Four Pieces of Must Know Outfit Advice | Session Prep

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

You've booked your session, you've maxed out your Pinterest board (thank god that's not possible!) and you've dreamt up the perfect location...

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This is hands down the most frequently asked question I get from clients as their sessions approach - and luckily I absolutely love giving my very best advice on what I've learned throughout my years of shooting!

While it is incredibly fun for me to style a shoot head to toe, I really just want my clients to feel absolutely unstoppable during our time. It's incredible what an effect those "favorite jeans" or "special occasion dress" can have on your confidence and comfortability. So regardless of if you listen to any advice after this point right here, the moral is to wear something that you feel comfortable + confident in. Those vibes will shine through into your session no matter what you're wearing!


Now...I don't assume that the people who ask this are asking because they don't know what clothes they themselves like, but rather they want to make sure their wardrobe photographs well - and for that I have plenty of advice.



San Diego downtown wedding engagement portraits

1. Whitest Whites + Blackest Blacks

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Let's get started with the basics.

White + black.....you can't go wrong!

...right?


This is where knowing what photographs well can make a huge difference.

I always encourage wearing neutrals + soft colors so that you're never limited by your surroundings, but sometimes those most basic colors can actually cause more problems than they solve.


Keeping a few tiny details in mind will help you avoid looking flat or formless in your photos, and those details are...details!

Texture + simple patterns are hands down the best way to wear white + black.


Notice in the brightest and darkest spots of these images how the texture of the fabric or it's subtle pattern gives depth that might have otherwise been lost.


The other solution is simply wearing "close to it" colors.

Black tips: A deep, dark green or blue will look black and a dark pattern will give depth without disappearing into the shadows.

White tips: Wearing cream or off-white. These colors will read as white when photographed, without any blue-ish highlights or reflective tendencies.



2. Simple, Classic + Comfortable

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You can never go wrong with your comfiest jeans and a classic tee. Aside from the fact that you know you're gonna look and feel amazing in them, wearing simple attire with calm colors brings all the focus onto you and your surroundings.





3. Color Without Clashing

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I'm bias when it comes to wardrobe palettes, because my closet is filled with "muddy" and "dusty" hues. - And while I may be happy sporting an entire outfit of grey and tan, that just doesn't fit everyone's style. Absolutely do not be afraid of adding those big pops of color!


When you're added brighter, bolder colors to your outfit just keep in mind two small things.

1. What is your partner wearing?

Try to keep it to one bold piece and allow the rest of your outfit(s) to compliment it. If you are doing a solo session, keep those layers as a neutral ground that can break up your outfit and add detail.

2. Where are you shooting?

If you're shooting outside in nature, you'll most likely have plenty of neutral backgrounds to choose from that will help your color choice to pop. If you're shooting somewhere more urban (which tend to have busier + more elaborate views), stray away from anything with too much print, as it will limit your location choices.




4. Layers on Layers

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Setting the scene...it's San Diego in the middle of summer. How and why on earth would you need (or want) to layer up?? Of course in the cold it's easy to pile on layers and create an outfit absolutely overflowing with depth, but what about when it's 90 degrees outside?

First things first - layers do not need to be clothing.

The best way to think of what kind of layers you may want to incorporate is just by thinking of what would be fun to play with? What items can you hold on to, take on + off, twirl around with, drape, drag, lay on...you get the jist.


Not only does adding these kinds of elements add visual depth to your outfit, but each piece becomes its own sort of prop - you know without being big balloons or block letters. By adding or ditching these elements you can completely change your look, which also gives your final gallery more contrast.

Win, win, win.

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Now for me personally, there's one last reason to pile on the layers, and it comes down to comfortability + fidgeting. I'm the girl always sliding her necklace back and forth or with her hands in her pockets...and don't get me started on the fact that I can't wear a drawstring sweatshirt without looking like a complete fool (hah!). There is something very calming and comfortable about being able to fidget, so don't hesitate adding in that necklace or hat!


These are my basic suggestions + rules of thumb for anyone who just doesn't know where to start.

If you're reading through this and disagreeing with any of these tips, you know you feel confident in your styling and know how to rock the newest trends...then go for it! You. Do. You.

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Fin.