I have booked my photo session, now what am I going to wear? What does the family wear? This was always my dilemma when we had family portraits or even individual photos done. So I invite you to step back and take a deep breath. I am here to help! Call me, let’s brain storm! I would be happy to be a listening ear, and as an experienced photographer, I would be happy to give you some input on what those colors or what that style will look like on a photograph.
Here are 4 tips to help you choose your outfit or your family’s outfits.
Start by taking a deep breath and looking in your closet and then your family’s closets. In your closet, find clothing that you like and that represents who you are, what you have done, or memories you have made. Look at the colors in the outfit you chose. Once you have found the outfit you like, take the outfit and lay it on a couch or bed. Decide what color in the outfit you want to focus on to pull from your other family members’ clothes. Believe it or not, since you may have purchased the clothes, some of those colors may show up in their closet. Then walk to each family member’s closet to look at their clothes. That leads us to the next tip in choosing what to wear for a photo session.
Looking in the clothes of your family members will help you focus in on the clothes you all have in common. Coordinate, but don’t worry about being too Matchy! I think it is often wise to pick maybe 1 or 2 colors, and weave those colors through all your outfits. This can be a lot of fun with families (remember layers come in handy for this). However, if you choose to blend and not match some colors, that works too. Just make sure the outfits complement each other. Choose 1-3 colors for your group portrait, ones with similar tones that go nicely together and have everyone work within that color palette. For example: dark green, navy, and burgundy – all dark tones or tan, a lighter olive green, and denims – all lighter, softer tones. The one type of clothing I would advise not wear is fluorescent colors. Florescent colors have a tenancy to take away from the main focus of the photos, which is you and your family. Some may even want to choose a certain style like urban or country for their session. Don’t forget to communicate this to me (your photographer) when planning your session, so we can take this into consideration when determining your location for the session.
Most important be you and be comfortable with what you decide to wear. You do not want clothes to be too big or too small. You want to be comfortable enough to move around, sit on the ground, or to wrap your arms around someone during the portraits. This will help provide more flexibility during your session. If you are comfortable in your clothes, you will be more comfortable during the photo session.
Finally, take the season in consideration. For spring: light blues, pinks, and yellows work great! In summer: red and bright colors really stand out. During fall, burnt orange, mustard, grey, melon and teal look really stylish, and for winter rich colors, like royal blue, dark red, dark gold, or purple are great colors to get you started.
The goal here is to contrast from your background so you can easily standout from your background. Wearing green in a grassy meadow in the middle of spring or summer might not work as well as wearing a bright blue color.