5 questions to ask yourself BEFORE you choose outfits for your photo session
Apr 21, 2016 | By: focal point photography
Do you dread picking out what to wear for your photo session? Does it make you so stressed out that you decide to skip booking the photos all together?
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Believe it or not, over half of my clients ask for help when deciding what to wear for photos. This makes me so immensley happy because I love the styling part of a photoshoot. I think before we start tearing up your closet and scouring the web for the perfect attire, there are a few questions that need to be asked.
1- Why are you getting photos taken?
What are they for? Are they a gift? Because you want a fun Christmas card? Someone guilted you into it? Everyone else is doing it? You got a bargain? To capture a moment or season of life?
These are all OK reasons, but knowing why you are having them taken is important. It helps see the mission through to the end. It helps with the anxiety that often follows when thinking about having a "stranger" take your photos. If you remember the "why" it will make the session seem more important and worthwhile. Often times just answering this question will help put some parameters on what to wear. For example, if you are getting them taken for Christmas cards, maybe you want to wear holiday colors. Again, start with "why" you are having them taken.
2- What will you do with these images?
Will you be purchasing prints or digital files? Are you going to hang prints in your living room? Are you making an album for a grandparent? Are they mothers day gifts? Lets be honest here.... do you digital files ever even leave your computer....... please please please buy a few prints.
Start this thinking process early. If they are just for fun to share on social media, then what you wear may not be as important. You may not need to develop an ulcer worrying about it. If they are for a gift, think about what the recipient likes. For example, my mom would like more traditional styled photos. Her house decor is forest green and burgundy, so wearing bright red should be out of the running. These little decisions and thoughts are not life and death, but planning ahead will help simplify the actual wardrobe selection process.
3- What is my wardrobe budget?
Should we just use what you have already in your closet? Can you buy something that will work for dual purposes (easter, mothers day, Christmas)? Are you so darn excited that you have budgeted a few hundred dollars to make the styling part of the process a priority?
I am all about budgets. When clients give me a budget, I stick to it. I am not afraid to use what you have. I actually did it for our own family session last June. I know its possible. Confession......My son did have to wear old flip flops with this outfit and I didn't love it. It still bugs me when I look at the photos, so keep these kind of things in mind.
4- Who has the least options?
Who has the smallest closet? I always start there. For us, its my junior high aged son. If its not basketball shorts, track pants, hoodies, or t-shirts, he doesn't have it. He has zero pairs of jeans. And he hopes to keep it that way. He has basketball shoes and flip flops. He sees no use for anything else. This is super hard to work around. So, I must start with his wardrobe and build around it. Luckily we had recently attended a wedding and so he had one button up shirt and thats where we started for our wardrobe. It was his only option.
5- What makes you feel comfortable? What will make your spouse and kids feel comfortable?
Do you know what is worse than having your family photos taken? Having them taken in clothes you hate that make you feel stiff or fake or hot or cold or fat or ....
After asking these 5 questions and wresting with the answers, we move to the fun part.... Actually picking out the clothes. I promise to help you walk through that. I will put together some tips and tricks for doing that. Stay tuned.