Style Guide & Information
So, you've taken the plunge and inquired about having your photo taken. Maybe it's for family photos, or you and your sweetheart want pictures together, or maybe you just feel like you need to keep your instagram fresh. Regardless, you're in the right place. You say you don't know what to wear and you need a new outfit? (What's a better excuse to go shopping anyways). Hopefully this guide can point you in the right direction. Wardrobe is important, it can set the mood and style of your pictures. It goes hand in hand with the location. I'll lay out some simple guidelines that can help you pick out your clothes. The goal is to make you hot as heck, while being comfortable and feeling good.
First off is keeping in mind your location choice. If we're going to be on a beach, heels might not be the best option, or any shoes for that matter! If we're in the middle of a snowy winter, wear layers to keep warm, bring coffee (and baileys?!) and a blanket! If it's middle of summer and temperatures are high, wear something breathable so sweat doesn't ruin your mood. Plan out your outfits realistically for the environment we're in, you can look practical and bomb at the same time!
I'll ramble off simple do & don't's for your wardrobe. One key point to make is not to wear logos or graphic tees. I can't stress enough how fast someone looks immediately at the shirt and not the people in the photo. There's no need to have your t-shirt out shine your personality. Keep the outfit simple, both in colours and in textures/patterns. Don't have both of you wearing loud patterns, but some floral prints or other smaller textures are very nice at times as accents. Layering pieces adds dimension and can create multiple looks (with a cardigan/jacket vs. without) that can add some visual interest to your photos. Accessories can do the same job, offering another style without changing (ex. a hat). Also pieces that have movement in them photograph very well, (ladies I'm looking at you); long skirts or maxi dresses look great on camera.
As much as simplicity is nice, it does not equal casual. A photo session is still a special occasion! Try something a little nicer than a pair of sweats and a shirt. With saying this, if you are most comfortable in a pair of jeans and it is a struggle to ask him to wear a button up top, that is ok too. These pictures are of you, and they should represent you and your relationship well! Try to keep colour choices neutral and earth toned, with rich colours as accents, like deep greens, burgundies, navy blues, etc. These will compliment the surroundings rather than clashing, and they aren't nearly as distracting as bright neon colours. Neon colours can also cast tones on to skin that may look a little unappealing.
Wear something that flatters you, and fits you properly (not baggy, not too tight you can't move!), it will photograph much better and you'll be much more comfortable during the shoot. This also allows me to shoot your personality that much better if you're not constantly concerned with how you look. Keep your outfit, hair and makeup somewhat natural. You still want to be able to recognize yourself! While of course you want to look your best, this isn't the time to try something new with your style. Ladies, have your hair frame your face and avoid a slicked back ponytail, it will give the illusion that you are bald in some photos!
Don't leave this until the last minute, and end up frustrated that what you envisioned doesn't look the way you wanted it to. Try to plan outfits a head of time, and keep them complimentary to one another (but not matching). Try to tie in little details to keep the look cohesive, and pull from the same colour palette. You can always send me some options via email or text if you're unsure! Ultimately, be yourself and enjoy what you wear. You want the photos to look like you and it will show on camera if you feel natural. And since it is my job to make you feel comfortable in front of a camera, it all starts with how you feel about yourself before shooting even begins!
Some inspiration can be found at this link if you need some visual help! https://www.pinterest.ca/jessicamariahphotography/outfit-inspiration/
Posing & the shoot
Now that you've figured out what you're going to wear, and know how bomb you're going to look before you even arrive, you've started to worry that you don't know how to pose! DO NOT WORRY. That is my job to worry about that. Come into this with confidence and it will show. Fake it if you have to! It will happen eventually, and show through into your pictures. I shoot in a candid, documentary style, and try to stay away from forced posed statuesque type images. Of course we'll have a couple pictures looking and smiling at the camera to send to the grandparents, but the remainder of the shoot we will be on the move!
I will have you walking, running, skipping and laughing (hopefully), so bear with me. I want to capture your personality, and those moments in between that make looking back at an image create feelings of nostalgia. Most importantly, I want it to be fun for you. I will prompt you with some odd requests, and that will cause laughter in itself, but I
promise it's for a reason, and not to make you feel silly. I will make you show so much PDA that you probably won't need to kiss again for a week! But it's all good, the pictures are worth it! And if one of my requests doesn't pan out the way I had envisioned, either I'll make you do it again (and again), or say "oh well we tried" and move on to the next one.
Location is important. It could be somewhere that might mean something to you. We are lucky enough to live somewhere beautiful year round, with endless options. Between mountainscapes, oceanside, forests and urban jungles, the Lower Mainland has it all. In saying that, lighting is more important, and that's on me. However, if you have a specific location that you want your pictures done at, it is good to discuss ahead of time to figure out when the best possible time to shoot is. Golden hour is generally ideal, it is about 1-2 hours before the sun sets, dependant on where you are, and it creates the best diffused light for portraits. Instead of squinty eyes, and harsh shadows on the face, everything is lit evenly and the sun is not blinding you. Sunrise is also a great option, as it has very similar lighting for the first hour or so of dawn. And if you are planning on doing your shoot midday, believe it or not, an overcast day is quite alright with me. The clouds act as a huge diffuser, and light a person's face beautifully.
Overall, a photo session is not something to stress about, it should be a fun occasion and something you look forward to! Everybody feels awkward in front of the camera initially, but that feeling will fade as more time goes by, and it'll be over before you know it!