Styling for Photographers

Everyday Pieces Turned High Fashion

As a photographer, I find myself styling more often that I thought! Not just on test shoots - but client work too! A lot of my first test shoots involved just me and the model. I would have to ask models to bring their own clothing to wear because I just didn’t have a stylist or the budget to buy clothing. My own closet eventually started following me to shoots because models didn’t always have everything we needed for the shoot. Over time I learned which everyday clothing pieces can be made to look editorial for photography. This is my ‘top 5 list’ of go-to fashion everyone can pull from their closet and turn into an editorial outfit for photoshoots. Here we go!

1. Monochrome: “Just bring everything red colored in your closet.” How easy was that?? You don’t have to be up to date on the trends, know how to pair which shoes with what - nope. Just pick one color and it’s all decided for you! So easy! I like to also tell models to bring similar colors. Like all warm tones - oranges, yellows, tans, reds, pinks. That way you have more options to work with. Below you’ll find different kinds of monochrome ideas. You can have your model wear one solid color scheme, or have two models wear complimentary colors, or mix two solid colors together like purple and pink. Adobe has a fun little website I use to pick color pallets. Get ready to geek out on it. It helps you find color options for monochromatic, complementary, analogous…etc.

2. Mixed Print: I love mixing prints in shoots because you can’t make it look bad! The idea is to throw opposite prints and colors together. Yeah it clashes and you probably would never wear this out in public…BUT it looks dope in a photoshoot. This is art. It doesn’t have to make sense. My mindset is “make it EXTRA”. Make it look even crazier. That’s where the fun happens ;) You don’t need to stress about making it look perfect and polished. Top couture brands like Gucci are always designing and clashing prints together while making it look high fashion. You can do it too! It’s also an easy outfit to communicate to your model - “Just pull everything out of your closet with a print!” Alternative option to this look: shooting with multiple models, each with different prints.

3. Denim: Everyone has a pair of denim and a white t-shirt. When I’m shooting portraits I always have my models bring these as a back up. Its simple yet offers a versatility to shooting. Denim can be portrayed natural and fun or sexy and edgy. Pair some denim with a black or white t-shirt, a bra, or denim jacket. The Canadian tuxedo is always a YASS in my book.

4. Layered Dress: One single step can make your home-closet-outfit turn high fashion: putting a dress over a shirt. You don’t need to spend tons of money getting the most flamboyant dress - a simple slip will do. My favorite go-to move is a silk dress over a long sleeve turtle neck and cinched with a belt.

5. Gloves: While not everyone will have a pair of gloves in their closet, gloves will definitely make your shot look more high fashion. They are inexpensive and you could pair them almost with any outfit and there’s tons of fabric and color options. Here are some options for links to purchase: vintage, lace, latex, and satin.

If you want to see more ideas expanded on all these outfits - check out this moodboard I made just for you! It also has a sixth bonus outfit idea ;) Give me a follow on Pintrest to see more photography mood boards and tips!

Hope this helpful to you! If you end up shooting any of these ideas please tag me in your photo on Instagram! Would love to see what you create! 💖 Cheers, Champagne