Learn from a stylist's mistakes: 5 tips to look and feel amazing in photos and LIFE
My engagement photos, taken by the very talented Phillip Thomas, are finally here...and I'm in LOVE!! Literally. I mean, just look at that absolutely smitten face!
I'll be honest with you, up until recently, I hated getting my picture taken.
The thought of being at an important event where there would be photos or even having a branded photoshoot for my personal styling business, filled my chest with tremendous amounts of anxiety and dread.
I'd have to credit this fear to my less than stellar photo taking history. Let's just say my past experience with photographs has been, in a word...terrible. Take a look for yourself....
Though I tried my hardest to be stylish, there was always something very off about how I looked in photos, for example, this photo taken at a holiday event with my family (to the left). As you can see, a complete pants betrayal occurred as I sport a huge glaring, golden, and glittering CAMEL TOE. The piece of clothing that I thought was so cool when I bought it (early 2000 crazy bottoms!!) is now immortalized in a captured image for eternity.
If this is how I looked in the photo, how had I been looking the entire day? Seriously, the horror.
Thankfully, over the years between experience and learned styling expertise, I can with confidence say I have finally cracked the code on how to look and feel amazing for photos, and most importantly, LIFE!
Reap the rewards from my past mistakes and absorb these valuable photo taking tips on how to look and feel amazing for your next big life event!
5 tips to look and feel amazing in photos and LIFE
COMFORT OR BUST
Have you ever worn an outfit that felt uncomfortable and it ended up putting a damper on your entire day/evening? Having to constantly fidget/pull on clothes, stressing about sitting down, and feeling uncomfortable in your skin-- is the worst. The bottom line is when you're out meeting with friends, enjoying a dinner out, or having photographs taken, you shouldn't be thinking about your clothing, in fact it should be the exact opposite, it shouldn't even cross your mind. That way you can be completely focused on: enjoying time with the people around you, making a fabulous impression, or getting things done like boss babe you are. It's not enough to look great, you also have to feel great. When you're comfortable in what you are wearing, you're free to live life to the fullest and be 100% YOU!
These two outfits were being heavily considered as contenders for my engagement photo session. I even took a poll from my bridesmaids, asking their favorite looks, and the patterned dress won, hands down. However, I didn't feel comfortable sitting down in the dress or the skirt, and even though I looked great, I decided to eliminate them both and opt for a look I felt amazing in too.
I absolutely adore this shot of Clayton and I never would have been comfortable taking it if I had worn either of the outfit options above! Instead, I went for one of my tried and true favorites, my leather fringe skirt, which allowed me to easily move and sit. I also just love the way the fringe looks in this shot! 100% the right call!
KNOW WHAT FLATTERS YOUR FRAME
I'll never forget how mortified I was after seeing my college graduation day photos. It had been such a joyous, exciting day with all my friends and family there cheering me on. I was so proud of myself for what I had accomplished, I couldn't wait to get the photos back, but when I saw them my heart sank. I had no idea my outfit was so unflattering, nor had I given any thought that I would be wearing black graduation gown! With the knowledge I have now of understanding my petite figure, I would have worn an open neckline and heels, allowing skin to show and bringing balance and correct proportion to my frame. When you understand your body, you can purchase the correct styles, cuts, and fabrics of clothing to compliment it and never have issues like the one I had ever again!
I was so excited about wearing my new black lace turtleneck and leather knee high boots for my college graduation day. A photo I should look back on with fond memories now holds so much regret!
Not willing to make the same mistake twice, I chose the most flattering pieces/outfit for my petite frame. I'm showing off my best assets (my legs!) and made sure to wear something with an open neck line. I'm so elated I had the knowledge of what looks best on me for this milestone moment in my life.
Here, I'm wearing a sheer top that gives the illusion of an open neckline and my favorite leather fringe skirt to show off my legs! I will cherish this photo with the love of my life forever and will soon be proudly hanging it on the walls of our home. 0 regrets!!!!
LOOK APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR LOCATION
I learned this lesson the hard way when I first started my personal styling business and chose (on more than one occasion, UGH!) to have my picture taken in a park, wearing an outfit that had no place what-so-ever being in a park. Being correctly dressed for where you'll be is incredibly important, not only for photos but for life! Not being appropriately outfitted for your occasion, event, or photoshoot is the fastest way to both look and feel out of place.
