• Elise Henderson

Styling your Photoshoot... part 1

So this is something I get asked before every shoot, what do I wear? In most of my photos I have provided the outfits but that doesn’t suit every situation. Sometimes it’s a whole family that needs dressing. Trust me I have a LOT of outfits, much to my husbands displeasure. But even I don’t carry a whole family’s worth of matching clothing.

The first thing I tell my clients to google the look there going for then send it my way. If it doesn’t suit what we’re going for I’m honest and will let them know. There’s nothing worse than having your photo taken in something that doesn’t look right or that will make you feel uncomfortable.

It’s the same as when you go clothes shopping, it may look good on the hanger but when you get it home it’s a total disaster. How awful would it be to have paid all your hard earned cash out for some beautiful photography and when you get the pictures you’re outfit makes you look like something out of a Stephen King movie. I believe his latest movie is IT. The cover of that films scares the crap outta me so why would I let a client look like that!

I like to base outfits on the personality of my clients and by the time we get to this stage we have spoken several times and I’ve gotten to know them pretty well. I know what sort of outcome they’re looking for and I have a clear picture in my mind. In saying that you must be flexible and be prepared for greatness to come over you with an even better idea!

When I shop for my huge stockpile of outfits (our spare bedroom is bursting with them, I love shopping!) I always like to order a larger size. That way it can fit more people. There’s a little trick we photographers use, they’re called bull clips. Now you can use pins but I find that they are fiddly and often come loose especially if there’s a fair amount of fabric you’re trying to pull back.

Then of course there’s the tie and tuck. In this photo her top is a long piece of lace and the bottom is a tutu that I made that can be altered for each look by pushing the fabric along the ribbon holding it all together. I don’t provide undies as it’s not hygienic, eww!

'The tie and tuck'

Now my mum and nan taught me how to sew when I was a kid, well they tried. But I’m definitely a sticky tape and hot glue kinda girl. What you can do with a hot glue gun is fantastic! I also love staple guns but let’s leave that for your backdrops.

Skirts as dresses or tops. In this photo you’ll see that my model is actually wearing one of my skirts as a dress! Sadly yes it fits her better as a dress than for me as a skirt. It was one of those, I’ll fit into one day purchases. I’m sure we’ve all had those from time to time. I have boxes of them! Yes now you see why my husband hates it when I shop!

'sad one day purchase'

So after all this the best piece of advice I can give to both photographers and clients is to create something unique, something comfortable and something that makes your photos pop. When booking a client in I always ask them to bring more than one change of clothes. That way they get more out of the shoot and I can alter the look to suit our vision. Because it is “our” vision. If the client doesn’t look good then neither do I.

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© Elise Ja'nette Henderson