simplistic and picturesque tones include; beige, light grey, peach, lilac, warm orange, pale yellow, sage green and muted blues.

 

Outfits for family photo sessions

Family photoshoots are precious and represent your unity. To highlight this bond, a consistent style is recommended to be upheld across all family members. This can be easily achieved through developing a simple colour scheme for clothing and accessories to ensure visual harmony throughout all images. The pallet may consist of only 2 simple colours such as a light-toned blue and beige which comes together to capture your family and distinguish it as whole. Nonetheless, pictures will remain harmonious if no more than 4 complimentary colours are selected.

If you are unsure on where to begin, make a start by selecting one item of clothing comprised of several colours such as a dress and pull colours from the piece to compose your colour pallet. Unless you are attempting to highlight your clothing, solid, muted colours, and earthy, monochrome tones are highly recommended.

 

Female clothing for a photo shoot

For women, we greatly advise choosing dresses and/or skirts, (preferably loose) so that they do not restrict movement. Such pieces – especially if long - flow with the wind and add both beauty and character to your images. We recommend avoiding thin fabrics, which easily crease and wrinkle and do not hold shape. A solid fabric which does not easily wrinkle, holds it shape yet does not weight the clothing down and is consistent in colouration, is always encouraged. Among various fabric types, natural materials such as; cotton, linen, viscose, lyocell, silk and lace, is not only pleasant to touch but also see.

 

Camera lens alterations

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to be distorted by the camera lens which visually alters your proportions. At times, this may give a ‘wider’ appearance. To combat such changes, we recommend wearing high-rise bottoms to heighten your proportions and effectively counterbalance the effects of the camera lens. A tight top and tight bottom is discouraged as this will further emphasise the alterations made by the lens. It is better of one item is voluminous, while the other is tight. At times, both pieces may be voluminous however a belt at the waist must be supplemented to ‘break-up’ the figure.

From experience, we find that some women tend to be self-conscious of their upper arms – if this is of concern, a fashionable sleeved top is appropriate. However, it is most important you wear what you not only feel best in, but what you are most comfortable in, so that you feel beautiful and confident.

 

Accessories

Do not be afraid to use accessories or props. Even at first glance, seemingly insignificant elements can frame your face or emphasise your most beautiful of features. An elegant hat, a stunning handbag, an embellished belt, your favourite jewellery and even an umbrella can serve as an ideal accent to your look. Such pieces may all be implemented tastefully and most importantly, effectively to bring focus to your character and unique beauty. Upon request, we may also arrange a wreath of fresh flowers, which you can adorn in your upcoming photo session. By implementing such accessories, we can enhance the beauty and significance of your location to create a harmonious and personalised final result.

 

Male clothing for a photo shoot

Often times, the best photo shoot worthy outfits for men consist of a shirt, trousers and comfortable, suitable shoes. Depending on the weather conditions and location, the trousers may be exchanged to shorts and the shirt to a short-sleeved polo or T-shirt. For urban lifestyle shoots, young people may choose from contemporary jeans and sneakers as long as they are stylish and appropriate. All clothing must be wrinkle free, neat, and presentable with all collars tucked and ties aligned.

 

For casual headshot sessions or acting headshot sessions, bring a basic T-shirt and long sleeve shirt. Wear white, grey, black, or taupe. Avoid bright colours such as neon. Bring something fun, if that is your brand or personality! If you have a shirt with a fun pattern, bring it along if it aligns with your character and purpose!

 

Now preparing for a photo shoot will be pleasant and easy. All of our recommendations and tips are aimed at providing you with not only a stress-free and enjoyable photo session, but with the tools to capture impressive images which you can treasure for years to come.

Our advice may be applied to all professional photography services as a ‘base line’ guide on how to prepare for your upcoming photography sessions.

 

We are always beyond eager to help you choose an outfit for each participant of the photo shoot and get you those captivating and unique shots which highlight you, and not just your clothes. To do so, we aim to take into account all your wishes and visions when generating  concepts for your upcoming photo session. Throughout this process, we will offer the best locations (both indoor and outdoor), suggest colour schemes and when needed, aid in choices regarding images and clothing. If you have any questions or are seeking advice regarding your professional photo session in Cairns, Port Douglas, or the Atherton Tablelands, we are beyond happy to help. Just call or text us here.

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