Firstly let me confess that I’m not a stylist or a brand expert! However, as a photographer I know the importance of visual messaging. “A picture speaks a thousand words” which is why among other things, choosing what to wear for your personal branding photo shoot is so important. You need to think about choosing the clothes that make you feel and look your best while keeping in mind they say about you.
What message is your look saying about you and your brand? Do you want to come across as creative? Fun? Easy-going? Professional? There’s a lot to think about and it can all feel a bit overwhelming which is why I’ve put together a few things to consider when deciding what to wear.
Get some expert advice
Outfit styling comes more naturally to some than others. Many of you will already have a very clear idea of what your style is and might just want to look at a few Pinterest boards for some fresh ideas. But if you are anything like me and don’t have a clue you might want invest in a personal shopper whose job it is to make you look great. Or even consider booking a session with a branding stylist before your session.
Dress like the best version of you
The clothes you choose need to show off the real you, but the very best version of you even if your style is very casual. If you are a fitness instructor for instance and normally wear trainers it wouldn’t be representative of what you do to suddenly be wearing high heels in your photos! But if trainers are your thing it’s important to make sure that you are wearing your best trainers. Make sure that everything you are wearing is clean and ironed and looks as new as possible.
Colour and print
As a photographer I know just how important colour is in a photo. When I shoot families I advise people to stay away from colour or bold prints because people can end up clashing with each other. But with individual portraits you can be as bold as you like. Colours are probably the most important thing for you to get right as the right colours can completely transform your look. For example although black clothes can look smart and often be slimming, they don’t necessarily say warm and approachable. You might also want to consider your brand palette and whether it’s important to include in your photos.
If hats, glasses or big earrings are part of your style and personality- wear them in your photos! Keep in mind that the people who view you on your website won’t have met you in person, so you need your personality to come across in these pictures. Experiment before the session with different accessories and take a few selfies to compare the difference. Accessories are great but think about avoiding them if they aren’t a part of your everyday look.
When you are experimenting with your outfits try and create some variety instead of wearing a few different variations of the same things. If you are stuck with where to start break the outfits into 3 categories - casual, smart casual and dressed up. Then pick your two favourite outfits for each category.
Make sure you get together a list of all the outfits for your photoshoot so you know exactly what you’re wearing in each location. Have your outfits clean, ironed and ready. Get your hair and makeup ready before you leave the house. It's a good idea to bring a mirror and some translucent powder (and lipstick if you are wearing it) with you on the days so that you can touch them up before a photo. Being prepared will make all the difference to your confidence and reduce stress on the day.
Aim for seasonal flexibility
Depending on the time of year, you might choose to wear warmer clothes like jeans and a jacket or if its warmer, dresses and shorts. But if you want to use these photos on your website and across social media throughout the year it’s best that they don’t look to specific to a particular season. Layering up can be a good way to get around this - you could easily add or remove a cardigan to make one look look different and get more longevity from your images.