“What should we wear?” This is one of the most common questions we hear prior to photo sessions—and for good reason. Clothing choices can greatly influence the look and feel of your photos. To help, we’ve put together this guide to help you assemble your best look and feel confident in it.
Consider material and color
Be sure the colors you wear coordinate with one other. Try to avoid differences in tonal value such as bright red alongside pastel lavender. Use patterns sparingly; if one person is wearing a pattern, try to avoid putting someone else in a competing pattern. Choose simple classic patterns like stripes, floral, houndstooth, or plaid. When thinking about texture, choose those that will add that classic feel to your photo: linen, lace, corduroy, chunky knits, etc. Avoid logos, emblems and branding, or big prints. These typically distract attention from the subject.
Remember, you want your photos to stand the test of time. Choose outfits that aren’t too trendy and will be able to be enjoyed and displayed for many years to come. Consider quality materials and subtle, sophisticated color, these are timeless and classic.
Let your personalities shine
The purpose of your photos is to capture each individual as they truly are—to capture the family, and the relationships as they are. Wear clothing that you, and your child, feel good in and the photos will reflect those feelings. If your child wears an accessory or piece of clothing everywhere s/he goes, it might be a moment in their lives that makes sense to capture. Likewise, if your child has specific heirloom or treasured items, bring these items. These items can also be something that helps keep your child focused and engaged during the session and will help keep the family dynamic natural and comfortable. These are the moments we want to remember and cherish later: how they are right now!
Dress for the season and location
Think about the time of year and use that as inspiration to capture the “feel” of the season, even if you are indoors. Again, this is where you might consider color and tonal choices to match the season.
Layering: one of our favorite “tips” for clothing choices! Even if it is summer, layer. Not only will it provide more visual interest in each photo but it will also allow more variety in your shots and poses. Be sure to coordinate your layering with tasteful complementary colors or to stick to one color for every item except for one, to give that extra “pop” to your outfit.
Remember where you might display photos
Give some thought to your home decor, colors and style. Chances are you will be ordering artwork to be displayed in your home. Why not keep your decor in mind and ensure that your artwork fits in your home. Consider how large your portraits will be and where you’d likely display them.
Make sure to give yourself enough time to think about all of the details of your session. Plan ahead so that you can truly think about your photos and everything you want out of the session beforehand. We want you to feel comfortable and confident during your session and for that feeling to be conveyed in your photographs.
Keep make-up natural
You will want to avoid using very heavy makeup but a bit of color on your lips, or eyes, will help bring you to life in photos. Bringing some lip gloss can be very helpful, as well.
This doesn’t mean everyone should match 100% with slacks and a white shirt. You want to complement one another’s outfits by choosing colors that work together. If everyone wears the same color, people tend to blend together and instead we want you to look complementary to each other.
Some thoughts on building a coordinated look for family photos
1. Keeping your location and season in mind, start with one person. Don’t try to think of everyone at the same time. Start with the one member who has an outfit or item that you know will work well in your photos and think of this as the foundation from which to coordinate other outfits.
2. Now move on to the next person. You will be coordinating colors from the first outfit, so consider which colors look best on whom. Remember to think about the colors or patterns that might clash with someone’s skin tones or hair.
3. Then consider how to personalize the session. A little boy may have a security blanket or teddy bear he never parts with— be sure to bring that with you. We encourage simple and classic propping, if it fits with you: flowers, keepsake and heirloom items.
Here are links to our Pinterest boards categorized by age and groupings, as well as some recommended boutiques and designers we love:
Make thoughtful choices and be sure to discuss the ideas with our team. Don’t hesitate to call or email the studio to discuss your ideas with us, we are here for you!