What to Wear II: Electric Boogaloo

It's often said that the clothes make the man, I don't know if I agree with that but as a photographer I know that they can make or break a photoshoot. When picking an ensemble to wear before a photoshoot (it's a little different at a wedding), you want to think not just about what is flattering but what you're trying to say in your photo story.

Above is an image I shot for a client who was looking to get back into the dating pool for a little bit of fun. So what outfit there was selected to highlight areas the subject wants to show off (well-defined arms and nipple piercings). Of course what you want to say isn't always so blatant, but you always want to bring out the good, hide the bad and show yourself off in your photos.

General Wardrobe Tips:


  • Keep it simple. Unless you're well-known for your quirky sense of fashion don't go all out for a shoot, clashing prints and patterns draw attention away from you and toward your clothes.
  • Accessories to avoid: Hats tend to cast shadows on the face and flashy jewelry causes the same problems as clashing patterns (though nice earrings or a necklace can bring attention back to you).\
  • For group portraits, coordinate outfits. This does not mean that everyone should wear the same outfit (I do not ever want to see any of my work on Awkward Family Photos), you should pick complimentary colors and patterns.
  • Darker colors tend to be slimming, as are vertical stripes. This doesn't mean you have to dress all in black (please don't, also black on black stripes is just silly).
  • Don't forget personal grooming, a bit of bed head can be cute but not everyone can pull it off. Going to a professional before a shoot can be a great treat (just don't do anything too radical) and the lads can sometimes benefit from a little attention just as much as the ladies.

Bridal Tips:


  • A bridal session can be a great way to use a makeup or hair test if you don't want to wait until after your honeymoon or delay that trip even for a few hours.
  • Outdoors a white sheet can help avoid staining of the dress when shooting (or even a discrete plastic sheet).
  • If you're really nervous about damaging the dress, schedule the session after your wedding.


Boudoir/Glamour Tips:


  • Wear loose fitting, smooth items before your shoot as tight clothing can leave red marks that don't flatter (this also applies to carrying heavy shoulder bags).
  • Bring several more clothing options than you think you'll need, you can mix and match and sometimes you'll hae more time than you'd think.
  • Clothing doesn't have to be revealing to be flattering or sexy, if you have problem areas a little covering (even if it is a bit sheer) can open up a lot of avenues for posing.
  • Stockings and hose can help accent and slim the legs.
  • If you're planning on baring your feet, make sure they're clean because even a couple of steps across a tidy floor can accumulate a little dirt.


Naturally there are dozens of body types and a myriad of choices to make, so experiment with your own camera or a mirror and see what suits you best.