What Do I Wear?

Congratulations! You figured out who you’d like to photograph your family. Now the next challenge-what to wear??? If you’re family is like mine, it can be a battle figuring out what to wear on a day to day basis, let alone what to wear for a special occasion.
Unfortunately helpful tips aren’t always shared with clients before hand, and their precious family photos end up on one of those awful Buzzfeed lists! Here are some tips when picking out wardrobe for your family photo session:
Avoid the “matchy matchy”
Wearing matching clothes in your family photos is an outdated concept. Instead, find coordinating colors and styles that work well together. Find a similar color family you can weave throughout your family’s clothes, and then choose complimentary colors to go with that theme. Think about what season it is what the backdrop for the photo will be. Are you shooting in front of a black backdrop in a studio, or in the great outdoors? Wherever the setting, keep that in mind when coordinating your colors.
Kristen Duke has a wonderful collection of color schemes on her website.
Stick with solids or soft patterns
If you have a really bold pattern or multiple patterns it can be really distracting to the eye, and family members end up battling for attention in the final image. This is not to say you should completely avoid patterns, but just keep in mind that if you do have patterns, maybe go for something a bit more subtle.
While we’re on the subject of bold, it’s also best to avoid super bold and bright colors that will be competing with each other. Hint: neon yellow jackets should stay at home! This is NOT to say to stay away from colors. I personally LOVE colors, but just be sure that the colors you choose are not competing for the camera’s attention.
Avoid all white or all black
Without getting technical, the camera has trouble balancing an image with such contrasting colors as black and white. This means that it is very easy for a white shirt or black dress to lose detail in a photo. While having white and black within your mix of colors won’t be a problem, try and avoid too much of either color in your family’s portrait.
There are no words
Or at least there shouldn’t be! Keep any clothes with words or easily visible logos at home. Even if you think that side sleeve that says Billabong or Ed Hardy isn’t noticeable, it will be the first thing people will see when your beautiful images are hung in your home!
Stay classy!
When you are choosing outfits keep in mind that while modern can be fun, you may change your mind a few years down the road. When laying out your attire, ask yourself-are these outfits ones that you will be cringing over five years later, or will they be outfits that give you those wonderful warm fuzzies when you see the photo? If it’s cringe-worthy, find another option!
Hopefully these tips will be helpful to you when preparing for your family photos!
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