Styling For Your Shoot in Ten Steps

Styling is one of my favorite parts of a shoot, and something I always offer assistance with! Often I see an item of clothing in a store or online and picture how beautifully it would photograph. I’m a HUGE sucker for blue! I think blues photograph beautifully anywhere. If you’re ever in doubt, find something blue! Here are some tips to help you prepare for your big day!

1. My BIGGEST tip: The 90’s called and they want their photos back! Avoid matching outfits - it dates your photos.
2. Color coordinate: You can wear the same colors, just pick different shades, or different colors that work well together. It looks so much better!

3. Avoid busy patterns and graphic tees or logos! This will date your photos and busy patterns can distort your images/ are distracting.

4. Wear neutral colors or small patterns. These tends to photograph best in every situation. I love a mixture of the two -- patterns and solid tones. It also creates an airy and more timeless look.

5. Avoid wearing black and white when possible. Black tends to cast shadows on your face and shows every speck of dirt or lint. Pure white can make you look washed out or add glare. Both can make the photos look harsh. Try navy blue, or an off-white color instead.

6. Think about the time of year when picking what will photograph best. Certain colors photograph best depending on your backdrop. Simple patterns, blues, and neutrals all look gorgeous in the Summer time. Fall loves the deeper tones against the foliage — greens (evergreen), reds (burgundy), yellows (mustard), blues (navy), and plaid patterns. Winter loves neutrals against the bare stark environment such as creams, blushes, grays, tans! Spring, bring on the pastels and pops of color! These will look gorgeous against the budding trees and plants!

7. Think about your environment: are you shooting at the beach, in the woods, in a more urban setting, in a desert, inside your home, etc. When planning for a shoot, think about what colors and materials would look best in that environment. For example: on the beach, linens, or anything that flows, would photograph beautifully and mimic the feel of the environment! Blue hues, neutrals, and anything light and airy, would help create this feeling best.

8. Time frame: Depending on how long your shoot is, I usually recommended at least one outfit change. If you don’t have time for an outfit change, you can change it up with different accessories. This helps to give you more choices with your photos. You could do a causal look for the first half, and dressy look for the second half of your session. I LOVE options. So when it comes to posting or printing, it’s nice to have choices!

9. Kids: I’m the mother of a strong willed and VERY opinionated 4 year-old! If I try to put her in something she doesn’t like, or want to wear, I know the pictures aren’t going to go well, in fact, they may not go at all! When styling little ones, pick out a couple of different options ahead of time, and then let them decide what they want to put on. Explain what it’s for! This little tip allows them some control in the matter and helps get them excited for the photos!

10. Be yourself: I recommend you pick options that represent you!

Last but not least what would be a blog post without photos?! Below you will find my top favorite pics from a maternity shoot I just did with my sweet friend who was kind enough to let me style her and her daughter!

gabrielle gerard