Metallic gold heels and fabulous dresses have no place in a park setting. When I got these photos back, I was so sad to see that even though my looks were amazing, the location for them was definitely not. As much as I adored the dress in the top two photos, I was never able to use them because I felt I looked so out of place!
I'm obsessed with the outfit I chose for our city skyline looks!! I look completely appropriate for the setting, like we are both going to a fancy dinner downtown! Which we actually did once the shoot was over, such a fantastic day!
STAYING TRUE TO YOU=TIMELESS
One of the biggest factors I took into consideration before taking engagement photos was choosing looks I was confident I could look at in the years to come and still love. How could I possibly know what outfits to wear that I would look back fondly on? By choosing outfits that stayed true to my own, unique personal style. Regardless of trends coming and going, there are certain pieces that we always gravitate to and see ourselves wearing again and again over the years. My tried and true timeless pieces are skirts, shorts, blazers, sheer pieces, fringe, and leather all put together in an edgy, sexy, and fun way. I can look back on my style history and also recall what I've always felt best in and make these decisions because I have a very keen awareness of what looks good on me and my personal style!
I've always loved color, sheer pieces, and feeling a bit sexy in whatever I'm wearing! I've always been attracted to abstract art as well, so I knew wearing this colorful rainbow sheer bodysuit from Zara would be a timeless choice for me!
I love blazers and neutral colors like this stunning ivory colored piece I'm wearing in this photo. I've owned and loved this blazer now for at least 8 years! I'm confident I'll always love these pictures and they'll stay forever timeless because they're true to my personal style!
To prepare for my engagement shoot, I used the online tool I use to style my Next Level Styling clients, my Virtual Closet app! With this styling platform, I'm able to view all the pieces available in a client's closet and create outfits with them! This allows the women I style to effortlessly have stylish, put-together, cohesive outfits for any occasion in their life with 0 stress! Be it a photoshoot, dinner with friends, important work meeting/conference, or a casual weekend running errands with the family, my expert style knowledge will have you feeling amazing no matter where you are!
Next Level Styling clients enjoy benefits of having outfits styled by me whenever they need them. My assistant and I come and take photos of the pieces in your closet--so you don't have to! Every look comes complete with detailed styling notes, so there is no doubt you're wearing the look correctly!
Having me style looks for your occasions and events gives you more time to spend with family/friends or working on things that really need your attention. Knowing your look was styled by an expert will allow you to relax in social situations and focus on enjoying and/or being productive in the moment--not having to worry about your clothing! 100% Confidence!
Not photogenic? When you see photos of yourself, you are unhappy and disappointed with the way you look.
Uncomfortable and distracting? Focusing on enjoying yourself, making a good impression, or being confident is difficult.
Like your clothing is holding you back from living life to the fullest?
Far from fun and exciting, the thought of putting together an outfit where photos will be taken fills you with dread.
Like it's not flattering to your unique body type and shape. Leaving you feeling awkward and frumpy.
That it doesn't match the places, occasions, and events you want/need to go to, causing you to not want to even attend at all?
Not like YOU. It doesn't showcase your personality or the woman you are TODAY.
Listen girl, I've been there, I get it, and I'm here to change all that.
My personal styling services change lives every single day and will have you feeling...
Comfortable and relaxed, giving you focus and confidence needed for any and every situation.
Excited about taking pictures, attending events, and getting ready everyday.
Perfectly dressed for your frame and figure, your clothes feel like they were made for you.
Appropriate for any and every situation you encounter, never leaving you feeling out of place or underdressed.
100% timelessly YOU and aligned with your personal style, showing the world the bold, beautiful, and powerful woman you are TODAY.
Effortless and at peace with a stylist supporting you and creating epic outfits whenever and wherever you need them!
If you're ready to say YES to amazing style, I'm here to help! Click on the image above to see my services or book a complimentary styling 1:1 call to get started!
Hi! my name is Ashley and I'm a personal stylist who's gift and purpose in life is to make personal style fun, efficient, and easy for others.
My goal is to bring out the true, most authentic version of you so you can live your most epic life!
Clay and I had our first meeting with the florist for our wedding on July 22nd and it went so well! So many ideas and visions they had in mind for our special day, I'm looking forward to seeing our "show and tell" session with a mock up of what the florals will look like at the wedding toward the end of this month! Here's the inspiration I showed the florist, and duh, of course there's pink!!!