Outfit Selection

How to choose the right outfits for your photo shoot

When you schedule a photo shoot, your outfit may be the last thing on your mind, but they are a decisive part of your photos. 

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right clothes for your photo shoot, including theme, location, colors, comfort, and accessories.


Does your photo shoot have a theme? If there’s a theme, your clothes will make or break the photo shoot. Outfits that don’t fit the theme will create photos that are jarring. Unless that’s the purpose of your photo shoot, you’ll want to pick clothes that align with your theme. It’s important to not, sometimes a shoot’s location can turn into a theme.



Consider the location of your photo shoot. Will it take place indoors or outdoors? If it’s an indoor shoot, you’ll have more outfit options. If your photo shoot is going to take place outdoors, you should choose outfits that prepare you for the weather. Otherwise, you may end up red and sweaty, or your shoot may have to end early.

Additionally, your location can set up a type of theme. For example, Paint the Moon gives the example of a couple dressed in vintage-style clothing with a retro amusement park background. Draw inspiration from your location for your outfits. If the shoot takes place on a boat, wear nautical-themed clothing.

Don’t forget to wear the right shoes. If your shoot takes place in a grassy, sandy, or muddy area, stick to flats, boots, or sneakers. If you decide to bring heels anyway, bring a change of shoes, just in case.


Stick to solid colors and clothes, and think about your surrounding. Choose colors that are complemented by your surroundings; avoid choosing colors or prints that clash with the environment. You don’t want your outfits to draw attention away from the subject: you.

For group pictures, Paint the Moon advises you to “coordinate colors but don’t match.” It’s easier if you start with one main outfit, and build the other outfits based on the colors from that outfit.

Darlene Hildebrandt, the managing editor at Digital Photography School, suggests choosing colors that are more subtle or subdued. Hildebrandt also suggests wearing like colors. If you choose to wear a dark-colored shirt, wear dark-colored pants. If you choose to wear a light-colored shirt, wear light-colored pants.  


Comfort is essential. If you’re not comfortable in your outfit, it will show in the final photos. Choose outfits you feel comfortable in, so you’ll feel confident during the photo shoot.  


The right accessories can draw attention to your favorite features. Paint the Moon recommends choosing accessories that can act as accent colors for the color scheme of your photos. The right accessories—hats, scarves, etc.—also become fun, interactive props.

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With the right Aperture setting, the bokeh effect can be very powerful in portraiture. Bokeh is the technical term for the skill in portrait photography that is usually used to separate the subject from the background.  The bokeh effect is achieved by manually changing the aperture.  Aperture is the size of the hole that allows light in.  Aperture settings enable you to take little details out of the background, and sometimes even wash the entire background out, depending on all of your settings. 

The dramatic impact of this photographic technique draws the eye toward the feature or features the photographer wants the viewer to focus on.  The technique is also useful in documentary photography as it gives perspective to situations with many variables.  Documentary photography usually specializes in capturing a ray of environments or it focuses on telling a story during an event. 

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Salior's Delight

The Importance of Finding a Photographer Comfortable Shooting in Difficult Situations

Not all required photo sessions are created equal, and there are many atypical situations that require a photographer comfortable in locales that are dynamic, unpredictable, and challenging. Unlike photo sessions for portraits, headshots, and wedding photos, where time can be taken to prepare for locations and guide the subjects, some photography presents a variety of difficulties including movement, changing light, and unpredictability.

In challenging photographic situations, there may be many changing and moving parts in the shooting environment and a photographer working in this type of capacity needs to be comfortable and aware in their surroundings: knowledgeable to remain safe, quick enough to capture fleeting photographic opportunities, and skilled enough to adjust camera settings for correct exposures.

Examples of environments where such conditions may be found include the following:

1.      Sporting and Competitive Events
2.      Sessions In or On Bodies of Water
3.      Large Private or Community Events
4.      Wildlife or Nature Photography
5.      Sessions in Urban/City Environments

Each of these examples provide their own unique challenges and needs, and when searching for a professional capable of successfully operating in such demanding situations, the most important and yet simple thing a client can do is view a photographer’s portfolio and identify examples of the type of services required.

If such examples present themselves as quality work, and reflective of the photographer’s ability to meet the required needs, the next step would be to consult with the individual, communicate expectations of the shoot, and inform them of the dynamic environment which will be present. This time also serves as an excellent moment to collect any information from the photographer as well, gleaned from their experiences, and beneficial to assist them in completing their challenging tasks successfully.

A seasoned photographer, capable of adapting to challenging photographic environments is a great asset to have, and important in unstable, volatile, and changing conditions that present moments worthy to be captured on film. Finding such a professional can present challenges of its own, but is not impossible, especially with just a little preparation, research, and communication.


High School


I had so much fun with these high school girls. Beautiful from the inside out!

I was so impressed by their ability to work together and how they complimented each other's strengths.  It was such an amazing experience working with them all.

And their favorite teacher?  She was priceless.  It was so nice to see leadership like this.  ...of course fueled by the passion to make a difference.  

And the mother that helped transport them?  She was awesome in so many ways.  Loved her!

Thank you for all your hard work ladies! 



More about the lead photographer

Tammy, owner and photographer at tak-ful.com, has been traveling the world photographing people for over 15 years.  She is from a small Mennonite town, called Hartville, Ohio, where she recalls a horse and buggy tying up to the local bank while watching the fireworks when she was young.  She has also lived in London, England, Chicago, Illinois, Denver, Colorado, Lausanne, Switzerland and Houston, Texas.  And because of her experience living and traveling to so many different cities, she also dabbles in French and German. 

She enjoys the outdoors and likes to stay active.  She can be found bike riding on long paths, walking in parks, sailing in Newport, and even swinging from a trapeze in Colorado.

