Okay, so as you all know (or maybe you don’t), I went to fashion school, (now you do). Although “styling” is featured as one of my schools bragged about alumni career paths, they don’t tend to teach you much about styling. However, during my time at FIDM, I did learn a lot about attention to detail and how important it is in everything you do. So in this post, I’m not going to claim to be some styling guru or know it all; I’m just jotting down some basic styling tools that your average Jane might not be familiar with and might want to learn.
Here we go!
1. Juxtaposed pieces create outfit character.
I mean, what fun is it if everything is the same style/color/fit etc. Example; In the following photos, you will see me wearing a simple band tee paired with a embellished, sheer sweater. I bought these pieces separately with no attention of wearing them together. The sheer sweater was to add some shimmer to a New Years Eve Party, and the band tee was just to wear when I was too lazy to pick out an actual, cute outfit (AKA: college). When you play tastefully with two separate styles, sometimes the whole look can turn into your personal style; and not fitting a mold of one style can be very liberating.
2. Binder clips are your best friend.
Why? Because fit is everything. You can see in the photo below I am extremely focused on clipping my boyfriends chambray in the back to ensure it photographs properly (while stealthily smoking a sugar-tipped cigar). Folding the shirt in a pleat-like fashion and using the binder clip to secure it shows off the figure of the body more than letting the shirt hang about freely. Many women make the mistake of wearing too big of clothing to try to hide their body, when really it is making them appear larger and shapeless. In contrast, men often wear larger clothing to make them look larger and more masculine. The answer is always to show your shape in a tasteful manner and clip the clothing wear you want to accentuate your assets.
3. It’s all in the details. For a moment, take a look at the lining of his jacket in the photo below. Why didn’t I put him in a traditional, black leather jacket? The details! If I put him in a black leather jacket instead of the grey/brown with a washed -out beige lining, it would not have complimented my embellished topper or the brown in my hat. As a matter of fact, in a photograph, it would have likely clashed! Always keep in mind the undertones of the fabrics when photographing more than one person together. Mix cool and warm tones, but make sure it is in equal measure with each person. Example: If one person has two warm tones in their outfit, put two warm tones in the other person’s outfit.
4. Consider your surroundings/ backdrop. (and how you want to utilize it)! You never choose an outfit before either visiting your photoshoot site or at the very least, researching photos of it prior to pulling outfits. Always ask yourself if the colors you choose will compliment or clash with the background. Some may say that neutrals will always be safe, but that’s not always the case! Although most of our pieces in the outfits above are neutral, I would not advice using very cool colors in a warm background setting, unless that is of course your intention. Example: in the photo below, the transition from backdrop to our outfits are easy on the eye and nothing sticks out like a sore thumb.
5. Playing is better than posing. (Let your boyfriend check out your butt). Unless your on some super serious editorial shoot, having the “models” playing around (while still being aware of facial and spacial issues) usually come out more naturally. Plus, when people are having fun in the clothing, aren’t you more apt to buy those items?
6. Think about how the clothing will look in motion. If you’re going to be running around, wear pieces that either hug closely to your body, or are intentionally flowing and exaggerated. Anywhere in between these two will most likely just make you look larger than you are and not flatter your body. Make it clear to your viewers what your intention was in regards to the clothing.
7. Hire a kick-ass photographer! I cannot stress how important this is! If you are in a position to choose your photographer, make sure they have the same creative vision as you for the shoot. Conflicting visions can be very frustrating and lead to unsatisfactory photos. The photographer who was kind enough to donate her time to our shoot was Shelly Mak. (Book your photoshoot today at www.shellymakphotography.com)
And that my friends, are the top tips I have for conducting a photoshoot from a stylist/ creative director stand-point. Just remember to always have fun, and don’t be afraid to venture outside of the box while paying incredible attention to detail. Let me know if you found any of this information fun or helpful! I love the feedback.
*If anyone is interested in being styled for an upcoming photoshoot, do not hesitate to email me!*