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Friday, November 13, 2009

FAQ: All about clothes!

I grew up in Oregon.

I had a wonderful childhood, and I am so thankful now for the time there because I think it had a part in shaping me into who I am today. I know that people from Southern California think that Oregonians are all Birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, protesting hippies.... but that is not the case. Although I do own 2 pairs of Birkenstocks, I've been known to hug a tree on occasion, and I may have protested... once or twice.

When I moved here from Oregon, I was 16. It was the summer before my junior year of high school and I had no idea what to expect. In my mind, we were moving to "LA".... Los Angeles... Hollywood.... Beverly Hills... they were all one place to a 16 year old small town girl from Oregon. I quickly found that I did not really fit in... at least the way I dressed. I had always dressed for comfort... I would wear something comfortable over something fashionable any day. In the last 8 years of being in California, my taste and style has evolved. I still like to be comfortable, but I've learned to accessorize!!!

A question I am often asked is what to wear during shoots. This is a really hard question to answer, because I think it is different for everyone. I am still blown away when people ask me questions as if I actually KNOW something... but I will do my very best to answer. The best answer I can give to this question is simply what I wear. Hopefully that will help.

For an everyday or engagement shoot, I do not get all dressed up. I usually wear jeans and a sweater or nice-ish shirt and boots. I used to wear flip flops and if it is a beach shoot I still do, but I found that boots keep weeds or anything like that from getting in my shoes. I am not always very coordinated... and during shoots, I am moving around a lot to get different shots. I need to know that I am solid on my feet. My boots seem to be a little more stable than flip flops. In the summertime, I will even wear my boots with shorts or a summer dress. I also LOVE maxi dresses (you know, the really long ones) because they are super comfortable, they look nice and I can still get down and lay on the ground if I need to!

Thanks to White Haute Photography.

That said, I do dress up for weddings :) This really depends on the style and location of the wedding. Last summer I shot a backyard wedding and I wore knee length black shorts, a nice white tank and black flat sandals. I got these from American Eagle and they are so cute and comfy and look nice. I get complements on them all the time (mine are black).
For the beach weddings (which are somewhat common around here :) I love my black maxi dress.
I very rarely wear dresses that are above the knee, simply because they are hard to move in. For more formal weddings, I usually wear nice black pants and some sort of fancy top. I like to mix and match, but I find I wear the same few things over and over again. I posted a couple of days ago with several behind the scenes pictures of me as I was shooting. You can see those here for more of what I wear :)

One of my favorite finds was at Ross. My mom and I were in the shoe section (where you can find us often), and I happened accross these shoes by Calvin Klein. I absolutely adore them. They are cute, they look nice and they are so comfy! The heel is short enough that it doesnt hurt my feet.

I got them in this color:
In several of the behind the scenes pictures, this is what you see when I'm wearing heels :) I usually throw a pair of flats in my car just in case my feet cant take it, but usually I make it through the day with these.
Another of my favorite things is accessories. I know, it seems small and silly, but I feel like it makes a big difference. Here's the thing... if I showed up to a wedding wearing my typical bright colored clothing (case in point, my favorite dress is long and bright orange), I don't think it would be good. I want to blend in... not be the center of attention. But I have a hard time wearing traditional black and white alone... so I like to add a little pop of color. It always makes me feel happy and cheerful and confident. Something as simple as a colored scarf. Or my favorite... hair accessories :) I have several colorful headbands, hair flowers, and my favorite, a cool feathery piece from Lo Boheme.
Okay so now that I've shared what I wear... let me break it down a bit :)
  • Be comfortable: You are going to be on your feet all day long. Your feet should be happy.
  • Wear something you can move in: You will most likely be moving in weird ways. You will definitely NOT just be standing up straight. Make sure you don't have a wardrobe malfunction :)
  • Blend in: You don't want to be the bright orange blob in the background of the ceremony :) typically neutral colors (black, brown, grey and white... although not ALL white) are safe.
  • Dress appropriately: Make sure you know where the venue is and how formal the wedding will be. You don't want to wear a suit or formal wear to a beach wedding, and just the same, you don't want to a casual outfit in a large, fancy church ceremony.
  • Feel confident: You want to feel like yourself, and you want to feel confident. If that means a cool hair accessory, or a fancy scarf or funky earrings... whatever it is, add your own personality.
  • More than anything else, wear a smile and HAVE FUN! If you are having fun at an event, or at a session, the people around you will have fun too. It's contageous! :)


Lawrence Kent said...

You are correct in everything you said. The balance between fashion and comfort for a wedding photographer can be a challenge. And our shoes are the most important. Comfortable shoes are a must. I once buy some new shoes to work in at a wedding and by the end of the ceremony I had my go to my house and get me my other shoes. It was awful. Excellent tips!!

Jewelielyn said...

ah . . . the shoes . . . :)

. s h e r r y * said...

Thanks for sharing! <3 I love posts like these. (I also love your hair accessories. I have such a huge weakness for them)

jimmieb said...

I think the last point is paramount to everything!!! The last thing I want my clients to think is that I am working!!!