When planning a family photoshoot, the most common question I get is what to wear. This is a good question because what you wear could have a huge impact on your photos.
The biggest problem is when there’s too much going on with the outfits which causes a lot of distraction. This takes the focus away from the subjects. Clothing can be distracting in many ways and I’m going to talk about that, along with some ideas that can help keep the look cohesive.
Things to Avoid
Don’t wear conflicting tones or patterns. Make sure to stay consistent. For example stick with neutrals or colors that have similar tones. Having a color palette is not a bad idea. If patterns are being worn, make sure they do not conflict or draw too much attention. If one person is wearing something extremely bright or a pattern that is too busy, it draws the eye away from everyone else in the shot. Graphics and fluorescent colors are also not a great choice. Graphics tend to go out of style and and fluorescent colors can draw too much attention and reflect into faces.
I think it’s a great idea to coordinate what you wear, but don’t match! You won’t want to look back on those awkward family photos and say, “What were we thinking with those matching outfits!” Instead focus on creating a cohesive look and find outfits that allow for a timeless feel.
Things to Keep in Mind
Although there are a few things not to wear, I also feel like it’s important not to focus too hard on clothing. Wear something comfortable, something that you like and feel is flattering. A family photo shoot should be a relaxed and happy event. Also, be yourself! If you tend to wear a lot of jeans, then wear jeans! There are no rules about dressing up unless you want there to be. This goes for the kids as well. If the kids are more comfortable in their clothes, they will probably be more relaxed in the photos. Not to say that you can’t dress up. Just be somewhat comfortable so you can enjoy the shoot.
Another thing to think about when coordinating your clothing is the location. For example, if your backdrop has some fall foliage, you might think about finding colors that will not blend in with the leaves. Select a color palette for your outfits that will complement the setting.
Wearing sleeves or quarter-sleeves can help if you are insecure about the way your arms appear in photos. I know I can be, so I find thet covering them (at least at the very top) can take the focus away and be flattering as well.
Layering can often help the photo shoot move along quickly. This is most important when there are kids involved since they usually will only cooperate for so long. So layering instead of bringing a change of clothes can really keep things moving in a good way.
Fitted clothing, opposed to loose-fitted often looks more attractive. Keeping jewelry simple works well because otherwise it can draw attention away from your face.
Don’t forget about shoes or accessories. Make sure shoes are in decent condition. Accessories can add a bit more color and texture, which can be nice.
Think about whether you’d like to display a photo in your house. If that’s the case, which room will it be in? This may help determine your color palette and location.
Hopefully these ideas will be helpful to you when coordinating your outfits for your family photography session. Feel free to reach out to me if you have additional questions that I haven’t covered. For some visual ideas, check out my pinterest board.
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