What to Wear for a Family Portrait Session

You finally decided to get those family pictures taken. You had a consultation with your chosen photographer - session details were discussed, the perfect location was picked, and you're excited about the upcoming family portrait session. There is just one little problem... you don't have a clue what to wear or how to dress your family members for the occasion. Don't worry! We are here to help. Check out these basic tips below for dressing for a family photo session.

Coordinate – Coordinate the color scheme for all the outfits. There is no need to be too ‘matchy’, just ensure that all of the outfits complement each other. Perhaps one family member can wear a moderate pattern inclusive of several colors, which the others can build their outfits off of. Also, feel free to mingle bright colors with softer tones to give a balance to the palette. Just a quick note…dark denim jeans (or pants) are often more flattering in general for adults. So if you’re going for a casual look like that, consider a classic darker wash. Also, remember to be lint and wrinkle free.

Texture – Don’t be afraid to add some textural aspects to your outfits. Lace, corduroy, ribbons, knitted/embroidered items, ruffles, fringe, buttons, etc. will add depth and detail to the images.

Layers – Dressing in layers allows for you to have several looks without having to change your wardrobe. Adding or removing items from an outfit can change the look quite a bit. This is also important since you want your session time to be spent in front of the camera and not inside the dressing room.

Accessorize– Accessories are awesome! Jewelry, scarves, hats, ties, hair accessories, glasses, etc. will all add a special element to the images. Don’t forget to bring them along!

Shoes – Footwear is just as important as the clothing. Carefully consider your shoes so that they coordinate with and complement your outfit(s).

Logos – Stay away from clothing with logos unless you want to do an ad for a particular brand.

Props – Your photographer may already have some props available.  And there are often some to be used on location. But, you can still bring your own as well. Books, blankets, special family mementos, umbrellas, old photographs, etc. can help add warmth to your family portraits.

Patterns – Avoid excessive patterns. They tend to distract from the subject(s)…you and your family. Any patterns worn should be subtle and not overdone.

Proper Fit – Ensure the clothing fits. Large, baggy and loose clothing can make you look sloppy.  Tight and binding clothing is uncomfortable and unflattering. Noone wants to look sloppy or unflattering in their family portraits.

Location – Consider your location. Will you be outside or inside? If you’re outside, you want to wear clothing that can withstand possible dirt smudges. Although your photographer will likely try and clean areas off for you, you possibly will be leaning and sitting on some semi-dirty surfaces. Also, you will want to stand out from your surroundings.  If your session is inside, you don’t want to blend in with the backdrop; if outside, you want to stand out from the natural setting.

With all of these tips to consider, remember that everyone should still be himself or herself. Allow each different personality to shine through the clothing.  And make sure everyone is comfortable in his or her clothing choices. Confidence will radiate when everyone likes what they are wearing. Until next time...happy day to you!