Tia Esther Creative





Getting ready for photos can be so daunting and not something that we're all used to. Putting different colors and patterns together is not everyone's angle of expertise. Luckily, I'm here to help you after years of working with different families who have different styles.  And with full transparency, I am no fashion guru. Often I am standing at my closet, blank staring at my clothes. It consists of oversized t-shirts, some comfy crops, joggers and biker shorts. Very few pairs of jeans and a couple dresses for when I'm feeling giddy.

The reason I tell you this is because I want you to know that I don't know your style, better than you know your style. Whether you're getting fancy or keeping it chill- I want you to be as comfortable as possible in your clothing and environment. The two go hand in hand in most situations but we can always bend the rules if that's what you want to do! 

I know it's all very exciting and if you're like me, you love a reason to go shopping for something cute and outside of your closet... but oftentimes, it's not the best idea and I've found I end up feeling better had I worn something I already feel good in. If you decide you don't feel good in anything you have, I recommend doing the shopping at least two weeks before your session is scheduled so you can get comfy in them and make sure it's something you can move 'n groove in during your session.

So this is where we begin...

We looove options

Having a few things in your bag that you love is key. Instead of bringing your whole closet because you
just can't resist leaving something behind, choose the few things you know  you love and are
comfortable in. If it were me, I'd bring something casual, something fun and something to wind-down in.
Depending on the season we're in, you'll have to take the weather into factor as well. I wouldn't bring
your warmest fall clothes for a summer shoot.. it just wouldn't make sense! But throwing on a light
sweater for an evening session towards the end, would!

This also gives you a chance to tie in something that maybe wouldn't be on your everyday wardrobe list.
Like those fancy boots you keep put away. Or that fancy dress that stays in your closet year round that
you've been dying to wear. Really, nothing is off-limits. You can dress yourself down or up depending on what
you're trying to evoke in your sessions or you can keep it completely casual. The options are endless.

Don't be afraid to try something new! Like I said, this might not look like actually purchasing something new. Switch up things in your closet, look up ideas on Pinterest on how you could style things that you already have, ask your friends.. Usually an hour long session can obtain one-two  outfit changes depending on how fast we're shooting. If you only want to wear one outfit, that's fine, too!

Keep in mind the location we have chosen for your session. When choosing outfits, if you know there is not going to be a bathroom or space for you to change, bring things that can slip over or under other things to make for an easier transition. If we're going to a more secluded area and you're comfortable, I don't care where you change if that is something you want to do.

let your personality shine

Your outfit is like a canvas that your  personality brings to life. Clothes are just clothes until you put someone in them who believes they can change or exaggerate your self-confidence. Wearing clothing that brings out who you are as a person will make  your shoot. Imagine you're a laid back pottery artist and you're choosing some real high end fancy threads to rock for a shoot... While you can absolutely do that, I don't think you're going to feel as comfortable in heels than you would bear foot because that's truly not your personality.

Take the image above for example. He's a laid back guy who feels most comfortable in black attire ready to hit his next videography gig. You'll notice he's also paired his sacred Japamala, sunglasses and his everyday hat. These are things that represent who he is as a person. His personality. If he were wearing some bright, eccentric shoes or maybe a band t-shirt, you might get a different first impression on who he is. 

Whether you're going formal or casual, it should always be authentic and represent you. If you're vibrant and outgoing, bold colors and statement pieces might suit you better. If you're more reserved and quiet, lean towards those neutral mid-tones. 

Accessories like a statement necklace, funky sunglasses or unique hat can add that extra essence of your personality into your outfit. 

the more you know...

Taking photos is so much more than just standing in front of a camera and looking pretty. It's about capturing emotion and life. When you look back on the photos that mean the most to you, you remember the moments and the memories. Usually, you're not looking at your clothing unless you're looking at cringe-worthy high school photos thnking, "why did I ever think that looked good?!". 

