Best Tips for What to Wear for a Photoshoot

You just booked a photoshoot with a really talented photographer and your excitement is going through the roof! But what to wear for a photoshoot? You heard that there are some things that you should or shouldn’t wear, but what are the rules?

Clothing in a photoshoot is a whole entire “science” in the photography community, just like lighting and color, clothing can create a dramatic tone and mood in photos. When planning a portrait, family, or couple’s photoshoot you may want to consider a few things to get the best results, so we have included a few pointers to get you started in the right direction. But of course, rules are meant to be broken, so feel free to experiment and get creative!

Wear what makes you feel confident!

Wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Think about the clothes that make you feel great! This is also a perfect time to show your personality and really dress up fancier or even completely formal. Make sure the clothes are relatively comfortable and fit nicely.

Depending on the photoshoot you might need to walk to get to the destination and move around to get into different poses. Loose and baggy clothes create bulkiness and add visual weight, while tight clothes or showing straps can create unwanted lines and distractions. Really think about the outcome you want in your photos when deciding what to wear for a photoshoot. Ask yourself how you want to tell your story. Whatever you choose to wear, make sure it’s really you!

Mariya's Photography summer couple photoshoot

Coordinate your clothing colors

If you are organizing a family, group, or a couple photoshoot plan to wear coordinating outfits. Choose 2-3 colors that work well together or go for a timeless monochrome look for everyone to wear. It might even help to layout the outfits all together to see how they complement each other.

Don’t be afraid to wear different tones of the same color family, such as light and medium blues, for more depth in the photos. Unless you are going for a themed look for a particular season or location (like plaid for Fall or Christmas) consider solid colors along with neutrals and pastels. The best part is that every color has a pastel and neutral tone so there are many choices to experiment with!

What to wear to a photoshoot example | Mariyas Photography

Things to avoid

Avoid busy patterns, clashing colors, colors that blend in with the background, and clothes with graphic designs, logos, and words. The final photos may look messy and create an unnecessary distraction from the rest of the composition with standout colors and patterns. They may also look too plain if the subjects disappear into the background.

When deciding what to wear to a photoshoot remember that darker colors slenderize, and light colors create a fresh look. If you have children and adults in the photos, make sure the kids are wearing lighter colors and adults are wearing dark colors, so the adults do not dominate the attention in the photos instead, there is natural flow throughout the pictures.

Accessorize, add layers, and dress up!

Jewelry, gold watches, your favorite heels – this is the time to pull them out and show them off! Not only do they glam up your style but also create sophistication with detail. As you get dressed show off your best assets and feel free to highlight your favorite feature with those little accessory details. Layering clothes, with cardigans, jackets, vests, and blazers add an interesting look to the photos as well as a touch of creativity. It’s like you have a whole new outfit just by taking off a jacket, not to mention all the fun poses you can do by simply draping the jacket over the shoulders!

When dressing up and deciding on hair and makeup, opt for timeless and classic looks; ones that will never go out of style. Looking back at the photos in 10 years you want to still look good and on-trend. Khakis, denim, V-necks, button-ups, satin blouses, and simple dresses are usually safe and classy choices!

Accessories photo by Canva

What to Wear for a Photoshoot, Conclusion

These tips almost always guarantee amazing photos, but again they are simply guidelines to help you get started. For more inspiration and ideas on what to wear for a photoshoot look through our gallery, Instagram, or Pinterest and take note of what kinds of looks you like and make you feel positive and excited for the big day. If you still seem unsure, reach out to your photographer to start a conversation about your choices, most photographers will happily help brainstorm ideas. Lastly don’t forget to keep an open mind to new things and have fun, after all this is a time to celebrate you!

Hey There!

Me (4)

Hi! I'm Mariya Maximtsev - a published Chicagoland portrait photographer. I love taking pictures of amazing families, and creating custom sessions for women and business owners!