I learned quickly that the difference between a good session and a mind blower could just be a scarf. A hat. A glove. To me, wardrobe far surpasses location in importance. As a photographer, it’s natural to have a large (if not complete) say in the location of your session. But you have little to no control over wardrobe and if you get the sense that your client isn’t on the ball with trends and fashion or even aesthetics, this can totally ruin your session. You can’t pull off a gorgeous country chic location with kids in football jerseys. You just can’t. And your clients might not think about things like how a girl’s tights will look off if they’ve got a small pattern or words on them. The viewer is instantly distracted by trying to figure out what the pattern is. So I have these options for my clients:
- At the very least, I talk to them about choice. I talk about patterns, large characters (Sorry Tigger no one wants you over their fireplace) and colours.
- In the mid-range of options, I can come to their home (if I have the time in my schedule) to choose the wardrobe with them or ask them to bring many options to the session for me to choose then.
- At the most (and most fun for me!) I offer my clients the option of paying me a retainer of £100 per child to acquire pieces to mesh with the vision for the session. You can either provide the cash leftover or put it towards a print credit and all the items are theirs to keep!
Some photographers email story-boards of combination options and outfits to show them what they mean by ‘layering’ and ‘contrasting patterns and textures’. This is by far the most tense portion of my job. Not knowing what they will show up with! Even with all the precautions in the world, I still bring a few pieces I’ve acquired on my own incase all else fails.
Good luck. It’s a jungle out there!