By Lily Miller on | No Comments
Isn’t it absolutely fabulous when you get to a photoshoot and your clients are dressed so perfectly it looks like they just walked out of a magazine?
You get this immediate sensation of, “I’ve made it!” In other words, you have someone in front of your camera - someone confident, well-dressed, and who actually want to be there. What could go wrong?! With all of these things going for you, half of the battle is already won!
And make sure to check the bottom of this post for a FREE What to Wear Guide that YOU WILL LOVE!
But wait a minute, I said someone confident and well-dressed who wants to be there. How can this be achieved from the very start?
Most people (especially men) will arrive to their photoshoot nervous and tense. So, how do you get your client to forget about their insecurities, focus on something positive, and feel like a million bucks before their photo session?
In reality, photography doesn’t stop at knowing the settings of your camera forwards and backwards. In order to be a good photographer, we have to do a little bit of everything.
We have to know how to plan, be engineers, designers, fashionistas, counselors, psychologists, and even comedians. This is all for one sole purpose: to capture excellent images that dazzle viewers and steal the hearts of your clients.
Many times we get lucky and our clients know exactly what they want. However, on other occasions, our clients have no idea what they want their pictures to reflect and therefore they don’t know what to wear or where they want to take the photos.
Our job as photographers doesn’t start behind the camera. Our job begins much earlier, pay attention because this is where you come in.
The moment your clients book with you, start to plan the technique to make them feel comfortable before and during the session.
If they say they don't know, help them by asking them leading questions that will help you determine what they want. For example, ask them what kinds of things they like to do, what their favorite sports are, if they have any hobbies, what they do for a living, etc.
Their responses will help you discover their style and what would work best with their personalities so you can help give them suggestions for their photos.
Once you know what style they’re looking for, you can choose a location and help them with what to wear for their photo shoot. This includes:
Keep a list of contact information of make up artists and hair stylists that you can send your client to if they ask for this.
To make your job and your client's lives even easier, send them a list of “What to Wear and What NOT to Wear” including a shopping guide if possible (see our FREE "What to Wear" Guide you can download below).
Once you send the list, wait a few days and then ask them how the search for the perfect outfit is going. Offer your help and time.
I personally give my clients my cell phone number and email so they can text of email photos of possible outfits to me. I then give them suggestions about what would look best on camera and what clothing would best flatter their figures.
If the electronic help isn’t enough, time permitting, I sometimes offer to go to my clients homes and take a look in their closets to help them choose what to wear.
If you're a senior portrait photographer and have clothing, makeup, and hair options in your studio, or a wedding photographer where you don’t have to worry about anything else but pictures, or a newborn photographer with all of the props like blankets and throws for babies, you don’t have to worry.
However, if you’re an “on location” family photographer like me, all of these tips will help you.
Along with your “Welcome Packet” (which you should be sending your clients), send them a downloadable “What to Wear and What NOT to Wear” and “Shopping Guide” (you can find a free download below). And don’t forget to include the makeup artist and hairstylist info.
“What is the point of all of pre-planning?” you ask.
Based on my experience, I have learned that once the client chooses their clothing and location, half of the stress that comes with a photoshoot disappears!
If you believe that all of this is too much work, you need one of two things: a couple of assistants who can help you with all of the work, or you should consider booking fewer clients.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you dedicate the right amount of time to your clients. When you charge the same amount to each client, you should also give 100% to each and every client. Each one deserves the same quality of attention!
Are you still unsure and think it’s too much work? Make sure you are CHARGING FOR IT! Value your time and your talent.
Take the tips from the “What to Wear and What NOT to Wear” and “Shopping Guide” and use them for yourself. We should lead by example. Everything starts at the eyes. In our profession, everything is a presentation. Keep that in mind!
My final question for you is: how should YOU dress for the photo session? WHAT? Why should you be thinking about this?
Simply put, every profession requires a certain etiquette. From a mailman delivering letters; to a waiter in an upscale restaurant; to an executive at a large company; or a medical professional in a hospital, everyone should look their best as representatives of their profession.
We photographers should not be the exception! Unless you’re going to take photos of a newborn in a studio, yoga pants should not be okay. The ideal would be for you as a photographer to look spectacular as well! (and again, if you’re a wedding photographer, this should absolutely not be an issue for you!
How would you like a not so “put-together” photographer shooting your own wedding?
Do you have any questions or comments about What to Wear for a Photoshoot? Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!
Hi, I'm Lily Miller, owner of Lily of Florence Photography. I am a music lover , a huge fan of bright colors and I am a sucker for anything that takes me back to my origins. I have an amazing husband and 4 kids who I love with all my heart. More than anything else, they're my inspiration, not just in photography, but in life in general. Right now, photography is not a full time job because my first priority is my family. However, I do use a big chunk of my week carefully planning different photo shoots. I'm 100% an all natural light photographer and love using cute props. Visit Lily at her Facebook page.