first and foremost, BE YOU!

WHAT TO WEAR STYLE GUIDE

Your clothing choices should allow you to be yourself and feel confident and comfortable.

So... what should I wear?

As a photographer, this is the number one question I get asked. It can be pretty confusing and stressful trying to decide what outfits would be best for your session. This guide will help you with styling tips and tricks to select clothing options for a perfect outcome at your session.

01.

Complementing Outfits

The days of everyone in the picture wearing the same outfit are long gone. A good way to start planning a photo session is to choose a color scheme. Try to choose a palette that has a mix of neutral shades and a bright color. Another option is a color scheme with one main color and different variations of that color.

 

Instead of having everyone in the photo compete for center stage, you may want to choose one person to stand out from the rest. Typically, it's easier to have a woman or girl's outfit be the focal point of a picture.

 

Once you've chosen a person to be the focus of the image, use a color to draw viewers' eyes in. Everyone else in the photo can have accessories that match the bright color, making the photo look unified and complete.

San-Diego_California-Military-family-Phototgrapher

02.

MAKE A PHOTO INTERESTING WITH ACCESSORIES

Accessories are often just what a photo needs to take it from neutral to engaging. Don't limit yourself to jewelry when you think about accessories for your portrait session.

 

There's plenty to choose from for everyone — outerwear, jewelry, hats, headbands, flowers in a girl's hair, and scarves, to just name a few.

 

03.

Layer your outfits and use different textures

You want to use a light hand when it comes to accessorizing. Too many accessories, especially if they are big or bright, can overwhelm a photo and take the focus off what is really important—your subjects! This is particularly true for little ones. Their unique personalities and beauty need to be allowed to shine through, not be overshadowed by a gigantic headband or overdone accessories. Remember, accessories are just there to enhance what your subjects are bringing to the photo—their personality and beauty. Nothing draws the eye to a photo like differences. Two easy ways to add fun differences to a photo are layers and different textures.

Layers offer different aspects to a photo in several different ways. Subjects can take on and take off layers for different looks in each photo, and layers add a nice bit of color variation.

 

Different fabrics and accessories can give much-needed texture to a photo. Look for pieces of clothing with embroidered details, lace collars or accents, ribbons, ruffles, and other fun textures. These types of different textures show up well in black and white photos as well as color photos, giving a pop of personality to each photo. Plan your outfits and layers to match your vision for the photo and what brings out your subjects' personalities and styles.

Senior-Session-Catherine-Hatfield-Photography

04.

Use fun props to bring more personality to a photo shoot

For a photo that focuses on the subjects and brings out their best traits, simple props are the best way to add some fun to a photograph. Look at the location of a photo shoot and the vibe of the shoot. Is it fun? Romantic? Nostalgic? Keep your props in line with the theme of a photograph so they enhance the photo, rather than detract from it.

 

A photo in a meadow can be enhanced with a handful of wildflowers. A romantic engagement photo is made even sweeter when a couple holds an object that's meaningful to their courtship. For photos featuring children, pick objects that are meaningful to them for the photo. A stuffed animal adds to the feel of a photo and will make you smile when you look at the photo years later. Just make sure that a prop fits in with the picture!

BABIES 1ST YEAR
MATERNITY PORTRAITS
San-Diego-Beach-Photographer-Catherine-HatfieldTEA PARTY

05.

Everything matters from top to bottom ... Yes that includes shoes!

 

Everything that is worn or used in a photo shoot affects the look and feel of each photo. This includes your shoes.

 

Do not let your footwear be an overlooked part of your outfit planning. A pair of shoes that doesn't fit in with the rest of a photo can quickly become the center of focus in the image. Unless you have tennis shoes that are unique and fun enough to fit in with the vibe or your session, you may want to consider other footwear options for your pictures.

 

 

06.

