In-Home Photography FAQ's | What To Wear?

Let's be honest, prepping for a photo session is overwhelming. ESPECIALLY if you don't speak Photographerese; especially if you're having an in-home session; especially if you don't know what to expect; especially if it's your first time with a new photographer. So let's demystify the process, shall we?I try to keep things simple. I've shopped for a photographer before, and - even for me, after 10 years in the business - it can be hard to know what you're actually getting into beforehand. So let me break down for you just exactly what you should know before hiring me. I'm going to be answering one FAQ at a time about what I do for the next couple of weeks. If you missed the first one, I defined some important photography terms to help you understand the style of the photographer you're thinking of hiring, and explained my own style a bit. You can read that here.Today's topic is the ever-hot-button issue of what to wear. Buckle up, because I'm going to drop some truth your way.

FAQ #2: What to wear for an in-home photography session?

You've booked a photography session. You glance at your closet, start to sweat, second guess yourself, try on everything you own, throw it on the floor, pick up your laptop and google "what to wear for a photo shoot." If you weren't overwhelmed before, you are now - there's a million results (more specifically: 3 million, 50 thousand), and most of them contradict each other. You open a new tab and ask the same question of the almighty Pinterest - more results, this time with visual overwhelm. And contradictions aplenty. One pin says don't show your arms, and another says you should. One says don't ever wear a logo or a pattern, and another says it's fine. What's a person to do?

Stop. Close the computer. Take a deep breath. Get dressed in some comfort clothes. Put away the rest of your closet later. Pour a cup of tea, and read on.

What clothes did you instinctually grab just now? That's worth thinking about; if you feel most like yourself in your ripped jeans and Nirvana t-shirt, maybe that's what you should wear for your session. The thing that matters most about how you look is your confidence. If you're comfortable and confident, you're far more likely to relax and enjoy your family - and have FUN.It's vitally important to the success of your session to be true to who you are. If you're the kind of girl who loves a good messy bun and cute sneakers, then please do not rush off to Rent The Runway and order a full length sequined gown for your session. That's a) clearly not who you are and b) not what anyone wears in real daily life. Your session is about who you are as a family, not about playing dress up. You do you.But if you're the kind of person who really really really wants direction and advice, I have that too. Cool-toned, light-colored clothing tends to look good in photographs. Think light shades of subdued blues, grays, and other neutrals. Steer clear of tiny, complicated patterns and pinstripes, as it does this weird magic-eye kind of trick in-camera (you don't want your photographs to give you a headache every time you look at them, trust me). If you want to get more detailed, then here is my advice: dress yourself first (if you're booking this session, it's probably most important to you), and then coordinate the family around your outfit. DO NOT match (trust me, you may be submitting your photo to Awkward Family Photos in a few years if you do), just coordinate (wear colors within the same color scheme or colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, and don't let your patterns fight each other for attention).As far as the kids go, if it's going to be a fight to get them to wear what your heart desires, maybe let go of that expectation. My favorite sessions have been the ones where the kids wore their superhero capes the whole time because that's who they currently were; or the one where the kid wore a santa suit with a drawn-on pirate mustache and eyepatch. Now THAT is some storytelling right there. Talk about visual interest. Babies do NOT like clothing changes, so if there is a baby in your session and you want more than one look, start with your baby in just a diaper and then later put on one (ONE!) simple (SIMPLE!) outfit. A white onesie is usually magic. Toddlers are great running around in just a diaper.Bottom line? Seriously, don't stress here. Perfect outfits tend to get grass stains or coffee spills or spit up on them in the first five seconds of shooting. Save yourself the stress and just BE YOU. Did you miss the first installment of this series? Check it out here. And check back Monday for FAQ #3: what to do if your home isn't magazine-worthy. _____________ Emily Lapish is a family and birth photographer in Chattanooga, TN, and loves long walks on the beach. In lieu of long walks on the beach, a long walk through Target will do nicely. To book a consultation or just to say hi, click here