What Shoes Should I Wear?
Some of you may be wondering, "Why even bring this up? Are my shoes really that important?" The truth is I'll photograph you wearing any type of shoe you wish to wear. I'm merely passing on information for you to consider, hoping it will help you pull together the look you're trying to achieve. You don't have to follow any of this advice. These are only suggestions. But believe it or not, wearing the right shoe can save you money, and improve your photograph. Read on...
The shoes you wear for your photograph can have an impact on both the continuity and view-ability of your image as well as the final cost. By view-ability I mean how easy it is for someone to look at your photograph. If there are areas competing for the viewer's attention, or worse, areas distracting the viewer, that's not a good thing. If you don't bring shoes that fit the tone of the photograph or the image you're portraying in it, the shoes will detract from the final impact of your photograph.
For women, in most cases that means wearing some type of shoe or boot with a high heel. While it may not be the healthy thing to do, wearing high heels will make your legs look longer and for whatever reason, our society perceives longer legs as being attractive. Please, don't blame the messenger. I didn't make the rules, I just try to work within them. If making your legs appear longer is important to you, wear your flats to the shoot, then change into your heels for the pictures and wear your flats back home. It's your call and not mine. I'm just passing on food for thought.
If we're doing beach photography, bare feet or sandals of some kind would be in order. What we're striving to achieve is continuity with the location, activity, and overall mood or tone of the image.
For guys, I recommend darker shoes, boots, or sandals, but it's a little more complicated than that. If you're going for a business look, you need to match it up with a more conservative shoe. If you're going for a casual look, wear a casual shoe, but please, please, please, not an athletic shoe, and especially, not a white athletic shoe.
Here's an example why. I photographed a high school senior who only brought white tennis shoes with orange stripes and soles to his shoot. He was wearing jeans and a darker casual shirt which was just fine, but I had to retouch every full length image we created because his shoes just screamed off the page. You simply couldn't look at the photograph without your eyes being drawn to these orange & white beacons he had on his feet. All that retouching to change the color of his shoes added up. If he simply had brought a darker pair of shoes with him, he would have saved hundreds of dollars in needless retouching costs.
In general, there are very few situations where wearing white shoes is the best choice for your photograph. If you're getting married or doing a glamour or boudoir shoot, then wearing white shoes may well be the right choice. But sorry to say for you guys, unless we're creating a sports themed image, or doing something designed to be all in white, I can't recommend wearing white shoes. Let me repeat that guys. NO WHITE SHOES, unless we've talked about it ahead of time.
The bottom line is, think about the image that you are portraying in the photograph. Match your shoes so they either add to that image or at the very least, do not detract from it. We want you to be the main focus in your image and not your shoes.
If you have questions about what shoes, boots, sandals, etc. to wear, be sure to bring it up during our pre-shoot consultation. And on the day of your session, bring several options, just in case.