This was a really fun wedding to shoot! A great couple, a wonderful ceremony, and beautiful venues (both the church and the reception). Thank you to Will and Alita for allowing me to be a part of their special day!
Hey Seniors! Graduation is almost here! I know, I know…you can’t wait! Now is the time to get your Senior Portraits done! Contact me today to schedule your session, and get some great photos to share with family and friends! I can even design your custom graduation announcements!
How about a special deal? The next 5 Seniors that book a session will receive $25 off! The session must be booked and the deposit paid in order to claim the discount. Message me or give me a call at (361) 537-1700 for more information! You must mention this blog post to claim the deal. First come first serve!
I’m also looking for Senior Reps from each of the local High Schools (Corpus Christi and surrounding areas). You can get a great deal and help spread the word about Dustin Baker Photography. In return, you’ll get some cool freebies and you’ll help your friends to get a discount! Contact me today for more information about the Senior Rep Program!
Why do people like photography? There are many reasons and each may be different for every individual. But one underlying reason that people enjoy seeing photographs is because they usually depict something that is nice to look at. Beauty is an appealing thing. It’s tue! And guess what…it’s everywhere! Don’t believe me? Let me show you something.
I recently took a photograph that I really love. It’s one that is unique to the part of the country that I live in. You see, in South Texas, we don’t really see four seasons. It snowed once on Christmas Eve several years ago. It freaked people out. It was almost apocalyptic – seriously, snow on palm trees? I’m pretty sure that comes right before the Four Horsemen begin their ride. But that was a once in a lifetime thing. Even though South Texas does not see four real seasons (we have really have only two, “Blazing Hot” and “Not-quite-as-hot, You-might-could-even-get-away-with-a-sweater”), some of our trees do actually change color. If you keep your eyes opened, you might spot them, ablaze with the colors of fall, in all their splendor. How beautiful it must be to actually experience this in other parts of the country where all the trees change!
Here is the photo that I took just a over a month ago, in January:
To me, I would believe it if someone told me that they took this picture in Tennessee or somewhere in the Northeast. Not in Corpus Christi, Texas. But it’s true. In fact, this photo was taken right next to a fairly busy road, right outside of my office. Most people would no’t consider this area of town to be a hotbed of photo opportunities. If you were to go look at this tree right now, you probably wouldn’t think much of it at all. You might not ever think that it was worthy of being photographed. To someone that doesn’t really look for the beauty that surrounds them, this tree might not even be noticed. Why would it? It’s just a simple tree, shading a corner of a parking lot next to a busy road.
What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t take visiting an exotic location or traveling far and wide to find beautiful things. Beauty truly is all around you. It’s in your own backyard. You just have to see it. I encourage you to get out and truly experience the beauty of the world we live in. Even the smallest of things, such as a usually unnoticed tree in the middle of the city can surprise you. Just look at what this same tree looks like today.
But when you get up close enough to really see it. You just might see the beauty that you’ve been missing.
Let’s face it, people hire photographers to take their pictures because they want to look good and show off just how good they look to other people. We photographers love to be able to capture moments and personalities, and we always strive to do it in a flattering way. We want you to look great too! But, how you look in your portraits starts with how you dress.
Now, I am no fashion expert. I’m most comfortable in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, along with my favorite flip flops and a cap. That’s me. That’s my style. It’s comfortable. But if that’s what I’m going to wear to my portrait session, it’s also a little lazy. You are investing your hard-earned dollars into professional portraiture, so you need start out by investing a little time and thought into making yourself look your best. It all starts with you!
My clients always ask me what they should wear for their portrait sessions. While there aren’t any ironclad rules of fashion that must be obeyed, some clothes generally photograph better. So here are some pointers to help you make the decision about what to wear for your portrait sessions.
Coordinate Styles and Colors
You don’t have to match completely. There is nothing all that original about everyone in the family portrait wearing khaki pants and a white shirt. Sure, people do it all the time, but it’s been done so much. It just isn’t unique. And besides, what families actually dress like that? Matching like clones is bad, but coordinating your style and colors is important. You don’t have to match the color tones perfectly. Even clothes in the same color range look great together – ie. a bright blue dress with a lighter, softer blue shirt. Also, don’t mix styles. Sometimes the contrast might work, but usually, it ends up looking funky if you mix formal with casual – jeans and flip flops look strange next to a formal evening gown.
Wear clothes that fit
It is important to know your body type and to dress accordingly. You don’t want to wear clothes that are too small, because they cling to your body in those places that you may not want them to. On the other extreme, don’t wear clothes that are too baggy. They will make you look bigger than you are. Neither look is very flattering in photographs.
For Engagement or Family Sessions, pay close attention to the details. If she is wearing a jacket, it wouldn’t make visual sense for him to be wearing shorts and a muscle shirt. Coordinate as though the weather is the same for everyone in the photos, because it usually is (unless someone is just having a bad day and a cartoon raincloud is following them around).
