5 Tips For What to Wear to Your Vancouver Island Photoshoot

You've booked your Vancouver Island photoshoot and you're so excited to have pictures taken along the rugged shores or under the canopy of the west coast rainforest, but now you're thinking...

"What should I wear to my photography session?"

What you wear to your session is a very personal choice, and I strongly believe that you should wear clothing that you are comfortable in and that reflects YOUR personality. Because who YOU are is awesome! But, I get it...sometimes it is hard to know what is going to help you feel and look your best. And let's face it, you want to look your best!!

In this post, I will give you some tips and suggestions for what to wear with examples so that you can feel completely confident as you plan for your session.

1. Choose outfits that make you feel confident and comfortable.

Choose comfort over glamour. ALWAYS! The best photos happen when you FEEL comfortable and at ease. Your clothing choice can greatly affect that! I am all for kicking off your shoes, running through the sand and having FUN together! Your clothes shouldn't get in the way.

Most beaches on Vancouver Island are rugged with a mix of rocky headlands, sand and boulders and lots of driftwood lining the shore. If your session is at the beach consider wearing clothing that gives you lots of mobility for climbing over rocks or walking over driftwood. Also consider wearing footwear with good grip as rocks and logs can be very slippery.

Other little details to think about:

  • If wearing a sleeveless top or dress, watch for bra straps that might slip and show as you run around the beach or lift your arms to hug your loved one.
  • Take note of any garment tags that might flip up as you move. Consider cutting tags off ahead of time.
  • Don't keep things in your pockets like keys or your wallet. These will bulge and show up in your photos.

Most importantly, wear clothing that is comfortable to move in and gives you the confidence to be YOU.

Tips for what to wear to your west coast photoshoot
Tips for what to wear to your west coast photoshoot
Tips for what to wear to your west coast photoshoot

2. Consider the location of the shoot and choose outfits that complement them.

Whether you have chosen a forested trail, a windswept beach or a mountain peak for your photoshoot location, think about the terrain and how the elements might effect your outfit choice.

For windy rugged shores: Consider a flowy dress, jacket or scarf that catches in the wind to create movement and interest in your photos. If you think you might want to wade through the shallow waves, consider wearing pants that can be rolled up for a carefree vibe.

For waterfall locations: You can expect there to be mist and spray around the base of the waterfall so avoid fabrics that show obvious water marks. Consider wearing a warm woolen sweater or a top in either a dark colour or a simple pattern like a small floral or stipes. These will help to hide any obvious water spots. Think about wearing non-slip shoes to keep warm and sure footed on slippery rocks and tree roots that will most likely line the trail.

For forested trails: The classic Vancouver Island rainforest trail is lined with ferns and moss and surrounded by towering douglas fir and cedar trees. It's mother nature's green masterpiece! For this reason, avoid wearing green as you will blend in and won't stand out against the background. Consider warm colour tones like oranges, rusts, and reds that compliment the green backdrop of the forest. Or choose light neutral tones that will pop out against the dark greenery.

Tips for what to wear to your Vancouver Island Photoshoot
Tips for what to wear to your Vancouver Island Photoshoot
Tips for what to wear to your Vancouver Island Photoshoot

3. Avoid clothing with bold patterns or logos

Although I love making a statement with clothing choice, a bold pattern or clothing with logos or large lettering can be distracting in photos. This is especially the case when there is more than one person in your group. Solid colours or simple patterns like stripes or a small floral design work better than bold prints.

Some people prefer a neutral colour palette. Choosing colours like blue, grey, beige and black with accents of colour mixed in is a great way to bring a neutral colour scheme to life. As an example, wearing blue and grey with small bits of warmth thrown in with the addition of perhaps rust coloured pants or a pink shirt can work well for a beach session as it coordinates with the natural tones of the ocean.

Others prefer strong colours that pop against the coastal backdrop.   Blue, red, yellow and orange work well for this type of look as they stand out against the green tones of the forest. Avoid green as it tends to blend in with the background and makes it difficult for you to stand out against all that greenery.

Either colour palette works well, it is just a matter of personal preference. Whichever you choose, try to keep the colours consistent for all members of your group.

And don't forget to consider the type of fabric! You would be surprised at how light plays off of the texture of fabric. For example, the texture from woven wool , linen or cotton adds depth by creating shadows and contrast without being too distracting. Shiny fabric will reflect light on a sunny day which can sometimes be distracting. Textured fabrics are a great alternative to strong patterns or colour. Naturally woven fabrics usually have great texture.

Tips for what to wear to your Vancouver Island Photoshoot
Tips for what to wear to your Vancouver Island Photoshoot
Tips for what to wear to your Vancouver Island Photoshoot

4. Coordinate outfits with other people in the shoot.

We're not going for matchy-matchy here, but think about how the colours you are wearing look together as a group. Do certain colours clash or are certain patterns distracting when next to each other?

Don't be afraid to wear colour, just give thought to how all of those colours work together. A combination of solid colours and simple patterns like stripes or florals works well together. Bring in texture with a woven sweater or scarf.

5 Tips for what to wear to your family photoshoot
5 Tips for what to wear to your family photoshoot

5. Don't forget about accessories like jewelry or hats that can add interest to your outfit.

Gosh, I love a good hat! Accessories and hats are fun and can add whimsical flair. If this is your style, go for it! Don't be afraid to let your personality shine through! If you love wearing big dangly earrings...go for it! If a beanie hat is your signature look...wear it! If bangle bracelets bring you joy....let's bangle baby! I want to capture all of the details that make you YOU!

Tips for what to wear to your photoshoot
Tips for what to wear to your photoshoot

Remember to Have Fun!

At the end of the day, the best photos happen when you FEEL comfortable, at ease and like your true self. Don't be afraid to let your personality shine through in your clothing choice! This day is not about being a model for the cover of a magazine. It is about capturing you and your loved ones in this moment in time. So, have fun with it!

If you are looking for more information about what to expect during a photoshoot with me, you can read this in-depth blog post here where I outline my style and approach, tips to help you feel comfortable and prepared, what to bring, what will happen during your photoshoot and what will happen after your photoshoot. It's a great resource!

Want to book a Vancouver Island Photoshoot?

Vancouver Island Photographer

This is my specialty!

This island is BEAUTIFUL and I want to share it with YOU! As a Vancouver Island elopement and family travel photographer, I know the best spots, the hidden gems, the bling, bling of beach locations. And I can't wait to take your picture in these beautiful places! Whether you are here for a family vacation, a Vancouver Island Elopement, or you're a local just as crazy passionate about this Island as I am, I've got the perfect spot just for you!

Let me take you there!