Where is your Location?
The most important thing in picking out an outfit for a shoot is knowing where your location is. The first thing I do is look at the colors of the location the photoshoot is at. Once I figure out the main colors, I find things in my closet that complement the location. For instance, a location in a forestry area is going to be filled with greens. On the color wheel, green is across from red, orange, and purple. If you wear one of those colors, you will really pop from the background. If you want to blend in, you could wear green, blue, or yellow since they are next to each other on the wheel.
Here is an example:
Take these two models, they both had their photos taken at the same exact location. however, their pictures look very different. The model on the left chose to wear a color that will make her pop from the background. The model on the right chose to wear a color that will make her blend in with the background. Neither of these choices are right or wrong, they will just give your photos a different look. You can use these photos to decide what you want to go for.
When looking at your location, you also want to make sure the type of clothes you wear work well with the background. Just like colors, the type of clothes you wear can make you pop or blend in. If you wear a dress in a downtown city location, boom, you pop. However, if you wear jeans and a t-shirt, you blend into the scene. Your clothing type will also determine if your look is casual or dressy.
Here is an example:
This was from the same photoshoot, in the same location, just with an outfit change. On the left, the model is wearing more causal clothing while on the right she is in dressy clothing. Both outfits go well with this location and blend in. And again, neither are right or wrong. You can use these photos to decide if you want to be causal or dressy. This is also a great example of using the color wheel above. On the left, the model has chosen a color that pops. While on the right, she has chosen a color that blends in.
Are you taking photos by yourself or with others?
If your taking photos by yourself, great, you just need to focus on your location. If you are taking photos with one other or multiple other people, you need to make sure your outfits work together. The biggest stereotype I hear is that you should wear the exact same color. I am not a huge fan of matching, but, to each their own. Instead of matching, I like to say you should coordinate your colors. By this, I mean colors that work well together, but are not the same. Looking at the color wheel, these are going to be the colors that are across from each other.
This family is the perfect example of coordinating colors. The green and purple tones work great together and everything still looks cohesive. These outfits are also a good example of using patterns. When you have multiple people, patterns can be tricky. You do not want everyone in the photo to be wearing a pattern, it starts to look messy. In this family photo, you can see the Mom and son are both wearing patterns, while the Dad is wearing a solid vest. This works because the Mom and son are not standing right next to each other. The solid vest breaks up the patterns for the eye and makes everything look put together.
In a couples shoot, I recommend that only one person wears a pattern (if you want to wear one) because there will not be anything to break up the patterns. This couple’s outfits looks great because they have a one pattern and they are wearing coordinating colors. These small details will really make a big difference in your photos. Now go kill your photoshoot!