How to Choose Clothes for a Photoshoot
Blog Post Dates
September 2021

How to Choose Clothes for a Photoshoot

For many people, especially if it’s your first time, deciding what to wear for a photoshoot can seem daunting. The idea of being professionally photographed can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Many wonder what to bring and how much to bring, while others will be concerned with colours and patterns. No matter what you concerns are, always keep in mind that photoshoots are supposed to be fun and beneficial to you. So don’t be afraid to play dress-up. Magazines and the internet should form a part of your research into what to wear. They can be a wealth of information for ideas, combinations, trends, etc.

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Deciding what to wear is primarily directed by what kind of shoot you want to do. So, if you are shooting contemporary fashion style portraits, then your wardrobe choices should look fashionable and trendy. This doesn’t mean that expensive, designer brands will only work. Paying attention to trends and how the combination of wardrobe items, along with accessories and how it all looks together is of greater importance. If you are shooting something sexy, then that will also affect you clothing choices. Your wardrobe choices should flatter you and should also take into account what you comfortable in showing. By figuring out how you want to be photographed first, a lot of your anxiety regarding what to wear will fall away. Whether it’s formal, smart casual, sexy boudoir and glamour, fun, flirty, outdoorsy, etc. make you wardrobe choices around what’s appropriate for that style of photography.

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Whilst the style you want to be photographed in plays a major role in wardrobe choices, other things that should be considered are, location, weather, time of year, trends, how well fitted the garment is to your body, etc. Another important consideration is colour, discuss with your photographer what colours are in the location or studio set, ask for his guidance in making sure that the colours of your garments works well with the colours in that specific environment. Also pay attention to the textures and patterns in the fabric, use them to you advantage by making sure that they flatter you, provide visual interest and are not distracting.

You should also pay attention to your accessories. Look at various hats, jewellery, sunglasses, scarves, bags, shoes, belts, hosiery, flowers, etc.

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A lot of photographers, myself included, have style guides and articles on how to prepare for a photoshoot available. These can be of great help, so request for one from your photographer.


– Bring fitted clothes when you are being photographed. This holds true for curvy girls too. As a photographer, I can’t create shape in your body if it’s hidden behind loose, baggy clothing.

– If you are shooting glamour or boudoir, you can also wear something short or see-through that you would never wear in public, but would look incredible when you are being photographed.

– Rather wear a fitted shirt for a woman, than a mans shirt. A mans shirts is boxy, and has no shape, this will make you look bigger.

– Make sure you bring clothing in different colours, that are also light and dark. This will give your photoshoot variety.

– Patterns, bright colours, jewellery are okay when you are being photographed on your own. When being photographed with other people, tone it down and choose clothing that works well with what the other person is wearing. Outfits should compliment each other, don’t match but do coordinate.

– For boudoir and glamour shoots, make sure to include clothing in black and white, along with your other colour choices.

– Do layer clothes, the can provide visual interest.

– Carry a robe or gown so that you can cover up between shots, set and lighting changes, etc.

– Pack accessories that are appropriate to each set of clothing. Pick them with care, you want them to enhance you look, not distract.

– Bring more clothes and accessories than you need, it will give you extra choices if something   is not working.

– Pack underwear that’s appropriate for each wardrobe change.


– As far as possible, stay away from garments with slogans, large wording on them, and also those with very busy patterns.

– Don’t wear a watch while you are shooting.

– Turn off cellphones and keep them in your bag away from you. It’s not uncommon to find them somewhere in the shot, which means extra retouching and more cost for you. They can also be a huge distraction, to both you and the photographer. Nope cellphones are not an accessory…;)

– Don’t bring clothes that are dirty or stained. Be also wary of fabrics that wrinkle very easily.

– Don’t choose clothing that you are not happy being photographed in. This will show in you expressions and body language, you may not be happy with the end result.

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