6 Mistakes most people make when planning their wardrobe for a photo shoot

1. Wear Black on White and White on Black....

It's a common misconception that to be seen, you have to wear a dark colour on a white background and lighter clothes on a dark background.

This is the case in a modern infinity cove (all white) flash studio - but not in most cases. The reason they ask you not to wear white is because during the editing stage they make everything brighter and add contrast, which means anything white will just disappear!

In most soft light studios (and in your own photos) put light colours with lighter backgrounds and darker colours on dark backgrounds. This way the clothes don't distract the focus from you. The composition is more creative and it's a nicer looking image.

2. Avoid Colours

My biggest tip to my clients is Wear your personality.

If you never wear colours. Don't. But if you're always dressing a certain way, wear a particular colour - bring it along. Always bring a choice of clothes but most of all bring what means something to you!

Bring something dark, something light, something formal and something casual. Bring as many clothes as you want - but be creative and be you!

3. Not wearing patterns

This is half true.

You shouldn't wear logos or bold patterns. And in a big family group you shouldn't wear clashing patterns, or everyone in plain colours and one in a pattern (unless it's a baby or small child!)

But during a solo shoot, if you want to show some personality then wear something fancy!

A lot of beautiful dresses are sleeveless - but a lot of women, myself included, don't particularly like their arms, or more, don't like them being photographed. It's okay to have one or two, but then a light shawl that's decorative brings a bit of character to the image and will make you feel more comfortable.

4. Wearing baggy clothes

Comfort is most important right?

Well yes, it's important to feel confident and happy. But to get incredible images, whether you're athletic or curvy, wear something fitted!

Bring a range of clothes, but do make sure you bring some fitted clothing.

The last photo shoot I did I purchased a dress because it was covered in sequins (and it had sleeves!) and I loved it. But I would never wear it out because it was ridiculously tight and ridiculously short. It looked amazing so it was perfect for posing in the studio. And no one would ever know how really unpractical the dress was!

5. Going OTT on the Make Over

Some people will go all out for a photo shoot. It's not something we do all the time, so why not splash out and make it amazing?

Well, you have to look like you.

If you NEVER wear make up, then keep it absolutely minimal, or not at all!

Hire a professional who knows how the make up looks through a camera. Don't straighten your hair if it's always curly and visa versa. Enhance your natural beauty. Show who you are!

And show how beautiful you really are!

6. Have boring white background headshots in a suit

Personal Branding and Headshots are very popular in the studio at the moment as more and more business people are using the web and social media to spread their brand.

People are even using this genre to promote themselves on dating websites.

But does a headshot really have to be so business like and cold? Absolutely not.

It can be whatever you want it to be! Whether you're a business woman, actor, singer, student or looking for a date, you can show your personality and get some professional and incredible photos to help you get up the ladder!

‘Modern’ Portraiture is out. Here’s what’s taking it’s place

For years we've been placing the family portrait on the wall with pride, a centrepiece of the home.

But we're all changing. We no longer want adult tickle fights in our photos or colour popping silly faces....

What we want is elegant, beautiful, timeless portraiture. Something that won't go out of date. Something our children can be proud to have passed onto them. Something that truly captures the priceless memories that can be treasured for life.

After all, photographs will outlive us. When are children go looking for photos of us, what will they find?

Behind the Scenes of a Photo Shoot

Shafina kindly allowed me to video her make over experience - she was even happy for a little interview too!

It was a lovely photo shoot and I feel very lucky to have met her, her mother and her husband and since the photo shoot, their gorgeous little boy, Ziyaan.

If you would love to have a photo shoot but are feeling a bit camera shy, have a look at my free downloadable guide on 'Top Ten Tips on how to build Camera Confidence'

How to Prepare for a Photo Shoot

A photo shoot is something we don't do everyday & the thought of preparing for it could be overwhelming! So here's a step by step guide to make the process effortless.


After you've spoken to the photographer on the phone and booked in your session, you will be invited in for a consultation to really find out what photographs you want and why. You will discuss wardrobe, make up, number of people in the photo shoot, timings and overall you will be comforted on any nerves or shyness you have around having your photo taken.

Meeting your photographer beforehand means on the day of the photo shoot you're not meeting a stranger, you're meeting a friend. Someone who you already feel comfortable with.

What to Wear

Although this will be discussed with you in detail on the consultation, it's good to prepare!

Bring a wide range of clothing from formal to casual - even lingerie if you want a few boudoir photos (but don't want a full boudoir shoot!) Bring along neutral colours, bright colours and dark colours. But most of all bring along clothes that show your personality! We recommend avoiding big bold logos or patterns, just because this distracts the focus from the image and can clash with other people in the photo.


The consultation will be 1-2 weeks before the photo shoot and the viewing will be 1-2 weeks after depending on your availability. Plenty of time to plan and shop and get ready to view your photos!

The Photo Shoot

You will start of by having a make over - why not!
Images are incredibly important. They're a documentation of our lives, something our children and grandchildren will treasure. Look and feel your best! And take time out for a little pampering! 

You Deserve it!

After that, your photographer will guide you through simple posing designed to flatter & enhance. And you don't need any previous posing practice! Anyone can do it! Nobody walks into the studio a professional poser! It's all taught to you on the day so you can feel confident and happy and enjoy your photo shoot.

Your photographer will spend as much time with you as you need. This means you don't need to rush through wardrobe changes, you can try every outfit to get variation in your images. This extra time means you can have multiple combination photos if you choose to bring family with you.


When you walk in you will be greeted with your beautiful images printed on the wall. You can buy as many or as little as you want. The important thing is, there's no hard sales. The images do all the selling.

Finally you will have stunning images of yourself and your family to treasure forever. Finally images you can be proud of.

If you're interested in learning more of the ins and outs of a photo shoot at Laura Rachel Photography, have a look at the behind the scenes blog & video here!