Shopping for Your Photo Shoot – Style Report by Kari Schoeffler

Clothing on Rack

Shopping with Purpose

The date is set. You have finally booked a shoot with that photographer whose work you’ve been following on Instagram. You’ve talked about your hopes and goals for the shoot. He or she has given you some suggestions on clothing options, shoewear and jewelry. Now it’s time to pull together all the details to create some truly once in a lifetime, last a lifetime images. When the pictures will last a lifetime, the question of “What Will I Wear” can be daunting.

Let’s take some of the guesswork out of dressing for a shoot by giving you the Top 6 shopping  tips to make your shoot purchases impactful.

1.  What’s Your Theme?

Fashion Looks

Each photographer has his or her own style and look and that style will play a major part in the outcome and theme of your photos. A great photographer will schedule a pre-shoot consultation directly, or with a stylist on their team like me, to discuss the shoot objectives and creative ideas. Some photographers and stylists will send you example photos or mood boards to help you plan the wardrobe for the shoot. Each photoshoot is a collaboration between the photographer and the subject so being in sync is essential. Are you going for all black and white images with moody intensity or romanticism? Are you looking for color-packed, bold images with a nod to the past? Are you looking for more traditional, contemporary portraits? Are you doing something feminine and a little sexy? When you can answer these questions you can better focus on which items of clothing suit your theme.

2.  Shop Your Closet First

You have a closet full of clothing that you have purchased over the years that reflect your personality and style. You already know the clothes inside fit your body and your lifestyle. The question is, will some of these pieces work for the photo shoot?

If your shoot is for contemporary and glamour portraits, you might have some cocktail or evening gowns that will work perfectly and give you the flow and movement the shoot demands. You might have a button down shirt that when left open over a delicate lace bra, is perfect for a naughty, but powerful boudoir shoot. Jewelry can be the best addition for any photoshoot, so remember to bring lots of options to the shoot and play with color, texture and shine to really bring your outfits to life. Have confidence that a great photographer will help you select the right items on shoot day that make for the most amazing final images.

3.  What’s Underneath Counts

Model Photography Lingerie

When it comes to creating the most amazing shape for your body and therefore the most compelling images in photographs, having the right undergarments can make all the difference. It’s worth every penny to have a quality bra and lingerie fitting before a shoot and to buy the right pieces that help smooth, sculpt, and showcase your body in its best light. Whether you need to look smooth and sleek under a clingy evening gown, or show off your new lacy and vivacious lingerie for a more intimate shoot, the right fit matters. It is never a waste of money to invest in a great bra and panty set that make you feel like a million bucks.  

4.  What’s Your Favorite Color?

Colors in Fashion

Posing for a photoshoot can be exciting but it can also make the most seasoned model nervous. Finding anything that makes you feel comfortable, or makes you feel powerful, or makes you feel happy can help you have the best experience in front of the camera. If you love the color purple, and that color suits your complexion and your hair, and your shoot theme, buy some purple garments. Solid colors and smaller patterns seem to work the best in photographs, so feel free to bring in bold, vibrant colored garments that make you feel glamourous.

5.  Mix It Up

Fashion - Mix it up!

Photo shoots are a time to really play dress up and have fun. I always suggest that people bring things of different colors and shapes to the shoot. Bring a long purple velvet gown, and a shorter red dress, and a black suit jacket and slacks, a pair of faded jeans and some funky shoes. Bring some pieces with lace, some pieces with sequins or flair, some items that look soft to the touch like a creamy, fluffy sweater. Bring something tough and sexy like a black leather motorcycle jacket. Remember the jewelry - lots and lots of jewelry. You’d be amazed how a fashionista or a clever stylist can help you mix and match those unique items for one hell of a killer look and a fantastic photograph.

6.  Go Big or Go Home

If you are like most people, you don’t schedule a photoshoot often. Most people only sit for a portrait or photo shoot once a year. You’ve carved out time in your schedule, you’ve made a plan with a photographer whose work you adore, now it’s time to go big or go home. If there is an outfit in a store that you’ve been dying to buy, now is your time. If there is a new look you’ve seen in fashion magazines that makes your heart flutter, don’t hesitate any longer. If your favorite celebrity has a wardrobe the you envy, why not invest in a few pieces that will help you transform for the shoot and invigorate your daily wardrobe with new life at the same time?

Have Fun!

I hope these Top 6 Tips for Shopping for Your Shoot can help you get prepared for a very fun and exciting day in front of the camera. A great photographer will make sure that you don’t just love the final images, you love the overall experience. Having your picture taken should be a joyful experience, one that leaves you feeling good about yourself, feeling comfortable in your own skin. Enjoy shopping for the shoot with the confidence that the photographer will capture your unique beauty and style in images that last a lifetime.

More Inspiration

For more inspiration, please visit our "Featured Projects" galleries to see a few of the many different types of portrait sessions we've done recently. You'll find examples of fashion, glamour, boudoir, cosplay, and much, much more!

About Kari Schoeffler

Kari Schoeffler is the owner of DEEPFOTO, a photography, video and media production house in Houston, Texas, and also the owner of Schoeffler Communications. As a Brand Strategist, Public Relations Consultant, Stylist and Producer, she has worked with corporate clients as well as arts and entertainment clients to launch and build successful brands. She focuses on helping people and companies find their signature look, messaging, and brand strategy all with the goal of a clear and marketable professional identity. Whether working with a Fortune 500 company or an up and coming artist, she brings passion and commitment to every project.  You can reach her directly at 832-785-9304, via email at kari@schoefflercommunications.com or learn more at www.deepfoto.com and www.schoefflercommunications.com

Got questions for the stylist? You can contact Kari at kari@deepfoto.com or 832-785-9304.

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