1. Steer clear of fluorescent colors. Fluorescent colors tend to color cast on faces, necks and hair. They’re harsh sometimes. I always recommend versions of primary colors. Yellow (mustard), red (maroon, brick), salmon (pink), and blue (navy, royal).
2. Stay away from wearing a lot of green when having photos taken in grassy/wooded areas. It’s just too much green. Green as an accent color is great, though! You want to stand out among all the greenery you’re surrounded by.
3. To get the flow going with wardrobe for your family, start with one outfit that you really like and go from there.
4. Wear what you feel good in! Moms and dads, this tip is for you specifically. If you aren’t comfortable in what you’ve chosen for pictures, it will show. If you can’t find a dress you feel good in, but you rock a good pair of skinny jeans, do that. If you can barely walk in heels, there’s no harm in doing cute and comfy flat boots or pretty sandals. If you can’t do a heel (like me), a wedge is a great alternative, too. Also remember, sometimes we will be walking on uneven surfaces so maybe bring a pair of slippers or flats so you don't hurt your ankles.
5. Layer, layer layer! Layers add dimension and depth. In the summer? Layer your dress with a cute belt and pendant necklace. In the fall and winter? cardigans, belts, statement necklaces, scarves, hats, blazers, etc.
6. Purchase clothes to fit. And fit well. I know we all have a hard time buying clothes for our kiddos that don’t leave a lot of room for growth, seeing as they do grow so fast. However, keep in mind that for pictures, too large of a polo shirt, saggy ill-fitting jeans or a jacket that’s falling off the shoulders looks sloppy. You’ll be purchasing outfits specifically for pictures, most likely, so choose something that fits perfectly, or even just a little bit snug. Make the outfit look almost tailored. Go a size smaller in jackets, cardigans or blazers. For example, a too-big jean jacket will not compliment shape. It hides hips and waist for moms. If you typically wear a size medium jacket, try on the small. Even if it’s just a little snug on the shoulders, it should lay nicely around your hips and waist, creating a tailored look.
7. Matching is out. Coordinating is in. And anything goes nowadays! We know your family is together. We’re photographing you together! So, wearing the same colored shirt, pants, shoes, etc looks a bit awkward. Coordinating color is what really brings wardrobe together. I usually choose two to three main colors of wardrobe, and maybe one accent pop of color. Also, mixing stripes with plaids and tweeds is okay! Expression is important. We want to see your personality through your wardrobe.
8. Dress for the weather, and be flexible. Be prepared to be flexible with wardrobe, in case you have to switch it up last minute. If you have plans for a cute sundress for your daughter, and the weather ends up being 20 degrees colder than you were anticipating, switch it up a bit by adding layers. Tights, boots, scarf, slouchy hat, cardigan. Dress appropriately for the weather that day, even if it doesn’t go with your original plan. If your child is sweating profusely in a sweater during his shoot, he won’t be happy. And on the same token, if your child is wearing a tank dress and the weather dips too much in the evening, she’ll be a grump, and it’ll reflect in the final images. I speak these words from experience.
9. Dress for the situation. Just as dressing for weather is important, dressing for the situation is just as important. A fancy black dress and a dress shirt and tie wouldn’t be the most appropriate wardrobe for a forest or grassy setting. More formal wear would be more appropriate for an urban or “big city” feel.
Personal & Business Branding/Headshots
1. Everyone - Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you look great. Make sure your jacket and shirt fit you well. A poor fitting jacket or shirt will be obvious in the photos (especially around the neck). Don't overdress. Turtlenecks are almost always a bad idea (since they crowd the face). Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new. Avoid busy patterns and large lines/stripes. Blue/green/turquoise shirts/blouses or accents can help emphasize blue/green/hazel eyes.
2. Men - The standard business look is a suit jacket, dress shirt and tie. A casual business look is often a jacket and open dress shirt, shirt and tie (no jacket), or dress shirt on it's own. Polo shirts are a good look for some businesses. Be sure the shirt is in good condition and fits well. For a no-jacket casual look, bring colored shirts - ideally darker than your skin tone. A white dress shirt by itself is a bad idea - unless you plan to wear it underneath something (jacket or sweater). Bring a few different jackets, shirt colors, and ties so we have choices for the photo.
3. Women - Avoid big prints and busy patterns. Different necklines will change the apparent shape of your face. Bring a variety different shirts/blouses to see what works best. For a no-jacket casual look, bring various colored blouses - ideally darker than your skin tone. Be stylish and fashionable, but remember the picture is about your face and not your clothes or jewelry. Sleeveless tops/dresses can draw attention to your shoulders/arms. Consider bringing items with a variety of different sleeves.
Note: Remember: Select and wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. Select something that makes you look and feel good.
Keep jewelry extremely simple - small is better. Avoid jewelry that would distract from your face or that looks dated. The picture is about your face, not your jewelry. Consider if facial piercings or multiple ear piercings are appropriate for where your photo will be displayed.
What to Bring for Personal & Business Branding/Headshot Session
Your previous headshots (so we can improve). Sample headshots to help communicate the look you want. Favorite Music (iPod/MP3 player, phone, thumb-drive). Various changes of clothing (see above). A good attitude. Lip balm. Hair brush/comb. Makeup and hair products you prefer (especially if you have allergies).
Hair and Makeup Tips
Make-up should be clean and natural. Wear a heavy layer of translucent powder - your face will appear flawless in photos. Shine disappears, pores seem smaller, skin looks even, and blush is smoother. Line lips before applying matte lipstick, then reline. Don't overdo it. Dip a cotton bud in powder and run along lip line to prevent color from bleeding. Avoid shimmers or products with lots of sparkle or shine. Avoid frosts or overly-bright colors. Don't get a new hair cut just before the shoot (you may want to let it grow-in a bit or get used to styling a new cut). Do not try/use any new product on your hair, face or body the day before or few days before your shoot. In case you have a bad reaction to the product. Please arrive with hair styled and makeup already applied if not using Foreign Perceptions Photography Professional Hair & Makeup artists.
Note: Foreign Perceptions Photography does offer Professional Hair & Makeup (HMUA) for $135 per person.