Don’t panic with your shoot around the corner, our guide to family pictures will help you start thinking about what you’ll wear the day you book. Trust us, it’s easier when you plan ahead. Don’t wait until the day of your shoot to start planning what to wear. Inevitably, you will find out that someone has outgrown something, there is a massive stain on someone’s shirt, or you just can’t find those earrings you were going to wear! Planning ahead will save you time and set your family up for incredible family photos. We created this guide to help you get stunning portraits.
The task of picking the perfect wardrobe for your family portraits can be daunting. After all, you want to cherish those portraits throughout your lifetime, display them in your home and office, and mount them in memory books to pass down to your children. Some people have a knack for putting together a family wardrobe, and for others it can be a painstaking process. It’s important to make sure your wardrobe complements your family instead of distracting from the family members.
We have several ideas for your family in our guide to family portraits that may help you narrow down or eliminate some wardrobe choices.
Matching outfits can be a simple solution for a large family portrait, but they can also blend individuals together and make the overall portrait a bit mundane. Instead of dressing everyone in matching uniforms, we suggest picking an overall color theme. This way you can use coordinating colors while adding a little personality to each individual. For example, instead of having every family member wear white collared shirts with jeans, match the color of the bottoms and mix it up with some in pants and some in shorts as well as putting the girls in dresses or skirts in different coordinating colors. A little pop of color with accessories can also help give your photo a little more oomph. Use matching headbands, sweaters, belts, or jewelry in your favorite accent color to bring in more variety.
Also, keep in mind where your photo shoot is going to take place. Are you taking family pictures on the beach, or in open space? Wearing colors that blend in with your background will not help your family stand out. For example, wearing tan bottoms and a blue top if you are heading to the beach will most likely allow the beautiful scenery to overtake your family portrait instead of allowing the landscape to be a true backdrop. Pick colors that subtly make you and your family stand out and create a pop for your family photos.
Wear colors that you are comfortable with and that you think you look good in. If you don’t like the way you look in red, don’t wear it! Even if it’s for a holiday card. If you don’t think you look good in a certain color in your every day life, you will not love how you look in your family portraits.
Wear clothes you are comfortable in. If you are a t-shirt and jeans kind of family, don’t dress up in heels and sports jackets. Wear clothes that need minimal adjusting and are easy to move around in.
If you have a colorful home, consider where your family portraits are going to hang and what the surrounding home decor will be around that photograph. You’ll definitely want to make sure your photos stand while complementing your home décor. Creating the wow factor in your family pictures can start by looking at the colors within your home. Remember, as a general guide you can choose coordinating clothing colors that will complement your home.
Department stores will generally have color-coordinated clothing for children that you can get some great ideas from. Remember you want to have colors that won’t distract from the family, but also not blend in to make everyone the same. Coordinating colors in your family pictures is important. Overwhelming patterns can take focus away from the smiling faces of the family members.
Use the Internet or social media to get ideas of what wardrobe styles and colors will look best on your family. Find your photographer’s blog or portfolio and look at their work to see just how the location translates into photographs and what other families that have been photographed by your photographer at that location have chosen to wear. Choose the best options that complement each other and will add to your family photograph.
Are the clothes clean or pressed for the best presentation of your family? Remember kids can grow pretty quickly. Make sure their clothes still fit by the time your shoot rolls around. Don’t wait until the last minute to check if the clothes are clean or need dry cleaning.
A few other things to consider while preparing for your family portrait session:
Complementing locations, just like colors goes a long way. Some locations can be distracting. Crowded areas or overly ornate buildings can draw attention away from the focus of your portrait – YOU. Keep it simple and take the photographer’s recommendation. You’ll thank your photographer for getting you amazing pictures.
Are your kids the poster children for the well-behaved? If not don’t fret, but make sure little ones get plenty of rest and food to eat before having your pictures taken. Kids are much happier when they have had rest and food. Also, keep in mind their individual personalities and their attention spans. If your child is good for a few shots and then melts down, suggest to the photographer to get photos of your child first with everyone because the smiles will be short lived. Good photographers can usually get children smiling. However, if we haven’t photographed your family before we are complete strangers to them. Sometimes we need your help to encourage your little ones to have fun and relax.
Including your pet into your family portrait can be a total win. We have seen our fair share of furry friends throughout the years. When deciding if your pet should be included in your family pictures keep in mind their behavior and personality and the location of your photo session. If you have a pet that is great around your family, but when you get to the park they start barking at everything, it may be a good idea to pick a location more secluded and less populated. If your dog can maneuver and be around people without thinking twice and you don’t have a hesitation about bringing them, it is probably a safe bet to bring them along. Families who know their pets’ personalities usually get pictures they love.
The pictures you get now may stay on your wall for years to come. Remember to keep it simple and use complementing colors that will stand the test of time. While fads may change your family pictures may still be on your wall. Consider the above guide to family pictures for better family portraits.