Can you guess what the #1 question I get asked before a brand photography session is? I’ll give you a hint:
Yup–”What do I wear!?” I promise, I’m here to make that a little bit easier! Finding clothes for your session can be overwhelming, but it’s definitely not impossible with some time and guidance. Here are my top tips for figuring out what to wear for your brand photo shoot session.
Understand your brand
The clothing you choose for your brand session helps tell the story of your brand. What is it saying? Are you a sophisticated and high-end wedding planner? A whip-smart and realistic accountant? An approachable and playful photographer? Your clothes can help communicate that!
For example, a neutral blazer with classic lines says polished and professional, but an oversized bright pink blazer may say something completely different (like, ‘works hard, plays harder,’ ya know?). Neither is better or worse, it simply depends on your brand.
Brand color palette
You’ll probably be using these images primarily on your website and social media, so it’s helpful to consider what colors you’re already using to make sure your clothing complements or possibly even matters them. If you hate the color red on your Instagram feed, maybe a killer red dress actually isn’t the best option for your shoot.
This can be a great way to work in your brand colors. While this isn’t necessary, it can be a great way to cement your visual brand. If there are already colors that are associated with your brand and your audience is aware of that, you can absolutely play that up as you select clothing for your shoot.
If you don’t love to wear the colors that you use in your brand, make sure they’re as complementary as possible. This will ensure your photos look great mixed in with the other content on your website and social channels.
You wouldn’t wear a puffy parka in the middle of summer, or a bikini in the middle of winter, right? By the same token, you may not be into posting photos of yourself wearing something super seasonal if it’s not currently in season. This can be especially true if you live in a region that experiences all four seasons.
To get around this, you have two options: one, keep your clothing as season neutral as possible so you don’t date your photos as soon as winter turns to spring; or two, prepare to do two shoots a year to have content for both seasons. I’ve had clients do both if this is a concern for them.
Your best colors
I use to tell my clients not wear neon or (some) neutrals for brand sessions, but I’ve since stopped saying that. Why? Because it completely depends on the person! Have you heard of ‘getting your colors done‘? Ever since I started coming across these Instagram accounts, my color-loving life has been changed.
The reality is, what colors look best on you may not look the best on someone else. Maybe you can rock neon, but your bestie really does look best in black. I can’t recommend getting your colors done before your session enough. However, I also realize that’s not always realistic based on time or budget.
My best advice is to get curious about what colors look best on you. What makes your eyes pop? Your skin seem smoother? Your smile brighter? Do warmer or cooler colors get you compliments from friends?
Find as many colors in your closet as you can and hold them up to your face or try them on to see what looks best. Make sure you do this during the day in a space with natural light for the best results. You can also go through the items in your closet and pull out the items you’ve worn when someone has complimented how a color looks on you. That can say a lot, too!
Emphasize and minimize
I will spend the rest of my life telling my clients they are beautiful in every way, but let’s be honest: we all have things about ourselves we want to emphasize, and others we want to minimize. If you have body parts that you’re particularly self conscious about, keep that in mind when you’re selecting your clothes. If having bare upper arms makes you feel uncomfortable, stay away from sleeveless dresses or tops. If you are proud of your strong legs, rock some shorts!
Get professional help
Still overwhelmed at the idea of selecting clothes for your brand session? Enlist the help of a professional! Many boutiques offer personal styling services that can be incredibly helpful. Additionally, your brand photographer will likely have great insight as to what would look best based on the goals of the shoot. Don’t forget to chat with them, too!