What to wear for photos

Clothes that fit and flatter

The holidays are arriving fast, and we will finally be gathering in person once again. Hurrah!

We know what that means: photographs to mark the occasions with family and friends. At least I hope so, because those photos are probably the only record we keep of our lives, and they are how we pass on our stories.

As a photographer, I have been part of creating those memories for decades. However, I have also seen lots of people hide from the camera, because they say they don’t like the way they look in pictures. I’d like to change that, and help everyone like the way they look on camera. So here are a few suggestions on how you too, can like the way you look in photos, no matter who takes them.

Start with your outfit. The clothes you choose can make all the difference and sets the tone and style. Would you prefer formal and elegant, or casual and fun? Most "what to wear" guides show Pinterest-coordinated outfits and tell you what clothes look good in pictures, but do not mention what clothes look good on you. Here are three simple things to look for:

  1. Fit and style. Pick clothes for your body type, and make sure they fit. It seems obvious, but many people show up with clothes that are too small or too big. Clothes that are too small or too tight accentuate every bulge and make us uncomfortable, while baggy and oversized things tend to make us look oversized as well. The right fit gives you a sense of comfort and confidence that comes through in the photos.
  2. Next, pay attention to color. Figure out which colors flatter your skin tone, bring out your eyes or enhance your hair color. You may look good in soft pink or sky blue, but mauve or turquoise may drain your face. Go through your closet and pull out all the different colors you already have. Is there variety, or just a couple of colors? Generally, avoid colors that match your skin tone too closely. Try taking selfies in different colored outfits see which colors make you look best.
  3. Then, check the neckline on your top. Do you know what necklines look good on you? Do you prefer a v-neck, scoop neck, or turtleneck? Which one truly looks best? It should frame, flatter and bring attention to your face. Once again, go through your closet and see how many different necklines you already have. Take a few more selfies, and see which truly frame your face. Sometimes just adding a scarf, jacket or piece of jewelry makes the outfit work.

I hope this helps you love the way you look in photos!

Katie Garlock

Katie Garlock has been a photographer for decades, and still loves her job. She started in Ohio, then worked to Washington DC for 16 years. She and her husband recently relocated to Westlake to be near family.

A life member of the Professional Photograpers of America, Katie holds the degree of Photographic Craftsman. She founded the St. Jude Precious Baby Photo Contest in Lima, Ohio over 20 years ago, and continues to raise money for the Hospital today.

She is working on her book, "I Hate the Way I Look In Pictures  (and how to fix that)"   She also speaks to groups on easy waYs to love the way you look in pictures, no atter who takes them.

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Volume 13, Issue 22, Posted 10:25 AM, 11.16.2021