What to Wear
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 some simple tips that can get you started toward fabulous family photos.
~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.
~Go neutral. If the idea of finding the perfect colors to fit your wall at home, your grandmother's mantel, your Christmas card, and your son's graduation announcement is too overwhelming, go neutral. This is an especially good idea if your setting is very colorful.
~Do not be too matchy, matchy~ Ok, by this I mean gone are the days of “everyone wears white shirts and khakis” or “everyone wears black shirts and jeans”. I know when organizing a group (especially if it is a large extended family) 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.
~Avoid all logos and words and try to keep prints at a minimum. Usually, a 3 to 1 ratio of those wearing solids to those wearing prints is a good rule of thumb. otherwise, the photos look too messy. I like to have at least one person in the group wear a print that includes all of the colors in the color scheme.
~Wear something you feel comfortable in. If you never wear really dressy clothes, then chances are you won’t feel comfortable in them and it may end up looking like you are wearing a costume. You want the final photos to look like YOU!
~Wear clothes that fit well. This goes along with comfort, but if you are having to pull your shirt a certain way, tuck bra straps or pin your dress into place… don’t wear it. These issues will show in your photos and can be difficult to fix in editing.
~Go for classic if you can. You will have your photos hanging on your walls for possibly years to come so keep it simple and classic to make them more timeless.
~Lay it out and take a picture! I love using this one! Laying everyone’s outfit out on the floor the way they’re going to wear them. Visualizing 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!
~Right before your family portraits is NOT the time to try a new style. What do I mean? Don’t make any drastic changes to your appearance right before your portrait session. No spray tans or new hairstyles. You never know how it will turn out and do you really want portraits of your family when your haircut is lopsided or you decided to try a pixie cut not realizing how much you loved your long hair?
~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.
~Don't dress your children in clothes they hate! Family pictures go much smoother when mom is not wrestling them to the ground to get them to wear clothing they find uncomfortable. There are plenty of alternatives out there. Pick your battles.
~Leave the transition glasses at home. An older pair of glasses will look much better than wearing sunglasses during your family photos.
Tips on how to dress slimmer.
This is probably the most asked question people get, so here are a few answers,
~Dark clothes are better than light clothes at slimming you down. There are exceptions, but dark clothes tend to “hide” those problem areas.
~Cover your skin. Long pants and sleeves are an easy way to appear slimmer.
~Shallow v-necks are more slimming than open necks or collared tops.
~Consider your insecurities. When I see a photo of myself, my eye immediately goes to those areas of myself in which I am the most insecure. Everyone does it. I know even if it is a perfect photo if I am looking large and in charge, I am not going to print it. So when choosing your wardrobe consider your insecurities. Not a fan of your upper arms. avoid sleeveless or capped-sleeved tops that will draw attention to your arms. Insecure about your belly? A suit jacket is a nice way to hide your belly and class this up.
One Last Tip!
~Have fun! Don worry about whether or not your children are smiling . . . that’s the photographer's job! The more relaxed you are the more relaxed your children are and it will show in your photos!