What to Wear ?
COLORS & PATTERNS
- Colors are everywhere around us and bring things to life. Why not bring your images to life as well! If it is a family portrait be sure the colors you use coordinate with each other. 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. When thinking about texture, choose different ones that will give photos some interest such as lace, corduroy, denim, etc. Avoid large logos, emblems and graphics like “GAP” and “Old Navy” because again, these will typically distract attention away from the subject. We want your faces and emotions to show, not promote the clothing company.
One of my favorite “tips” for clothing choices! In the Summer months, this may be more difficult to pull off but during all of the other seasons, definitely layer your outfits. Not only will it provide more visual interest in each photo but it will also allow a lot more variety in your shots and poses. Have a ton of images of yourself in just your dress or cute top and jeans? Throw on a little sweater or jacket and a hat and you have entirely different look.
I encourage bringing several sets of outfits at least for the kid(s). Again, you will get a lot more variety in your shots so why not use the opportunity and get the most out of it.
LET YOUR PERSONALITY SHINE
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 being themselves. 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. Same goes for adults. Wear clothing that you feel good in and the pictures will emanate those feelings. If your child wears a pair of rain boots everywhere he goes, it makes the most sense to have him wear them for pictures as well. Remember, you want to capture everyone as they are now. Capture these real moments !
For group family portraits you should coordinate outfits. Now this doesn’t mean everyone has to 100% match, but a simple color coordination is all that’s needed. You could choose pastels, for example, and everyone can stick to that color palette but not wear the exact same color. Or choose a color combination that you like, just as you would do for a wedding, and have everyone in the family dress anyway they want, but using only those color options. You want to complement each other, not look identical.
DRESS FOR THE SEASON & LOCATION
Obviously you want your images to make sense. One typically wouldn’t be wearing jeans, boots, and a jacket to the beach in the Summer. Dress the part and be aware of your location.
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. Bring along items that will represent who each individual is and who your family is collectively.
KEEP MAKE UP NATURAL, BUT STILL HAVE SOME ON
You will want to avoid using very heavy makeup, but a bit of color on your lips, eyes, and cheeks will help bring you to life in photos.
I’m all for a sassy pair of shoes, however they may make for a very long and painful session. If you plan on wearing heels, be sure to bring a pair of flats or flip flops that can help you get from point A to point B without any pain. You can just swap them out as you need to.
COMFORT IS KEY
And as they always say, if you’re comfortable, you’ll feel more confident and it will show in your photos. So, look nice, even dress up if you like, but don’t wear something if it makes you self-conscious or you know you’re going to have keep adjusting it during your shoot.