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What To Wear for Your Brand Photoshoot: 7 Tips To Pick the Perfect Outfit
If you're a creative small business owner stuck staring at your closet, skim through these top tips that'll help you decide what to wear for your brand photoshoot.
This article was originally published on a WordPress blog that I’ve retired in favor of Substack. Thanks for reading!
You finally did it – you booked the brand photoshoot that’s going to take your creative small business from blah to BAM! It's great that you found a photographer you love and a venue that’s just right for your brand image… but you're still puzzling over what to wear for your brand photoshoot.
You know you probably shouldn’t reach for those beat-up jeans you’ve been wearing on repeat since this wardrobe panic set in… or that amazing dress in the back of your closet that has never actually fit very well. (Not fair, I know!)
But with some styling secrets up your sleeve, you’ll be able to whip together a photoshoot outfit that knocks it out of the park – leaving you and your dream customers thinking, “WOW, check out this kick-ass brand!”
Ready to get outfit inspired? Here, I’m laying out seven top tips to help you decide what to wear for your brand photoshoot. They’re inspired by my background in costume design and wardrobe styling, as well as my own experience styling outfits for a recent jewelry brand shoot.
1. Choose clothes that match your brand color palette
Once you get that inbox notification letting you know your brand photos are finally ready (yay!!) you’re going to want to share them everywhere – from your social media feeds to your website and beyond.
This new set of images should blend in seamlessly with the brand identity you’ve already established. And that means choosing an outfit that coordinates with your brand color palette.
If your brand features a muted range of sophisticated, earthy neutrals, showing up to your brand photoshoot in a hot pink sweater will limit where and how you use those shots. The hot pink photos would just stick out like a sore thumb wherever you tried to post them.
To avoid clashing, take a close look at your branding materials. If your website and Instagram grid already feature soft sage green and creamy beige colors, look for clothes in similar hues.
Consider your primary brand colors – the ones you use most frequently – as well as your secondary brand colors – the accent colors that “pop” and add dimension to your brand visuals. This way, you’ll have several options to choose from. Plus, having this range of colors to play with will make sure the outfits in your brand photoshoot look effortlessly aligned with your other visuals, rather than matchy-matchy.
2. Let your brand values guide your outfit choice
One of the main points of having professional brand photos taken is to end up with visuals that let your audience know at a glance exactly what you and your business are all about. The apparel you choose for the occasion should shout out your brand values and message.
Is your brand boisterous and fun? Reach for clothes in bright colors or bold patterns with some playful textures in the mix. Is your business all about empowering your customers? Strong, tailored silhouettes or subtle geometric prints can help communicate this. Whatever your business is all about, look for clothing items that share those same qualities.
The right outfit might not necessarily be something you'd personally wear every day – maybe it's a little more adventurous or a touch more formal – but it should be something your brand would wear in a heartbeat if it was a person.
3. Consider the environment you’ll be shooting in
When you’re choosing an outfit for your brand photoshoot, you’re dressing for an occasion. Think of it as an event – it’s being hosted at a specific venue with a mix of props and other decor elements. (Plus, there’s a photographer! 😉)
Your outfit should fit the overall atmosphere of the space – from the mood to the formality level. For instance, the outfit you’d choose for a breezy brand photoshoot on the beach would be completely different from what you’d wear in a glamorous, historic hotel lobby.
Even if you’ll be shooting in a studio, the available backdrops and props can guide your decision. If you’re not sure what elements your photographer might include in the shoot, check with them ahead of time.
Ideally, your shoot location should coordinate with your brand colors and communicate your main values, just like your outfit. But no matter where your brand photoshoot is happening, the right clothing choices will complement those surroundings.
4. Make sure your outfit isn’t too seasonal
Choosing a non-seasonal outfit is a great way to ensure you can get a lot of mileage out of the final images.
If you’re shooting in the dead of winter, it might seem reasonable to get dressed in a thick sweater and your favorite knit hat. But sharing those winterwear pictures in the spring or summer will make them feel out of place.
For the most versatility all year round, choose an "evergreen" photoshoot outfit that feels relevant for all seasons.
5. Opt for timeless styles over trendy pieces
When it comes to clothes, seasonality isn’t just about the weather. It’s also important to consider whether your outfit ideas are just “in” for this season in the fashion cycle or if they’ll start looking dated next year.
If you do new brand photoshoots on a regular basis, it might be fun to style your look with on-trend clothes and accessories that create a sense of newness and novelty.
But if you’re planning to use the photos from your shoot for at least a year, stick with classic pieces and prints that never go out of style. Patterns start to look dated more quickly, but solids and touches of luxurious texture always work well.
6. Prioritize your comfort and confidence
It’s easy to focus on just the aesthetics of your photoshoot outfit. But if the pieces you choose aren’t comfortable, they won’t empower you and your photographer to create the spectacular images your brand deserves.
A lot of small business owners and brand leaders find the whole process of posing for photos to be a little awkward and uncomfortable as it is. So, the last thing you’d want is to show up to your shoot and struggle to strike a pose with a too-tight waistline, a strap that keeps falling off your shoulder, and cute shoes that pinch terribly. It doesn’t matter how good it all looks on the rack – your brand photoshoot outfit should feel amazing when you wear it.
Instead of asking yourself, “Does this look good?” try asking “Does this feel good?” instead. Ultimately, go with pieces that fit in all the right places and make you feel like your most radiant and confident self.
7. Get ready for your closeup with a stylist
Your brand is totally unique, so it’s impossible to recommend a one-size-fits-all outfit for your upcoming photoshoot. After considering the previous tips, if that “What do I wear??” dread is still starting to set in, you may want to partner with a stylist.
When you work with a stylist, they’ll take the time to get to know all the nuances of your brand – from your visual identity to the values you want to convey. You’ll come away with personalized outfit recommendations that take all the guesswork out of the process. They’ll not only help fine-tune your image but they can also give you a boost of camera-ready confidence, too.
Hope these tips have been helpful in deciding what to wear for your brand photoshoot. Best of luck and have fun!!
These photos were shot for my own brand photoshoot, showcasing pieces from my jewelry line, Nine Golden Swans. Although most of the images were product closeups, I loved how some of the head-to-toe looks turned out!
Photography by Jamie Benjamin. Modeling by Maddi Vilminot. Hair by Tamara Holden. Makeup by Torie Conn. Wardrobe styled by yours truly, with jewelry by Nine Golden Swans. Shot at Lumber Studios in Chicago, IL.