Have you ever found yourself clicking through other photographers’ websites and wondered how their clients look so…fashionable? As if they’re all professional models with couture wardrobes? How does every shoot seamlessly and stylishly blend with the next? In the earlier stages of our business, we had styling envy. Why couldn’t we get our clients to dress like that?
Of course, we eventually learned that we could. Keep reading….
Getting photo-ready isn’t easy — even for us. (See Cat’s recent Instagram on the topic.) Choosing what to wear is a painstaking process; we’ve all been there: Will it look good on me? Will it photograph well? Will I look like I am trying too hard —or worse, like I didn’t try at all? Cat often tells people how before becoming a professional photographer, she was that person who wanted to look thinner in photos — which, for her, meant wearing black, lots of black. Now she knows that there are so many better options.
Fashion magazines and style guides make it look easy, but we regular folks all know that our closet can become our worst nightmare, especially when trying to dress for a photo shoot. We consistently found that our clients looked nice but, we weren’t getting that high-end look. Remember our favorite quote from our business coach? It finally dawned on us that if we wanted that pulled-together, timeless, romantic look, it was up to us to style our clients.
While we can’t (and wouldn’t) tell our clients precisely what to wear, we can certainly guide them to the clothing combinations we know photograph well. After all, we all want the same thing: beautiful photos that look great for years to come.
- here. If you offer a few classy suggestions, you can steer your clients into a photo they won’t want to face palm over when the styles change.
- — Ralph Lauren: It’s not about the clothing; it’s about the look and feel of the photo. By giving our clients a template, we help them create what the very wise Mr. Lauren is talking about – classic, dreamy, effortless-looking elegance.
Things changed dramatically when we started to include a simple paragraph in our pre-engagement shoot email that reads:
“When you're picking out your outfits for the day, make sure you wear clothes that you feel good in. If you need some inspiration, we have a Pinterest board with some of our favorite outfit ideas that photograph well. Girls look great in layers over a pretty dress. Remember that you can switch up your accessories to give a photo a new look. Guys, you look great in a well-fitting button-down shirt, with a tailored sports coat if you’re feelin’ fancy. Don’t worry about matching, but we do recommend neutrals and pastels – avoid bright oranges and reds, stark white, and solid black.”
Check out that Pinterest board, and you’ll see that we’re creating a certain style and vibe for our clients. As soon as we started including this information, ladies started showing up in long, flowing dresses; guys were wearing coats, and almost every client arrived in the color palette we wanted for our work. Our engagement sessions went from casual dresses and jeans to a more elevated style. (Note: we don’t just share this information once; we counsel our clients on what to wear in our Bride Guide and wherever else it bears repeating.)
The result is win for us and them! Our clients appreciate getting trusted advice based on our expertise; they have less stress when it comes to outfit selection; and, our portfolio looks more high-end and cohesive.
(Guide your clients to make them look and feel their best!)