Before a shoot, clients often have questions about what they should wear. I thought I would share a few tips that will help you look great the next time you have your photo taken. Most of these tips can be helpful for both family and personal portraits.
This doesn’t mean everyone has to 100% match with khaki pants or jeans and a white shirt. You want to complement each other’s outfits by choosing colors that work well together. I find that if everyone is wearing the same clothing, people will all tend to blend in together and there won’t be too much pop and life to the images. Try to choose a color combination that you like, just as you would do for a wedding, and have everyone in the family dress any way they want, but using only those color options. You want to complement each other, not look identical. Starting with and building off of one person’s look simplifies this process.
Colors & patterns
Again, when picking colors, try to make sure they coordinate in some way. When picking patterns, choose smaller ones that won’t distract attention away from the main subject/s. Use patterns sparingly…. if one person is wearing a print, try to avoid putting someone else in a competing pattern. Avoid large logo’s, emblems and graphics like “GAP” and “Old Navy” because again, these will typically distract attention away from the subject. We want your faces and emotion to show, not promote the clothing company you purchased from!
Pick outfits that aren’t considered too trendy, but will be able to be enjoyed and displayed for many years to come. One example of something that is timeless is jeans… classic look and style yet you can still incorporate your own flair into the outfit with your tops and accessories. Unless you’re going for a particular style for your shoot, it’s usually a good idea to avoid anything too on trend so that later on you aren’t looking back at your photos thinking, “Why did I wear THAT?”
The purpose of these photos is to hopefully capture each individual as they truly are, to capture the family, the relationships, and people in the photos just as they are. Forcing children to wear outfits that are uncomfortable and unfamiliar to them may cause some anxiety and stress to them which in turn will inhibit really capturing their personalities during the session. The most important piece of advice I can share is to just be yourself.
These are YOUR images and of course you want them to speak volumes about you and your family. Discuss things your family enjoys doing together and bring “props” and accessories that will help compliment who you are. If your family enjoys playing music together, bring your instruments to your session. If your family enjoys boating, suggest doing your session on a boat or at the very least near the water. If your daughter doesn’t go anywhere without her favorite blanket, bring it! These are the things that make your photo session truly personal.
If time and location allow, bring another set of outfits. Again, you will get a lot more variety in your shots so why not capitalize on the opportunity and get the most bang for your buck!