Discover the power of style essentials in elevating your fashion photography without a professional stylist. From the classic black fedora to a timeless little black dress, these key wardrobe pieces can make a remarkable difference in your photoshoots. Whether you’re on a budget, starting out in the industry, or just shooting on the go, these must-have items will help you create stunning looks and capture the essence of your subjects effortlessly. Step into the world of fashion photography armed with these style essentials and watch your shoots transform into captivating visual stories.
No Stylist, No Cry…
While having a stylist is always preferable, some clothing items are easily accessible and photograph incredibly well. Choose simple black and white or other neutral pieces, and you won’t get headaches about color mismatch. If you plan to regularly style photo shoots by yourself, check flea markets and vintage sales as those are good spots to find classic pieces that can come in handy for current or future projects. Also, look into what is a stylist kit and what are those items that can help you with clothing looking amazing on set. Watch how other photographers or even fashion bloggers are styling, and get inspired.
Anyway, below are a few essential items that are easy to come by and never seem to go out of style.
10 Style Essentials Checklist
#1 A Black Fedora
It’s a piece you need to pack inside your style toolkit for photoshoots, especially when you don’t have a stylist on set. If the look seems to be incomplete, you can match any outfit with a fedora to make the look more cohesive. Whether you are going for classic Hollywood glamor or edgy street style, you can elevate the form with a black fedora. It goes perfectly with everything. From tight denim jeans to chic dresses, a black fedora can complete the entire look.
#2 A Classic Blazer
No matter the style or the season, putting on a blazer is a simple way to add flavor and interest to any look. You can’t go wrong with a classic blazer. This wardrobe staple looks good when paired with jeans and matching pants. It fits perfectly with formal wear as well. An oversized blazer would look great over a gown or a maxi dress. To choose which blazer size you ought to pair with various clothing items, you can opt to go one size up. Even if it doesn’t fit, you can pin the extra fabric in the back.
#3 An Edgy Leather Jacket
Invest in a great leather jacket. Not only does their texture add an element of visual interest, but they are essential layering pieces and are adaptable to enhance the mood of the shoot. It’s easy to maintain, and it’s long-lasting. And of course, it never goes out of style. A high-quality jacket made of leather can make beat-up tees and basic dresses look more polished and put together. Standard leather jackets add an edge to your look, but they are also very versatile. You can use it to step up any casual wear. You may also use it to complement more formal styles. Even when tossed over the shoulder, a leather jacket can make your model look stylish without trying too hard.
#4 Designer Sunglasses
To spice up your wardrobe basics, you can always use your go-to sunnies. It would be nice if you have plenty of options to choose from—round sunglasses, aviators, and cat-eyes, to name a few. This way, you can use the most flattering frames for your model’s face shape. Hence, invest in some excellent pairs of sunglasses so you can easily accessorize your models, whether they are dressed up or dressed down for a photoshoot. Also, make sure to pick the right sunglasses to complement a particular style. Sleek cat-eye frames, for instance, exude a laidback vibe. Meanwhile, round sunglasses give off a vintage feel.
#5 A Fitted Tank Top
Another staple piece you need to add to your photoshoot toolkit is a tank top. It’s a simple base for any style, which should work well with other wardrobe pieces in your collection. Invest in a comfortable, well-fitting tank top as any model would look effortlessly fashionable in one. Putting together a relaxed yet polished look doesn’t have to be so hard. You can pair it with some jeans or comfortable shorts. You can mix and match a basic tank top with blazers or leather jackets to achieve the look you want.
#6 A Loose-Fitting Button-Down Shirt
A button-down shirt is one of the most versatile and stylish tops around. This wardrobe staple might look quite basic, but there are a bunch of ways you can do to elevate its style. For instance, you can tie it into a crop top. You can layer it under a summer dress or let it hang off your model’s shoulders. If you’re going for power dressing, you can pair a button-down with a pantsuit. For a high-fashion look, you can pick a loose-fitting button-down shirt with exaggerated sleeves or other bold twists. Then, go for simple pieces like block heels and wide-leg slacks to tie the look together.
#7 Over-the-Knee Boots
Your boots don’t always have to be the focal point of your composition. If you want them to be the center of attention, all you have to do is pick brightly colored boots. However, you can also play down brightly colored garments using a pair of black boots. Whether you have block heels, flat-soled, or suede over-the-knee boots, you can pull off a low-key look. Back in the day, putting boots over skinny jeans or leggings might have been considered a fashion blunder. But these days, the combination is a staple for fall and winter months. Even under long statement coats, pencil skirts, or short hemlines, your over-the-knee boots should match perfectly with the outfit. To add more variety to your shoots, put more thought into the length of the boots that you want your model to use.
#8 Fancy Lingerie
For bold and daring photoshoots, your best tool is fancy lingerie. You can express sensuality in any way you want. You don’t always have to present a girl-next-door model lounging in her bedroom on a lazy Sunday. For example, you can do themed looks like vintage boudoir or intimate loungewear. If you want to take your photoshoots to the next level, you can accessorize using statement necklaces or hats like fedoras to achieve the desired look. Perhaps you can do your own Victoria’s Secret moment, where you pick a theme and add props to realize that fantasy.
#9 A Statement Necklace
Statement necklaces create a focal point close to the model’s face, which should draw viewers’ attention to that area. For that reason, your model’s makeup has to be on point. These necklaces alter your look’s level of refinement. Even jeans and a tank top will seem more interesting and unique when paired with a statement piece. If you want to dress up simple outfits, use jewelry with bright colors, ornaments, or complicated beads. Let your model wear necklaces with basic shapes and simple textures to dress an outfit down. If you want a necklace to stand out, you should keep other pieces of jewelry to a minimum. Be cognizant of whether or not the overall accents enhance or detract from the overall feel when accessorizing.
#10 A Little Black Dress
The most versatile piece in your toolkit is a little black dress. You can style it with a fedora and a leather jacket to add more edge to the outfit. You may pair it with over-the-knee boots and a statement necklace to make your model look chic and sophisticated. Additionally, you can layer your little black dress over a button-down shirt so your model can look fresh and preppy. With a single black dress, you can create many different styles and looks. The little black dress is always on trend, fashionable, and comfortable to wear.
Styling a shoot with a basic wardrobe is an important skill to acquire and most of these key pieces can be suggested for other areas of portraiture. Learning to see the clothes, how they move and how to light them further enhances a portfolio. Study the fashion magazines and see how they pull everything together and read up on the current trends that are captured in a timeless manner. As the eye is trained to see textures, patterns and colors that come together more easily it makes it becomes more manageable to plan intricately styled shoots the result is inevitably more creativity.