I’ve seen people transform from unsure and timid into damn powerhouses just by switching up an outfit.  So when it comes to wardrobe styling, I get this question often now “What should I wear in my photoshoot?”.  Because when you can nail the look, you’ll nail the shots.   

Everyone is in the business of brand building these days.  Entrepreneurs and executives know they need to continuously evolve their image.  Thought leaders understand they must show up online as experts in their respective fields and that social authority can move the needle. This is why personal brand photography and video content is king.  Your brand is not just about what you do, but also about who you are – and what you wear says something about both. So in today’s world, is your online presence just as important as your offline presence?   

My team recently styled Azaria McKinnon to showcase her range giving her a variety of different looks that could be used for both her editorial and beauty portfolio.  Dina Konovalov, the Boston-based photographer on the shoot who specializes in personal brand and fashion, stresses the importance of wardrobe as part of overall success.   

“Style is the extension of your business; in networking events, speaking engagements and of course, in photos” she explains, “What my clients wear creates the presence of themselves and how confident and secure they are showing up to their shoots”.   

As she’s done work across a variety of industries, Dina explains how one should put time into thoughtful style choices “It’s important to bring out the unique features about their particular business and brand.  The key to great shots is to see who the person really is”.   

With most of her clients using photography across multiple marketing channels and social media, Dina shares “it’s all about perception online – so how you dress is a reflection of how you want to be seen in this world”.     

When it comes to photoshoot styling, there are multiple factors that go into putting together the right looks but my advice is to always start with the vibe. If you plan on doing your own styling think about where you will use the photos, your audience and the feeling you want to convey.  Are you going for a fashion-forward look or more modern, minimalist?  Something edgy or powerful?  Choose outfits and accessories that fit with the overall mood.  Everyone has their own narrative to convey through their wardrobe choices and understanding this gives broad direction to your selections.   

Location is also key.  Do you plan to shoot outside in nature, in a studio or maybe it’s a home or office setting.  Backdrop needs to be in consideration and should influence what you wear.  A full white suit on a plain white background may get lost in the photo, for example.  Whether you want to make your looks pop or become more subtle is an aesthetic preference, but it will ultimately impact the feel of the photo.  Regardless, you want to make sure your clothing is complementary to your setting.   

And this sounds so obvious, yet I see people struggle here.  You need to get real about choosing what truly complement your personality, body type and coloring.  Don’t hide behind your clothing, force outfits that don’t flatter your figure or make you look washed out.   

But I also encourage you to know when to go bold and create uniqueness.  Predictable and safe equals forgettable.  This is your opportunity to make a statement.  Mix luxury and vintage or get out of basic black for a more commanding color.  And try to add in a “third layer” like a hat, belt or layered jewelry to bring it all together.  Just make sure it’s on brand and that you feel comfortable since you want to project authentic energy. 

Our model Azaria is no stranger to being in front of the camera, yet her core principles can still be applied to anyone “I create looks for myself that make me feel the best and confident” she says.  And now she’s got her new swimwear collection launching this year inspired by her love of the ocean with clean, timeless cuts.  A case of utilizing her online brand building and personal style to further her business goals.   

Now we don’t all have her level of experience in front of the camera, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show up fierce and assertive in what we wear.  Clothing is just another means to develop your online persona to become who you want to be.   

So if you do plan to invest in personal brand photography just make sure to ask yourself, “what does my style say about my story?”

Wardrobe by Wave +Woven – MUA by Fine Line Artistry aka The Notorious MUA – Hair by Rin Mackenzie – All images by Dina K Photography 


Amanda Vargus spent her career in the music industry before pivoting into fashion. She excelled in the industry as a Luxury Manager with The RealReal, a high-end resale website, where she specialized in closet editing and was in charge of merchandise acquisition in the northeast. Now Amanda runs her own independent personal styling company, Wave +Woven, and consults with entrepreneurs, executives and elite professionals to create more exciting and functional wardrobes. Helping clients find their original and unique style through fashion is her passion.