September 3, 2007

C: Clothing

This is one of my most-asked questions before a shoot.

What should we wear?

First and foremost, I intensely dislike matching outfits.

But hey...I have to be able to speak from experience. I give you The 2005 Mauss Family Christmas Photo, sunburns and all:

the specs: ISO 100, F/5.6, 1/125 sec.

How do ya like them matching white shirts? Thought it was simple and easy and beachy...but we looked like serious nerds while we were BBQing by the pool afterwards. :)

The following year, we added Kristine, Mike's new bride, and adjusted the scene to be in black, white and khaki - whichever combo people felt most comfortable in. We set the scene on the stairs by the beach and placed Kristine in front with the all-white top. Mike and Mom are both wearing black and white, and Dad and I just have black on. It is much more balanced. I present The 2006 Mauss Family Christmas Photo:

the specs: ISO 400, F/8, 1/250 sec.

What to look for in clothing for a photo shoot?
  • Coordinated, not matching.
  • Do not dress all in white.
    White 'blows out' the easiest in photos - and it more challenging to match to skin tones.
  • Think in terms of color families.
    I love it when families show up in colors that are complementary - but each outfit reflects the person or personality wearing it. That rocks. I'll feature a few of my favorites below from earlier shoots.
  • Guys should leave the tennis shoes at home. :)
    Unless it's an athletic shoot. I love barefoot in the summer...or boots in the winter.
  • Textures photograph beautifully.
    In the winter, warm and woolly scarves and hats are perfect. Textured jeans, dark jeans. Cords, sweaters with a thick weave.
  • Simple clothes in the summer.
    Sundresses, khakis and tees, sandals. Especially when it's warm.
  • Avoid logos.
    Logos date images quicker than anything. The exception to this rule - things like letterman's jackets - which are meant to date the subject. :)
  • Use color. It sparks up a photograph.
    I love color. I love how it helps create a mood, how it brings things together. You'll see some of my favorites below. Don't be afraid to add a bright orange top, aqua dress, or bright shoes. More often than not, it will be all-you...and will turn out fabulously.
  • Be comfortable.
    Don't come in clothes you wouldn't normally wear. If it's not comfy - it will show in your face.
  • Be you.

Here are a few of my favorite ensembles from shoots past... :)


the specs: ISO 400, F/6.3, 1/500 sec.
The rules for their clothes (as stated by Mom) - they could dress in whatever they wanted, provided it was in tones of green and brown. The youngest got to wear her current favorite shades because they fit in... :)


the specs: ISO 400, F/5, 1/500 sec.
It was freezing that day - seriously. Nearing 30 degrees during the shoot. So they were in layers of brown tones and jeans. I loved how it worked with the golden sunshine - even in the midst of shivering.


the specs: ISO 400, F/6.3, 1/1000 sec.
Everything was tied into Mom's shirt - which was perfect for summertime sunshine. I loved how the boys' shirts worked in with their parents blue tones. Stacey's got the 'accessorizing' touch - and her family's shots together looked great because the kids were comfy, the clothes kept the focus on their personalities, and it simply worked.


the specs: ISO 100, F/3.2, 1/400 sec.
We had a number of outfits for Sam - but this was one of my favorites in the garden. The colors popped with the beautiful green backdrop. They weren't too tight - but just let him relax in what he was wearing.


the specs: ISO 200, F/2.8, 1/320 sec.
The parents in white and khaki - but the kids in outfits that were so 'them'. The white and khaki on Brian and her worked because they blended with whichever child they were in the photo with...and they were used as great backdrops. I love orange and khaki together - so it should be no surprise that these outfits are featured on the splash page of the website. :)

1 comment:

Brian Iverson said...

What to wear is a question that I struggle with as well. Mainly because I don't think I look especially good in anything, and definitely nothing that will be recorded for all time.

I especially love your last 2 hints. Be comfortable and be yourself.

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