I want your photos to look good and bring forward happy emotions. I also want our time together to make as much sense as possible. If we're going on a hike to your location, bring hiking boots, not high heels. If we're going to a fancier location, wear the heels! Take into account the terrain we'll be in. If you're not sure what it's like, ask me! 

My mission is to have you guys as comfortable as possible in clothing that feels right, that you can also move in. My approach to photos is always making sure there is movement. Movement brings out emotion. Emotion brings out authenticity. 

They say you never know the importance of a moment until it becomes a memory and if this rings true for you, then you know that being present in a moment let's you relive that memory. The less you're worrying about the perfect outfit, the more you can be present in these  perfect moments.

If you want to wear something patterned, please for the love of all photographers, do not put your entire family in plaid flannels. It's not that we hate it, we just hate it.  Ok, ok... all jokes aside, if it's what you really want to wear, then I'm not going to drop the iron hammer and say no. 

Like I've said, I want these images to reflect just who you are. But when it comes to the whole fam matching flannels like we're back in '09, it just isn't the jam anymore. You could put one, maybe two people in a flannel and call it a day. They tend to clash in photos and they bring no contrast to you as a subject and the background we're working with.

My go-to advice is to bring a solid choice as well as something patterned or textured. We love textures. Patterns will sometimes give off the illusion of something being textured in photos. Textures are a major love language of mine as they photograph so well against skin and they bring out a certain feel in your images. When I see filmy photos where the subjects are wearing textured clothing.. I just feel seen. It makes me feel some type of way.


props + accesories

Usually when people think of props, they think of chalkboards, cringey letter boards and things alike. I like to picture props as things that accentuate you or your shoot. Think of things like your dog thats been apart of your little family for a long time, your favorite jean jacket that you wear every winter, a badass old fashioned chair to sit in, a vintage car, your favorite food or drink, silly t-shirts you had made... is it starting to paint a picture for you? Nothing is off limits. You can bring and do what you please! 

Accessorizing your shoot just makes it that much more memorable and unique to you. You don't have to go by societies standards of what is cool or in. Let me know if you have something in mind so we can be sure to incorporate it in the most you  way possible.

in-home sessions

The intention for in-home sessions is to be in a completely comfortable space for yourself and whoever is in the images with you. Major benefits to staying at home is- you have your closet at your disposal! Any outfit changes you want to make can be done quickly. Depending on the vision for your session, you might live in a house that is mostly neutral colors, so you wear something brighter to stand out. Or maybe you want to keep it all neutral and flowy. You can show as much or as little skin as you like but I do believe that in-home sessions, especially if you're a couple, are meant to be a bit more steamy for lack of a better word. Shorts, a baggy sweater and some cozy socks, sweats and a sports bra, shorts with no shirt for the fellas.. I think you get it. If not, reach out, I got you!

Main pointers:
- comfy is best
- jeans at home doesn't really look right
- show some skin

Hair + Makeup

This is completely to your discretion. If you are the type of person who normally wears a full face of makeup and that's what makes you feel good, do that. If you are more of a natural, bare face type of person, I wouldn't choose your session to experiment with a glam day.

If you'e going to hire someone to do your makeup, be sure to run a trial with them well before your session so that you can tell them what you like/don't like. When it comes to the day of your shoot, have them done with your makeup at least an hour before the session.

If you're super pasty pale like me and like to get a little color before your session, I recommend getting a spray tan 2-3 days before the session so it has a chance to wash off and you don't look orange or cakey. I 100% feel better when my skin is tan. The placebo effect works.

that's all, folks!

Thank you for taking the time to read through this what to wear guide as a reference for your shoot with me. If you still have questions or are panicking about what to wear, don't hesitate to reach out to me! We can go over options and even create some moodboards or a pinterest board together. 

Most importantly, I want you to be comfortable so wear what makes you feel that way. No matter what you choose, these photos are going to be great.

If you want to take a peek below at some images for inspiration, I suggest it!