WHEN IT COMES TO THE OVERALL FEEL OF YOUR PHOTOS, YOU’D BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH CONTROL YOU HAVE JUST BY WHAT YOU WEAR TO YOUR SESSION!
So much of the general style and feeling of your portraits depends on two things. The background of your portrait (the lighting, the colors, the vibe) and the colors and outfits you choose to wear to your session. You’ve put in the time and investment to schedule a portrait session! Good for you! Now I want to help you choose a wardrobe that will give you exactly the kind of portraits you are hoping for. Follow these simple steps and choosing your session outfits will be a breeze!
#1: MOM GOES FIRST. ALWAYS. BUT REALLY. ALWAYS.
I know you, Mom. You’re used to putting your kids and your husband first and that’s awesome. I’m right there with you. But I’m giving you permission…. no… I’m flat out telling you ABSOLUTELY you MUST choose your own outfit first. Don’t argue. I’m the professional. This holds true whether you’re getting ready for newborn portraits or family portraits. You’re investing in these pictures of your family. You took the time to research photographers. You’re looking for outfits. Chances are 90% of the time you’re the one behind the camera instead of in front of it with your family. Your family deserves to have some beautiful pictures with you IN them. And if you get these pictures back and you don’t LOVE how you look in them, you know where they’re going to end up? In the trash bin. trash file? But you hear me. SO… Your outfit gets chosen first. Find something that makes you feel gorgeous!
A few hints to help you find something that looks great: If you want to wear something flowy then pair it with something fitted. (Flowy shirt, skinny jeans. Flowy skirt, fitted blouse). Just a quick FYI: Low cut shirts or short skirts limit the kinds of poses we can do. Don’t be afraid to accessorize! You can add a hat, necklace, earrings, belt, strappy sandals. Just make sure your outfit doesn’t have too many focal points. If you’re using an awesome accessory then keep your outfit colors/patterns neutral and simple. Take a picture or two of yourself wearing your outfit just to see how it translates in camera. Once you know what you want to wear, then you can move on to-
#2: HUBBY AND KIDS
Let’s start with hubby. He’s easy and 90% of the time really doesn’t care about what he’s wearing in these photos. If he does, I suggest creating a couple of options and letting him choose what he wants before you go on to the kids. For men, I always suggest something fitted. Baggy clothing is out, and a little dressed up is better than too casual. For casual sessions, I recommend a button-up shirt with sleeves rolled to the elbow or a sweater. You can pair this with jeans and some nice shoes (not sneakers). For more formal portraits I would suggest a blazer- you can accessorize with a tie, belt, suspenders, boots.
If your husband really doesn’t care what he wears, then feel free to choose the kids outfits first if you’d like. Kids are similar to dressing adults but I’ll add a couple of things to watch for. Try to stay away from anything with pictures/logos. They’re just distracting and you want everyone’s attention on those cute FACES. For the same reason avoid sneakers that are colored. I always prefer dress shoes but if you must bring a family member in sneakers, make sure their colors are neutral and non-distracting. For little girls in dresses I strongly recommend a pair of bike shorts underneath in a matching neutral color. You moms of girls hear me. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
#3: COLOR SCHEME
Now you have to make a decision. What mood are you looking for in these photos? If you are wanting something light and airy, you are going to HAVE to choose light, neutral colored outfits. And your background will ALSO need to be light and pretty neutral. No one is going to get light, airy photos in a forest of green trees. Or with rich jewel toned colors. Your pictures are still going to be beautiful. But that ethereal white, clean look only happens with a very simple color palette of whites, beiges, light grays, tans…
If you’re looking for something more deep and vibrant, you are going to HAVE to choose deeper, more vibrant colors. For your outfits absolutely, and your background will just make more sense if it includes some depth in color or richness as well.
I’m including location in this tip because these two items go hand in hand. I’m telling you to choose your outfits before you decide your location. Crazy, I know. But the truth is, even in a completely dreamy location I’m going to be focusing A LOT on your family, nice and up close and personal, and your location is just the pretty setting. You didn’t hire me to take portraits of the mountains, or the city, or the garden… you hired me to photograph your family. So they come first.
If you’re in my studio, decide if you’re going for a light or vibrant look and I’ll match the backdrops to your outfits.
#4 A NOTE ON PATTERNS
Patterns are fun! You don’t need to avoid them, but you DO need to limit them. Limit your patterned outfits to one or two members of your group. And in general stay away from really small, complicated patterns. Since MOM GOES FIRST, make sure whatever patterned outfit someone is wearing includes a color or two from your outfit. How many colors should make up your group’s color palette? That’s up to you, and somewhat dependent on how big your group is. I would say between 3-5 is usually best. Make sure they translate well together. I’ve put together some color scheme ideas here that you’re welcome to look at to find some inspiration!
#5: KEEP IN TOUCH!
I’m SO HAPPY to look over your outfit choices as you’re in the decision-making stage. Seriously. Send me a text or email with some pictures and I’ll 100% let you know what I think will work best. I want you to be as happy as can be with your portraits, and a big part of that is choosing really awesome outfits for your family!
DON’T HAVE A SESSION SCHEDULED YET? CONTACT ME AND LET’S GET YOU ON MY CALENDAR!