All photos by the lovely Melanie Duerkopp Photography
I have a confession. I am a huge ham. I absolutely love to have my photo taken and if I hear a camera click I instantly pose and smile just in case I'm in the frame. But I am fully aware that that is not the case for everyone. Or even more importantly, whether you like to have your photo taken or not, feeling more confident when a photo is taken of you is always a plus.
I recently was asked to style another photography workshop for Styled:The Workshop. The shoot had a palate of persimmon, cream, and brown with pops of navy and burgundy. From the incredible fall foliage, to the elaborate invitation suite, everything was thought out and executed to perfection. For the "bride and groom" we went for a cozy, textured and elegant style. After several photo shoots and lots of trial and error, I have developed many tricks of the trade when it comes to creating a look that is ready to be photographed. Using the images by Melanie Duerkopp, I'm going to share with you my top 5 ways to make your photo shoot stand out. These aren't your typical tips such as "Get rest the night before." (we'll save that for another post). These are tips that will take your photos and make them extra special, extra interesting and extra you. These tips apply to anyone who wants to amp up their next photographic endeavor.
1) Personal Details - This first tip may seem a little silly. Some of you may be thinking "Of course I'll be wearing some of my personal items." You would be surprised to know how many people remove all their old clothing items from their outfits in photo shoots. When you look back at your photos, the more personal details the better. Most people find out they are going to be photographed and instantly want to buy all new clothes. While I understand the need to want to spruce things up. I happen to believe that newer isn't always better. This is especially true when talking about shoes. A new pair of shoes could be quite uncomfortable. By sticking with you favorite pair of boots not only will you look back fondly on the pictures including your "signature boots" but you are going to look more comfortable. No one likes a picture of themselves grimacing from uncomfortable shoes! Trust me, you'll thank me later!
2) Texture - When choosing what to wear for your photo shoot keep the texture of each item in mind. Instead of choosing a bold color t shirt, choose a blouse or sweater that has some visual interest. It may read as a solid shirt from far away, but it adds a layer of depth to the photo. For this specific styled shoot, I chose several elements with extra texture. Notice how her dress from Shop Lovely has a raised applique on the top. Also, his sweater has several different colors weaved in. This added a cozy, warm feeling to their looks. Small intricate details like a distressed boot and a printed tie make a look start to pop on film. This is a costume design trick that I've been using for years. You're welcome.
3) Props - This tip is for you ladies and gents who don't always feel at ease when having your picture taken. Sometimes bringing something to interact with can make you more comfortable. The best photos are the ones that are natural and relaxed. This is extremely helpful for couples that don't want posed photographs. The photos above of our lovely models Kennedy and Landon playing with the hat is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. It was a real moment captured. My absolute favorite.
4) Coordination - If your photos are with a group of people (such as family or a couple) you want to make sure (as I like to say) you are all going to the same party. There are three easy rules to keep in mind when coordinating your outfits. Yes, I know this is a list with in a list. I'm a list making machine!
1) Coordination does NOT mean you need to match. Your dress can go with his tie, but it doesn't need to be a blue suit and a blue dress. Visual interest is the goal.
2) Pick three colors. By choosing three different colors for your palette you are almost forcing your brain to coordinate. Make one of them the main color, one a neutral and the third an accent.
For example: "I wore a coral dress, with gray heels and a yellow necklace. My husband wore a gray suit with a matching gray tie. His pocket square had coral in the pattern."
3) Keep it all the same tone. If you are doing a shoot with lots of pastels, don't throw in a bright orange sweater. It will seem out of place. Instead, pick soft tones for everything. Neutrals can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Even something as simple as a pair of black pumps can stand out as an eye sore in a sea of soft colors.
Now, back to our original list...
5) Pamper yourself : This one is the best. Feeling and looking great is crucial for having an optimal photo shoot. Whether you decide to go and get your hair and makeup done, or you do it at home by yourself, make sure to take the time and do it right. You will feel so much more confident. That means, eyebrows, nails, or even a bubble bath the night before. Whatever it is that makes you feel the most beautiful. Do that. It'll work wonders.
Not only is this workshop being featured on Head Over Heels today, but on one of my favorite blogs Green Wedding Shoes. Definitely head on over and check out even more of the prettiness by Melanie Duerkopp.
In the comments section on the blog I'd love to hear about all of your photo shoot woes. Let's start the conversation!
Have a photo shoot coming up? Want to chat more about what to wear, or better yet have me as your shopping companion? Let's chat! I'm looking forward to it!
Oh! Before we bid adieu I'd like to share with you a few of the GORGEOUS details from the other incredible vendors involved in this Styled: The Workshop. These talented folks blew my mind with their attention to every fall inspired detail.
Lead Photographer: Melanie Duerkopp Photography | Venue: Olympia's Valley Estate | Creative Direction, Design and Styling: Amanda O'Shannessy Creative | Fashion Styling: Melanie of Head Over Heels with Melanie | Hair and Makeup: Elizabeth Chang of Skyla Arts | Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals | Models: Landon and Kennedy of JE Model | Paper Goods: Mae Mae Paperie | Vintage Jewelry: Sweet and Spark | Short Dress: Shop Lovely | Wedding Gown: Lovely Bride|