Keep it classic for a timeless look

 

For a photo that focuses on the subjects and brings out their best traits, simple props are the best way to add some fun to a photograph. Look at the location of a photo shoot and the vibe of the shoot. Is it fun? Romantic? Nostalgic? Keep your props in line with the theme of a photograph so they enhance the photo, rather than detract from it.

A photo in a meadow can be enhanced with a handful of wildflowers. A romantic engagement photo is made even sweeter when a couple holds an object that's meaningful to their courtship. For photos featuring children, pick objects that are meaningful to them for the photo. A stuffed animal adds to the feel of a photo and will make you smile when you look at the photo years later. Just make sure that a prop fits in with the picture!

07.

Keep the display in mind

As you plan out a photo shoot, remember to think about where and how pictures will be displayed. If you are planning on displaying photos on your living room wall, tie the colors and setup of your photos to the color scheme of the room.

 

Photos that will go up in a child's room should emulate the fun, playful spirit of children and capture the age of your children. Pictures that will be used for invitations, Christmas cards, or announcements, keep the smaller display size of the photo in mind. Small details may get lost in a smaller photo, so use bold accessories that will show up in a 4 x 6 photo.

CANVAS PORTRAIT 30 X 40
20 x 30 FRAMED PORTRAIT
CANVAS JIGSAW
(2) 20 X 30
(2) 16 X 20

08.

Choosing clothes for children

 

Adults can be comfortable in just about anything for the length of a photo shoot. However, choosing perfect children's clothing is of the utmost importance for a good photo shoot.

 

Kids can be made itchy or uncomfortable by the smallest inconvenience — a tag in the back of a shirt or a fabric that rubs against the skin wrong.

Choose free-flowing clothing for kids that will allow them to move easier and stay comfortable throughout the photo shoot. For outdoor photos, consider bright, free-flowing clothing that will move with the child and add movement and life to a photo.

 

A dress that twirls not only enchants a little girl, it make a photo exciting and engaging.

 

 

Catherine-Hatfield-Military-family-Photographer-San-Diego

02.

Patterned Clothes

 

Patterns are like bright colors and accessories in photos—they are great when they are used with a light hand. One person wearing a patterned top or dress can break up the picture into visually interesting chunks.

 

To avoid overwhelming a photo, have just one subject in a photo wear a bold pattern. In the rest of the photo, have small bursts of patterns to draw the eye through the photo.

 

For instance, a little girl dressed in a bold patterned dress can look great next to her mother who is wearing a subtly patterned scarf.

 

 

10.

Location... Location

 

As you plan your photo shoot outfits, keep the location in mind. You want the clothing

choices and the photo setting to complement each other, not look like they don't match.

 

Imagine a little girl with a vintage cotton dress, sporting pigtails and holding a handful of flowers she picked herself. This would look great in a meadow or a farm setting. However, the same little girl would look a bit strange in an urban photo setting.

 

 

You also want to make sure that the colors and patterns you choose fit well in the

environment you've selected. If a subject's clothing is the same color as the background, she or he may blend in. It may be easier to first choose the location for a photo shoot and then plan outfits around that location. If you're shooting in an area with lots of patterns and visually distracting elements, bright, solid colors may be just what your subjects need to stand out.

 

Still not sure where to start and would like help? Email me, I am happy to help!

 

Catherine-Hatfield-Carlsbad-San-Marcos-Oceanside-Family-Photography
LET'S CHAT!

WHAT WE ENVISIONED

We first worked with Catherine years ago when we asked her to take our daughter's pictures. Catherine was so gentle and is very conscientious, attending to every detail. Throughout the session, Catherine made sure to capture what we had envisioned. She is very personable, talented, and fun.

She continues to impress us with her skills, artistic eye, and professionalism.

 

VIANNEY + MATT

San Diego Wedding Family Event Branding Headshot Photographer

If you’d like to press pause on your busy life long enough to create some beautiful memories, then fill out the from below and I’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

join us on

INSTAGRAM

#cathatphotos #cathatbrides #cathatcouples