What to Wear

Salt Lake City Family Photograper
Now you have your awesome photographer, you know where you are going to take your photos, the big question is,
What should we wear?”. 
Here are 12 simple & great tips that can get you started toward fabulous family photos.

Tip #1: Choose a Color Palette. What does this mean? Pick 3 or 4 colors that look good together and start from there. The graphic to the left shows a few color palette choices. Remember the colors you choose should also take into consideration your own personal style as well as the location and season of your portrait session.


Tip #2: DO NOT MATCH~ Ok, by this I mean gone are the days of “everyone wear white shirts and khakis” or “everyone where black shirts and jeans”. I know when organizing a group (especially if it is a large multi-family portrait session) this seems like the easy way, but it doesn't add any interest to your portraits. Differing outfit choices, styles, etc.. all with the same color palette (see above) is a MUCH better way to keep everyone happy and expressing themselves, while keeping the photos consistent and interesting.


Tip #3: Prints can be overwhelming.  One person in a print dress or shirt that coordinates with everyone else is fine, but when you 2, 3 or 4 people in different prints, whether you stick to the color palette or not in your photos will still look like they were taken unplanned at a family reunion. There is definitely such a thing as TOO MUCH when it comes to prints. When looking at your wardrobe use the KISS principal. Keep it Simple Silly. Vests, jackets, necklaces, etc.. can all add interest to a plain colored shirt without throwing everyone out of whack. 


Tip #4: Accessorize! Necklaces, hats, bracelets, belts, hats, etc… can all add a pop of color and interest without taking away from the people in the photos as well as the overall feeling of the images. They help you express everyone's individual personality.


Tip #5: Don’t be afraid of color! Some people shy away from teal or coral or yellows….DON’T! They bring excitement and fun to your photos!!  Be bold! There are colored jeans, jackets, necklaces, everything to help you bring some color to your portraits and keep them fun!

Tip #6: Go for classic if you can. You will have your photos hanging on your walls for years to come so keep it simple and classic to make them more timeless.

Tip #7: Lay it out and take a pic! I love using this one!  Laying everyone’s outfit out on the floor the way they’re going to wear them – and seeing all the colors and textures next to each other tells you a lot!  It helps see the whole picture (no pun intended).  This way you’re not guessing what it will look like in the end.  Taking a picture of what you laid out is even better.  You can see how the family will look without dressing everyone in their clothes or even having to be in the same room!  For a busy family, this is a time and hassle saver!


Tip #8: Right before your family portraits is NOT the time to try a new do’.  What do I mean, don’t make any drastic changes to your appearance right before your portrait session. No spray tans or new hair do’s…..you never know how it will turn out and then do you really want portraits of your family when your haircut is lopsided or you decided to try a pixie cut and not realizing how much you loved your long hair?


Tip #9: Don't forget the shoes! You wouldn't believe how many of my families forget about shoes.  They show up and their teenage son is wearing a pair of his oldest, nastiest, shoes and ends up always having to be in the back.  I had one busy mom actually forget to pack a pair of shoes for one of her crazy toddlers.  

Tip#10: Bring things! It can make your photos fun and unique! If you are after a vintage look, bring vintage items such as a chair. High school seniors, bring what you love! If you’re into snowboarding, bring the snowboard. If you’re into dance, bring your pointe shoes. Anything that can define you at this moment in your life should be in the images. Even if it’s simply a pair of sunglasses, bring them!  With children, bring what they love. A cute bear, a beat-up old blanket. Having these in the images can make them timeless.


Tip #11: Tips on how to dress slimmer.  This is probably the most asked question people have, so here are some answers:

1 Dark clothes are better than light clothes at slimming you down. There are exceptions, but dark clothes tend to “hide” those problem areas.

2 Cover your skin. Long pants and sleeves are an easy way to appear slimmer.

3 Shallow v-necks are more slimming than open necks or collared tops.


Tip #12: Last tip. Have fun! Don worry about whether or not your children are smiling . . . that’s the photographers job! The more relaxed you are the more relaxed your children are and it will show in your photos! 

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