Your clothing and accessories are key to the success of your photo shoot. The biggest challenge for me as a photographer is discovering how my clients want to appear in their photos. I have found that the more talking and planning that goes into a shoot ahead of time, the more successful the shoot will be. Once you decide on a theme and mood for your photo shoot, the next step is for you to find the clothing or costumes that will help you create a world.
How to find clothing for your photo shoot?
Thrift Stores. I love shopping at thrift stores for photo shoots. The clothing is very inexpensive and there no end to what you can find. I have not only found clothing but fake flowers, jewelry, curtains and table cloths which can also be repurposed and worn. My favorite local store is The Salvation Army in Manassas.
Costume Stores. It’s not always easy to find a traditional costume store, but it can be worth your time. You can rent wigs, accessories, giant dresses, hats. These are items you might not want to buy, but that would look great for a photo shoot. This time of year, you can find the temporary Halloween stores, like Spirit Halloween. Go there the day after Halloween and everything will be on sale. I have gotten lots of great props this way. There are also big chain stores like Party City where you can get some good ideas, but think out of the box. Try to imagine how you can use an item, non-traditionally.
Online Rental. You can rent costumes online and have them shipped to you. I have personally used a great costume shop in Roanoke Virginia, Fantasy Creations, and the owner will talk to you on the phone in depth and ship you a costume. If you would like to wear a designer dress, try Rent The Runway. They have beautiful designer clothing ranging from wedding gowns to causal outfits at very reasonable prices.
Your Own Clothing. If you are going to wear your own clothing, try it on and have a friend take a photo of you wearing it with your phone, so you can make sure it still fits. Take photos from different angles. Don’t forget to try accessories with your looks. Bring in jewelry, belts, scarves, anything you would like to try with your outfits. It’s always better to have too many choices than too few.