Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!
Manali is a wedding photographer & educator based out of Charlottesville, VA. When she's not making couples laugh or teaching other photographers how to save time & grow their business, you can find her at a vineyard with wine & cheese in hand with her friends & fam!
So you’ve decided to have your pictures taken which is kind of a big deal because I mean how often do we all really have our pictures taken?! One of the first things your mind probably goes to is “Oh gosh what do I even wear?” If you’re anything like me, a million questions run through your mind the minute you need to dress up for any occasion. Should you go with a fancier or more laid back outfit? If I bring two outfits, which one should I wear first? Should I wear jewelry? What colors and patterns look best? What shoes do I wear? There are a million possibilities while putting together a nice outfit but I’m here to help take the guesswork out of putting together a solid outfit if you’re having your pictures taken!
Here’s 5 quick tips to get you started on planning your outfit out, whether you’re a guy OR a girl:
KEEP IT COMFY
My number one tip is to wear something that you’re comfortable in! If you’re stepping in front of the camera, chances are you’re already nervous so definitely go with something that looks good AND is comfortable. If you feel good and you’re confident in what you’re wearing, it will most definitely translate and show in your pictures! Confidence is key 🙂
CONSIDER DOING AN OUTFIT CHANGE
Doing an outfit change will get you a variety of looks! Usually of my clients will have 2 outfits with one that is a dressier and one that is more laid back for their shoot. When going with two outfits, save your favorite one for last since you’ll have the more dreamy and gorgeous golden light during the second half of your session which will help your outfit really stand out. If you choose to go with two outfits, I suggest choosing a bolder color for one of the outfits and a more pastel, or muted tone for the other!
COORDINATE, DON’T MATCH
This goes for whether you’re taking pictures by yourself or with someone else! If you’re taking pictures solo, let your outfit/dress be one color but mix it up with a secondary color for your accessories or shoes while staying within the same color family. For example, if you’re wearing a light blue dress, pair it with a white or blush statement necklace and shoes. If you’re taking pictures with another person, each person should have their “own” different dominant color while still coordinating, but not matching. For example, for an engaged couple I would recommend having the bride-to-be wearing a light pink dress (pink being her dominant color) while the groom-to-be in a navy suit, brown dress shoes with possibly a light pink tie or pocket square to coordinate. I encourage people to avoid neon colors since they distract from your face. Medium shades tend to show up best on camera since all of the color doesn’t absorb into the fabric of your clothes!
ACCESSORIZE IT UP!
statement necklace, a pocket square, a fancy watch, or a nice bracelet all go a long way to elevating your look. They add great visual interest without taking away from your face. Bigger pieces tend to show more than smaller, delicate jewelry pieces! Additionally bringing something along like a small bouquet of fresh flowers, some bubbly to share, a scarf to wrap up in, or anything that is relevant to you will not only give you something to hold for some pictures, but also add a more editorial feel to your photos if you’re looking for that! If you want more ideas of what clients have brought along in the past, feel free to reach out to me! AVOID SMALL REPEATING PATTERNS Sometimes the camera gets confused by small, repeating patterns such as tiny checkers or really thin vertical lines. It distorts and almost warps how the article of clothing looks in pictures. This isn’t something that can be fixed while editing so it’s best to avoid articles of clothing with this tiny repeating patterns when at all possible. If you’re not sure if something is going to look ok on camera, send me a picture and I’ll let you know what I think!
ENGAGEMENT SESSION STYLE GUIDE
If you book with me for portraits, I actually send over an in-depth mini magazine that walks you through all these tips and tricks and more 🙂 It has pictures to help you started visualizing what you’d like to wear and a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything for the big day!
Also, a lot of times my clients will text/email me pictures of outfits they’ve picked out to get a second opinion which I actually LOVE, so always feel free to message me if you have any questions at all! I hope this helps you get started for picking out what I know is going to be a stellar outfit for photographs that you will love & keep for a lifetime 🙂