We're Erica + Jon, professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry, behind the scenes and stories about our life and chips + salsa obsession.
You’ve seen your friend’s Instagram feeds and have been pinning away beautiful photos on Pinterest. You’ve been imagining yourself in those photos with a beautiful sunset, perfectly coordinated colors and smiles as wide as the Grand Canyon. So, you’ve done something you’ve been dreaming of for a while now … you’ve booked your photos and are thrilled about it. Then, you’re hit in the face with one, huge, daunting question. ‘What in the world will I wear!?’. We’ve all been there. Even Jon and I still spend extra time planning what to wear and how to coordinate and bring everything together when we have our own photos taken. But we have good news! We are bringing you real, practical advice on how to prepare for your next photo session in our three part series on ‘Getting the Most Out of Your Session.’ Stay tuned for the details and, like the good friend you are, feel free to send this along to a friend in need of a little inspiration for their upcoming photos!
Ladies, if there is ever a time in life to get dressed up, it’s prom, your wedding day, and the day of your photo session! We have one golden rule for ladies when it comes to planning your outfits for your session – There is NO such thing as too dressed up! Long and flowy dresses look amazing on camera because they bring photos to life with movement and dimension. The refined look also stands out in beautiful contrast with nature and brings attention to you – the true subject of the photo. We recommend choosing soft fabrics that allow for graceful movement for your portrait session.
You should also consider the context of your session. If you are a recently engaged Bride-to-be, feel free to bring along fun, flirty, and classy choices that speak to your young love. Are you bringing the kids along for a family session? If so, remember to think of the length of your dress as you will most likely be keeping up with them and crouching down to their level for fun photos of the whole family! Long, floor length dresses would be a great fit and look beautiful on camera! If you are having your photos taken for a maternity session, we recommend long, floor length dresses like maxi dresses as they help to highlight your baby bump for your photos! 🙂
Let’s face it ladies – we all have ‘that’ part of our body we are self conscious about. It’s doesn’t matter your size or shape, we all have that something that we worry about when we have our photos taken. Part of choosing the best fit for your session outfits is identifying those areas up front, and coming up with solutions to help you gain confidence in those areas. Three-quarter length sleeves are slimming for the arms as well as light jackets or cardigans that compliment your dress. Heels help to elongate women’s legs and add additional height. Choosing the right colors is also important as the right colors can highlight your beautiful, natural skin tones.
Soft, muted colors show up best on camera in any setting and bring the focus of the images to your beautiful faces and expressions of emotion! Soft pinks, blues, greys, and browns show up great on camera and compliment most outdoor environments – especially our hometown desert scenery. Bright, bold colors have the opposite effect on camera and have the potential to be distracting and steal the attention! We also suggest choosing solid-color dresses without patterns or other busy details that might distract from you.
Just like we said when we started this, there is NO such thing as too dressed up. This is your moment to make a statement and go over the top with attention to detail. We highly recommend professional hair and makeup application for your session. Let’s be real for a second – you are great at taking iPhone photos and even have some printed and hanging around the house. But you are hiring us to take your photos because we are professionals and you are trusting us to bring you beautiful images that will stand out and be cherished forever. Hair and makeup is no different! Of course you do your own hair and makeup everyday and we know you are great at it! But the pros also know how to flatter you for professional photos. Eyelash extensions and pro hair styling are all things that may seem too much at first, but trust us – it will show off beautifully in front of the camera! Be sure to have your makeup artist apply your makeup in natural light, as that is what we will be shooting in and helps to avoid too little or too much being applied for other lighting conditions.
Besides the ‘pro’ factor – there’s another element to consider. We recently had our own business photos taken and it was amazing to wake up, drink coffee, shower, (drink coffee again), and then let someone else do my hair and makeup for me!! Not only did I feel confident and beautiful in my own skin, it also helped make a potentially stressful morning of getting ready a relaxing and enjoyable experience! Just what I needed to get in front of the camera and feel excited and confident for the photos we were taking!
The most beautiful dress, hair, and makeup needs something to bring it all together, which is why we recommend accessorizing! Adding a necklace that stands out or a bracelet that pops will help to tie everything together and add an additional level of detail to your images. Be careful to choose only one or two accessories and that they aren’t competing for attention with each other. The goal is to make a statement, without distracting from the rest of your ensemble!
We hope these tips will help you feel prepared for your next photo session! Most of all, we hope we get to experience it with you!!