Tag Archives: clothes

Scarves and Wraps made from Japanese Silk – Handmade Products – Photography in Teddington

Kumadori scarfHandmade products, photographed for our neighbour Valerie Timmis who makes beautiful scarves and wraps. We spent an afternoon in my Teddington studio photographing for her website. Val asked another neighbour, Graham to model. Such fun!

Val’s business is called Kumadori, have a look at the website. Her gorgeous scarves and wraps were a joy to photograph. They are unique, made from the silk of vintage kimonos which, Val says “combines Japanese aesthetic, luscious quality silks with fine, innovative decoration.”

A few doors up from me – and a few doors down from Val is the home of Charlotte Duff, who created the Kumadori website.

Food and Product Photography

What Colour Should I Wear for a Photo Shoot?

It’s not just the colour – there are as many ‘right’ ways to dress for a profile portrait photograph as there are people to be photographed. When I take a booking for a profile portrait shoot, I’m sometimes asked, ‘what shall I wear?’ I tend to hedge around the question with my answer, because I don’t really know. I’m not a ‘snappy dresser’.

Own Your Style

So I sat down with Jacqui O’Connell of Soul Dresser. Jacqui helps people find their personal style, and she was going to help me formulate a more thoughtful answer. “Firstly, people should own their style. They should dress so they feel comfortable for the shoot, or they won’t come over as best they can.” That immediately sounds like the nub of the matter – you’ve got to be comfortable before you can be relaxed, and you’ve got to be relaxed before your can feel confident. Jacqui continues; “People often fall out of love with getting dressed, but choosing what to wear should be fun and exciting, you should be able to look forward to people’s reactions.” You should look forward to people seeing your new profile photograph too. What ever your reason for wanting a new picture, you should also know what reaction you want to provoke from anyone seeing the picture.

Are You Gold or Silver?

So I asked Jacqui for the single most important thing to think about when dressing for a photographic shoot. “Start off by getting your colour right, we all have a seasonal colour that’s right for us. Firstly, are you warm or cool? Does silver or gold work best for you? Gold is warm, silver is cool. Autumn and spring are the warm seasons – deeper colours will work best. Winter and summer are cool – bold colours can work well.” Jacqui could see I was already lost, she suggested finding an online resource to help decide. “Most people know, but don’t put a label on it. It’s often the colours that you’re most drawn to. The thing is, wearing the wrong colours, especially near the face will be a distraction because they don’t really work.” Jacqui thought I was probably autumn because I wear deeper, warmer tones.

Colour and Comfort

‘What should I wear for the photo shoot? Now when people ask this I can offer a really practical piece of advice – know your season. Choosing the right colour can actually make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera. The context of where the picture will used is vitally important too, as is the occupation of the sitter and what their client would expect to see, but we need to use all the tools we have to connect – getting your colour right can be one of them. As Jacqui says; “There’s a style for everyone, find it, own it and you’ll really shine.”

Jacqui O’Connell, Soul Dresser http://souldresser.co.uk/ 


How to dress for a headshot photoshoot


you never know what ideas the photographer might come up with!

Apparently, we live in a free society. This must mean that the way we behave is really nothing to do with anyone else – so long as we hurt no-one. Part of our freedom of expression must be the freedom to offend – there is no such thing as the right to be unoffended. Luckily most of us exercise the right to express opinions that might offend with great restraint. Especially if we want something from the person who might be offended, especially if it’s something like business.

OK, so a website profile picture is unlikely to give any real offense, but sometimes people choose to take umbrage at the slightest thing, such as not conforming to their expectation of what you should look like. There is no ‘uniform’ for a photographer, I’ll wear a DJ to a black tie event of course, but if I turned up to a corporate portrait shoot dressed like a penguin they might think I was a singing telegram. So what should I wear in my profile picture to make people feel that I’m really just like them and they really ought to like me?

Well since I don’t actually know who ‘they’ are, let alone what they’re like the best I can hope to do is to avoid demonstrating that I’m definitely NOT like them!

I have to make sure there’s nothing about the image I project that someone can dislike. Unfortunately this means always playing it safe. Of course we should never ‘judge a book by the cover’ but the way we look does say a lot about us, whether we like it or not. If someone doesn’t care what they look like, they surely don’t really care what I think of them. If they don’t care what I think, then I might assume they don’t care about me. Why would I do business with someone who doesn’t care about me?

For a photographer, playing it safe means being smart enough, but not too formal. I’ve seen photographers wearing a tea-shirt or fleece embroidered with their logo, and they look good. It’s the sort of thing gas fitters and plumbers wear, but I don’t sell my craft skills. It’s how and what I photograph that I sell, not the act of photographing.

Of course the clothes to wear in a business portrait depend on the business. What do clients or customers expect and more importantly, what would put them off? It’s not always easy to see things from the perspective of the other person, but it’s important to try in order to define what a potential client expects to see. Then you can open your wardrobe to see what fits the brief, and hope that it still fits you!

You should always be the centre of attention in your profile photograph so choose clothes that won’t distract from you.  The clothes should flatter without being noticed. Solid, subdued colours work well. Longer sleeves look better then short, unostentatious jewellery is better than bling.
Have a think about those piercings. While you have every right to wear as many piercings as you wish, just remember that other people have an equal right to their opinion of tongue studs and people who choose to wear them.


There’s no doubt that it’s harder for women to hit the right sartorial note than it is for men. Women have a greater range of possibilities so it’s easier to get it wrong. Men tend to be less aware of being judged or just don’t care. It’s harder for a man in a suit-wearing profession to express themselves through the clothes they ware, the point is that the business photo is the place to create a good impression, not a platform for self-expression.

Dressing properly and dressing well can make you feel a bit special and a bit more confident in front of the camera, and that confidence can make the biggest difference to the impression the picture makes.

Blogs with some more sensible advice