Layers work great for portraits. For one, they can create a great visual effect that adds depth to your look. Also, they are great at giving you the ability to have many different looks in your portraits. It’s easy to create multiple styles when you wear layers! Wear a jacket with a top underneath. Or wear two different tops, one under other. That makes it easy to “change” without having to find a place to change. That means more time shooting and more time having fun and less time looking for a private place to swap outfits.
Scarves, necklaces, rings, earrings for ladies, a wristwatch or a loose fitting tie for guys. All of these things help to add style to your look. Bring something that is unique to you or your family. Also, if you are doing a family session with your kiddos, bring their favorite toy. Not only do toys make a cool prop, but they will also help your children to be comfortable in front of this stranger with a big camera. Kids always love to talk about and show off their favorite toys!
Avoid Logos and busy patterns
Logos, although they may speak to the level of style sense that you may have, don’t really work well for portraits. For one, they can date the photos quickly. Fashion and the “in-style” brand changes with the seasons. So unless you want to have portraits done every year (and by all means, I’m happy to do them for you!), it’s best to avoid prominently displayed logos. Let’s face it, those awesome M.C. Hammer pants were all the rage back in the day, but unfortunately, they aren’t all that cool anymore despite my best efforts to bring parachute pants back. You want your portraits to be timeless. Don’t date them by wearing fad style clothing and logos.
Busy, intricate patterns are also a no-no for portraits. They just don’t photograph well. Cameras and computer screens just don’t like them – they can give a nasty digital effect that just looks bad. So stay away from thin pin-stripes and the like. If you must wear a pattern, consider matching a pattern with a solid – for instance, a patterned top with solid pants.
Do’s & Dont’s
- Coordinate Colors – This doesn’t mean match like clones.
- Coordinate Styles – If she is wearing a light vintage-y sundress, he would look good in some blue jeans. Don’t mix casual with formal.
- Wear solid colors or simple patterns.
- Stick to fitted clothing – not too tight and not to baggy.
- Wear blue jeans. Jeans have been around forever. There’s a reason. They are simple and they can look great.
- Keep it simple!
- Don’t wear tennis shoes. They certainly serve their purposes, but portraits are not usually one of them. Sometimes sneakers can look cool. Think about how they impact your overall look. Don’t just wear them because they fit and are comfortable. Your photographer is probably going to get your feet in some of the shots, so plan accordingly.
- Avoid super short skirts. They won’t allow you to move around freely and they will make it difficult (and yes, awkward) for the photographer to pose you. Think about who is going to be seeing your portraits.
- Avoid completely matching outfits. It is good to look coordinated, but not like clones. White shirts and khaki pants don’t have much personality and your portrait session is all about showing your personality!
- Don’t bring a ton of outfit changes. It is normal to have a wardrobe change or two during a session, but bringing 5 changes of clothing is overkill. Remember, your session is only for a certain length of time. Don’t spend it all changing clothes.
Some other Ideas to Consider:
For ladies – A simple cocktail dress or sundress will almost always look great.
For guys – wear a jacket, with a collared shirt – maybe throw in a loose tie. Some cool leather shoes or even some rad (yes, I just used the word rad…I’m so ashamed) Converse All Stars sneakers (even with the jacket and loose tie)!
Another great way to make your portrait session unique and to bring out your true personality is to bring props. Props can help make the session even more fun. Some ideas:
- A “Thank You” or “Save the Date” sign on a poster-board or a small chalkboard for personalized thank you and save the date cards.
- Musical instruments that you play
- Balloons or one big giant balloon.
- Anything else that is unique or that is special to you.
- Your favorite old couch or chair. I’m strong. I don’t mind helping to lug a couch into a field somewhere!
Visit With Your Photographer
Talk to me about your ideas before the session. Give me your thoughts about the locations you have in mind. I’ll do my best to give you some guidance about what clothing might photograph best at that location. Also let me know what props you are thinking of bringing along. This will help me to prepare accordingly.
Remember, your portraits are about you!
My first goal as your photographer is to make you comfortable. I want you to be yourself when you are in front of my camera. The first step to making you feel comfortable is you actually being comfortable! So simply, wear something you are comfortable in! Something that makes you feel confident. If you don’t normally wear sundresses and high heels or a button down shirt with bow tie, then it probably is not a good idea to wear them for your session. Remember, you want your portraits to reflect your true personality. So don’t try to be someone you’re not.
Finally, the most important thing to remember about preparing for your portrait session is that I am photographing you, so be yourself! Dress nice, but don’t get so dressed-up that you are uncomfortable. Interact with your family or fiancé the way you normally would. Goof off, make faces, laugh, play and just HAVE FUN! That’s what it’s all about!