But photo Journalism always remains the highlight of her travels including Europe, Central America, Canada, the Virgin Islands, Australia, and the Middle East.  What’s next?  Most likely the Mediterranean, Africa and possibly S.E. Asia.

Taking after her grandfather, and his love for photography, she keeps a 1941 photo of him taking a picture of his reflection on her studio desk, and her website.  The photo reminds her of the many beautiful images and home movies he created of his wife and 8 children, and remains an inspiration to her as she shoots all over the world.

Tammy’s favorite shoots include classic cars, sailboats, and underwater portraits.

Connect with and schedule with the photographer on the Connect page at:  www.tak-ful.com

Senior Portraits

Choosing a Senior Portrait Photographer

A high school senior's final year of their formal education is one of the most exciting times in their lives, and a staple of that busy year along with events such as homecoming, prom, and the finale of graduation is their senior portrait photo shoot. If approached distinctly, and with a knowledgeable photographer, such a photo session can be just as memorable as the aforementioned events and can incorporate a student’s unique personality and style.

A set of senior portraits can serve in a variety of ways, ranging from gifts given to family and friends, to uses in graduation invitations and announcements. Additionally, they also become great keepsakes between classmates allowing them over the years to reminisce on their friendships and times spent together. Such photos however, especially in a smaller community, can tend to imitate one another; which is to be expected when similar backdrops and themes are used; and of course student’s may wish to have photos similar to their peers. Similarity though, can still integrate uniqueness, and the completion of the session can remain a unique, fun, and engaging experience.

To ensure unforgettable and distinct senior photos, and have a fun and engaging experience with your photographer, there are a few points to consider:

1.       Choose a photographer who is capable of relating to the senior and engages them in an inclusive and attentive manner; such photographers generally have a witty and exuberant personality.

2.       Consult with your photographer regarding any backdrop settings you may feel are common in others’ portraits; they can assist in suggesting alternate settings that will set the final product apart.

3.       Discuss with the photographer any personal items, clothing, or themes wanting to be incorporated into the photos; this will assist them in preparation and ensure the needs are able to be met.

4.       Before the shoot, ensure communication is open and details such as time and place are confirmed; keeping on schedule allows the photographer and subject ample time to work together and not feel rushed.

Many photographers express a genuine enjoyment in working with high school seniors, as they feel there’s an exuberance and vitality not found when shooting other subjects: seniors are excited to be photographed in such a professional fashion, are generally in the know of the current styles and fashions, and enjoy interacting with the photographer, a professional working with them in a mature and inclusive way.

Ensure a matchless set of photos by working with an engaging photographer and consulting with them on the key points mentioned before. By doing this, undoubtedly the student’s senior portrait session will be one they remember, and the final product will become a cherished keepsake in their and others’ personal belongings.  


Check out more of these images taken in Hermann Park at:  http://tak-ful.com/balloons/


The use of props in portrait photography can complement the subject and the set, help portray a certain message, and they may even help the subject relax and enjoy the session more.

Props include things that are and aren’t meant to be seen in the final product.  Props may be things the subject sits on, holds, or is surrounded by without making physical contact.  It is with our experience at the studio, props help take away the pressure of finding the right pose.  Whether the subject is experienced or inexperienced in posing for photography, props either give the subject something to focus on, or the props act as a distraction.  In either case, props almost always end in successful photo shoots whether we are photographing an adult or a child.

Some of our favorite props at the studio are balloons, confetti, specific chairs and stools, sunglasses, and even reading glasses.

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Why One Should Get Annual Photos Even If They’re Single

Annual photo sessions are traditionally associated with family portraits including married couples and children. They are a tradition dating back over 150 years to the onset of photography and have served purposes of recording family history, pride, and at times prominence, especially in its earliest forms when the process was time consuming and expensive.

As a single person people will probably tell you, unless required for professional purposes, an annual photo may seem unnecessary and downright silly. There tends to be a stigma surrounding an individual, especially a single one, having their portrait taken: a stigma similar to eating dinner by one’s self or screening a movie alone. As in these cases, such apprehension towards having one’s portrait taken on an annual basis is nonsense, and when overcome can provide a sense of freedom and confidence in one’s self and position in life, while serving as a valuable asset and keepsake.

If there is uncertainty in having annual portraits taken, consider these reasons why it is beneficial to do so despite uncertainty, embarrassment, or stigmas:

1.      Portraits taken annually can be used to keep professional and social media profiles fresh and updated. Unlike others who keep the same photo year upon year, be the individual who takes pride in their image and others will notice.

2.      Updated annual portraits can provide the individual, their family, and friends a record of life. Just because one is single doesn’t mean the progression of their lives is unworthy of capture in a portrait. Give yourself and others in the future a record of your strength and happiness in the life you lead.

3.      Annual photos for the individual can be used in much the same as others for holiday cards and messages. They are guaranteed to raise a smile and show your love towards your family, friends, and co-workers.

4.      Photos can be taken with a close friend or even a beloved pet. Such relationships are important in many people’s lives and are just as worthy of being documented.

5.      The photo session itself can be a fun, exciting, and empowering experience, inclusive of whatever you want it to be. Enjoy the time with the photographer whose focus and intent will be to make you feel and look good. Who doesn’t enjoy that?

Most people have taken part at some point in their lives in traditional family photos: those taken by a professional studio photographer, utilized to preserve memories and project a presence in life. As outlined above, such use of annual photos need not only be exclusive to individual’s belonging to a group or relationship, and they can have valuable significance and benefits even for the single person. So do a little research, maybe ask friends for a recommendation, and find that photographer you can enjoy working with to capture the best and present you.