As a mother, I sincerely know and understand the effort and energy it takes to gather your family and commit to getting your family photos taken. To help make sure all your effort ends up in frame worthy portraits, here are some of my quick tips on how to dress for the occasion.
Just keep in mind I photograph people and relationships, not clothes, so don't let this stress you. This is only a recommendation guide if you are looking for ideas to get you started.
Use your location choice as your guide:
Will the environment of your portraits be the beach, a forest of trees, large open fields, barns, rustic buildings or your very own yard? This can help you consider both color and style of your clothing options. Bare feet look adorable on the beach and boots on everyone would work for a wooded setting. Dark simple clothes photograph well in most outdoor scenes.
Consider your home decor:
If you already have a wall in your home that you know you would like to hang your photos or a room that you know they will go in you are ahead of the game. Select a throw, pillow, or work of art as a starting point to select your clothes colors. Then consider how formal you would like you photos to be. Should everyone be in their Sunday best, their favorite pair of jeans or somewhere in between?
Create Coordinating Looks:
To simplify the coordination process, buy pieces from the same children's line for each kid. Many brands have collections that highlight the same patterns and colorways on multiple styles in the line. Pair statement pieces with basic solids from your kids existing wardrobes. Let everyone's unique personality shine and remember coordinating is not the same as matching (where everyone is wearing the same thing.) Try not to have everyone wearing the same colors on the top or the pants.
Choose only a few colors to focus on. A foundation of neutrals with one pop of color is easier to pull together. Remember the brightest colors will be focal points in the photos so be sure you want to draw extra attention to those places. Avoiding your own skin tone in clothing is usually best, particularly for tops. All black or all white does not usually photograph well.
Accessories, textures, and layers are all DO's:
Statement necklaces, scarves, vests, hats, hair accessories, colorful tights can add a ton of personality and a great opportunity to make your photo unique or give you a color pop. Fun shoes can also be a great way to add flare, color and personality to your family portraits.
Go Comfy with a Proper Fit:
Make sure the clothes everyone wears is something they are comfortable in and that fit just right. It can be really difficult to have a happy face when your shoes are too tight. Also you shouldn't count on thinking you can remind yourself to continue to adjust your top to stay closed or pants to stay up. You will want to make sure no ones undergarments are showing in anyway. And because these are to be your family photos, it is best to leave low or plunging necklines for another photo op.
Feel free to have a one or two pieces on different people that are patterned to add interest, but too may different patterns can distract from the real subject, your precious family. Kids tend to be the best ones to pull off crazy patterns or busier clothing. Characters, logos and words are things to opt for leaving out of your family photo.
With all this work and effort you don't want to look back and feel your family portrait is dated. Timeless looks will be sure to create an everlasting photo that you will be proud to display for years to come.
Plan Ahead and Lay it All Out:
Gather your choices and lay them all to to see how they will look next to one another. Do you need another color pop? Are the combinations pleasing to your eye? Can you see this as a photo on your wall? Make sure everyone has all their needed items in plenty of advance time to address any changes that are needed.
Just remember in the end it's about having this moment in time for your family to be remembered just the way you are. Your portrait is created to help you document your special relationships and personalities, so really the very best thing to wear is your smile :)
*** Mention this blog post and receive a FREE 8X10 of your choice from your family session! Offer good Until October 31, 2014.***
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