Photographers Advice - Family Style Guide
This post will serve as a preparation guide with links and examples on what to wear and how to coordinate outfits for your family for your next photo session.
A FOOLPROOF FORMULA
Put most of the family in different neutral shades (i.e. ivory, gray, beige, browns) and then add a few pops of coordinating color or patterns on headbands, hair ties, bow ties, shoes, undershirt, etc.
START WITH ONE PERSON
It’s WAY easier to visualize everyone’s outfits once you know what one piece looks like! Try starting with Mom or daughter - since women’s clothing tends to have more texture and prints. As a rule of thumb, pick one patterned outfit for every two people wearing solid neutral colors.
COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER - DON'T MATCH
We want colors that generally complement each other: so for instance, soft colors (light blue, gray, blush) or warm colors (brown, orange, burgundy). If you want colorful images, then you should choose a more vivid color scheme for your outfits! Generally, solids work best. Try to avoid everyone wearing the same color. Blobs do not photograph well.
THINK ABOUT THEME & PROPS
Choose colors that are appropriate with the theme you are going for. If it is a Christmas session, maybe we should avoid pink and yellow. If the session includes props, consider that also (i.e. if the Christmas session has red based props - you should definitely avoid reds. See above, blobs do not photograph well.)
CONSIDER THE LOCATION
Wear clothes that are fashionable, yet comfortable for the location. Make sure that your clothing will not blend into the background. Is your photo session in the woods? Try to avoid greens in your clothing.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR HOME
If you’re planning to hang your images in your living room that’s decorated in all white, you probably don’t want your clothing to be dark. If you’re planning a colorful nursery, then wear vivid outfits.
TRY YOUR CLOTHES ON IN ADVANCE
Check your outfits in front of the mirror, not just the one you like best. Try sitting, squatting, leaning forward, raise your arms, etc.
The kids’ clothes should work well in motion so that we can play during your session (think flying, piggy back rides, tag, tickling, and hanging upside down). If your child is still in diapers, consider a diaper cover under their dress or a onesie under their shirt. This will reduce the risk of the diaper being exposed during our action shots.
DON'T FORGET SHOES !
These are often the forgotten last element, but they can really make or break your outfits! If you can’t find shoes you love, consider going barefoot (just bring walking shoes to get from point A to point B). Women’s flats and sandals always look nice but steer away from athletic shoes, character themed shoes for kids and bright white sneakers. Solid colored shoes and boots are ALWAYS the best choice. If possible, steer clear of bright white socks for the action shots!
LET THE KIDS HAVE INPUT
If your daughter hates wearing dresses, don’t force her to wear one for picture day. If your son thinks that suspenders are uncomfortable, ditch them! Happy kids make for happy photos!
Formal clothes like tuxedos.
Dark, neon & saturated colors.
Text & Graphics on T-Shirts, Shoes & Hats
Shaded Lenses & sunglasses
Forward facing ball caps
Everyone wearing the same color.
Subtle textures - lace, kits, tulle.
Simple is better!