Photos are all about capturing your essence; the pose, location and outfit become one to convey a succinct portrait of what makes you who you are. Truth plays a vital role in a successful photo shoot, so if you're shooting in the autumn season, embrace the chill rather than trying to warm it up. Although you'll want to strike a balance between casual and formal -- with the exceptions of wedding photos, of course -- your wardrobe options are virtually unlimited. But stick to some basic guidelines to help you shine in front of the lens.
For a versatile autumn look, never underestimate the power of the coat. Go with a classic trench in navy or tan, a black peacoat or a whimsical red trapeze for couples photos, promotional shoots and almost anything in-between. Any of these coats pair well with neck-warming kerchief scarves or turtlenecks. For a bolder statement, try a structured blazer with cropped wool pants and a cozy infinity scarf.
A fitted sport coat, particularly in tweed or houndstooth, is your secret weapon for fall photos. This staple pairs well with classic chinos or slim, dark-wash jeans and oxfords, as does the timeless wool overcoat, best for more formal occasions. Create layers with knitted ties, corded sweaters or even a rugged suede vest. For more casual shoots, opt for a well-tailored leather jacket, such as a chestnut-brown bomber, or a go with a dark denim jacket.
If you're with another person or group, your wardrobe should not only complement the environment, it should complement your partners. Pick about four colors, mixing and matching among yourselves so that, for instance, your top complements your partner's bottoms. For autumn shoots, burgundy, slate gray, beige and rust work well together, as do navy, charcoal, deep indigo and blue-gray.
Venturing outside of the studio for your photos lends the portrait a fantastic sense of naturalism, so respect the setting with your outfit. Don't be afraid to sport fall-friendly boots; oxford-style leather boots or desert boots are rugged but semi-formal options for guys, while women can embrace the season with knee-high or ankle boots. Brown leather kicks blend in wonderfully, as do warm wool or knitted hats, so long as the brim doesn't shadow your eyes.
For outdoor engagement or family photos, sporting a standout accessory gives the final product just the right amount of pop. Scarves, especially knitted or tweed varieties, suit the season well. Ladies can go bold with a shroud-like blanket scarf. For jewelry, capture the feeling of an autumn day with pieces made of bronze, copper or wood. For both sexes, leather or cashmere gloves paired with a semi-formal jacket make for a cozy vibe.