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What to Wear

May 22, 2023
Outfits for family portraits

Once the photoshoot is booked, it's time to start thinking about what everyone will wear.

Following are some stylist-approved tips to consider to insure everyone looks their best and your images fit your family's style and décor.

Plan ahead

Not only will planning ahead make picture day much less stressful, it also gives you the opportunity to make wardrobe tweaks, verify that everything fits comfortably (essential with growing kids!) , check for missing buttons or stains you might have missed in the wash, and shop for any pieces you want to replace or upgrade.  Make sure outfits look good sitting and standing and give everything a good polish and press a few days before your session.

Consider your home décor

It’s safe to assume you’re going to want to display your photos in your home. When you think about enjoying your pictures a year from now, what does that look like?  Are they on the wall, in a book, or on your coffee table?  What room are you sitting in?  These might seem like questions you want to answer after you see the finished images, but taking that approach really limits your options.  For example, a formal posed portrait probably won't fit in your kids playroom, and cherry red sweaters probably won't look great in your burgundy living room.  Starting with a color scheme that’s similar to your home décor and planning poses around how you want to display your artwork will give you a much more satisfying end result that flows with your home.  Choosing two to three colors from the room you will display your art in is a great way to plan your color palette.

Stick with Solids

Wearing a cute outfit always makes you feel great, but the same things that cause everyone to notice and compliment you when you wear it are the things people will notice first instead of your face in a portrait.  Solid colors and long sleeves put all the attention on your faces and the reactions and emotions shown in the portraits.  Contrast, patterns, and logos demand all the attention for themselves leaving you and your family in second place.  To add some personality and dimension to everyone’s outfits, mix different textures together instead of the use of patterns

Start with One Outfit First

It can be overwhelming to even know where to start when planning outfits for a whole family (especially a multigenerational one!).  Start with one outfit first.  Make sure that it fits well and will photograph well - feel free to text us a picture if you have any questions.  Make sure you have all the pieces from undergarments to shoes and accessories. We recommend starting with your own outfit.  

For a single family unity - Lay out the outfit you've selected on a bed, then start adding one piece at a time from other family members closets, verifying that they all work well together as you go.  If you considered your home décor first, you already have a color palette you are working within.  A good rule for your finished wardrobe is that if a color shows up once, it needs to show up in at least three different places.  For instance, mom's sweater, dad's tie, and little's tights may be one color while dad's pants, mom's skirt, and little #2's bow might be another.

For a multigenerational portrait - It's usually easiest to let everyone know a three color palette and ask them to stay within it, avoid shorts and short skirts, wear long sleeves, and avoid patterns.  These simple instructions will insure that the portrait looks cohesive and all the attention goes to your beautiful family and not their clothing.

Coordinate, Don’t Match

Selecting outfits that coordinate, rather than being identical gives your family a complementing aesthetic.  It also allows each family member to be an individual and wear what is comfortable to them and makes them look their best.

Don’t Forget Shoes and Accessories

Shoes and accessories are often overlooked! Remember to style outfits completely from head to toe for every family member. Scuff or uncoordinated shoes can ruin the rest of an outfit.  Accessories add interest and dimension to your portraits and tie everything together.

Are you all in and ready to schedule your session?  The first step in the process is to schedule a Style & Planning Consultation by clicking the link in the upper right corner, however, you can also go ahead and reserve your session time by clicking the "Let's do this!" button below.

Let's do this!

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