How to Dress for my Portrait Shoots

I get this question all the time: what should I wear for the shoot? To provide a generally useful resource, and create a post I can refer back to, I’ve decided to answer that question here.

There’s no strict rules on what you should wear to one of my photoshoots. Generally, your outfit should fit these three criteria:

1. Looks good on camera

2. Looks good on you

3. Nothing I’ll have to retouch later (eg clothes labels still on, unintentional rips and tears, unflattering lumps and bumps).

I also love it when models wear layers. Let’s say you arrive wearing a vest, a t-shirt, a jumper, and a coat. Now we have so many different looks we can shoot. One with the full outfit; one with the jumper; one with the vest; one with the t-shirt. But you can also mix it up. One with the vest and the coat; one with the t-shirt and the coat; and so on. Having layers gives us a lot more freedom to work.

You can also bring multiple outfits. As a general rule, we should be able to fit in two outfits in an hour-long period. Three outfits if we’re staying in the same location. Four will always be a struggle to fit in.

What else is good? Slogans, recognisable logos, character designs, quirky or funny clothing. Novelty items are definitely recommended. Think about current trends and try to tap into them. Ladies, be sexy. Men, be sexy too. Include accessories. Decide whether you want to be street or luxe. 

It doesn’t have to be your own clothes, either. Borrow from a friend. Borrow from a designer if you can. If you can’t do either of those, go buy something new and return it after we shoot. 

Below are a few examples of shoots where the model’s clothing was spot-on. Most of them brought multiple options or wore layers, as you will see. 

If you’re in doubt, go to the website of a major, generally trendy fashion retailer. TopShop, Pull & Bear, Asos - good examples. Look at what they are promoting on the front page and what looks coolest to you. See if you can create a look that more or less matches.

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