What to Wear for your Family Photo Session:
Family photo session clothing ideas and tips
Keep it simple! Classic clothing choices are best for creating timeless portraits. Trends are fun, but classics are forever. When trying to figure out what to wear for your photos, head toward neutral colors, avoiding large strong patterns, logos, words, or fun characters. Jeans, khakis, newer T-shirts, polos, sun dresses are all classics and photograph well. Photo session prep is simple using the tips below!
Some suggestions for clothes and grooming:
- Coordinate, don’t copy. Choose 2-3 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 jewel tones. Or tan, a lighter olive green, and denims – all lighter, softer tones.
- Work together, people. Coordinate patterns so that no one person stands out. If you wear bold stripes or flowers, you won’t look like the rest of your group. Subdued, muted tones will highlight your family and not be distracting. And NO NEONS, please. They will leave a color cast on skin and are hard to reproduce in print.
- Turn up the texture. Whether it’s a nubby sweater, a tweedy scarf or a fur vest, varying textures adds dimension and visual interest.
- Girl talk. To look your best, choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light) so that one doesn’t look bigger than the other. White top, dark pants will make your top look bigger. White pants, dark top will make your butt look bigger. Choose skirts and dresses that are about knee level so that your legs don’t take attention from your face, and you will be able to sit and bend easily. All bodies look good in wrap tops, A-line skirts, and jackets cinched at the waist.
- Powder it up. Makeup should be a little bit bolder than everyday, but not garish or overly trendy. Be sure to top it all off with some powder to eliminate any shine.
- Groom the guys. He probably doesn’t want to switch it up too much, but details matter for him, too. A close shave and some moisturizer go a long way. Make sure his shirt and pants are clean and well-pressed, no frayed necklines.
- No white socks. Choose dark socks and footwear (unless it’s a barefoot photo on the beach) because white just sticks out like a sore thumb and that’s all you’ll notice in your portrait. For guys the socks should match the pants, not the shoes. Also, make sure all shoes are in decent shape, or again, that’s all you’ll notice. For kids, ballet flats, and loafers are perfect.
- Ditch the bling. Keep all jewelry simple and classic because too much draws attention from your face and creates harsh reflections. This is especially important for men with BIG watches.
- Keep hair consistent and natural. Do your hair the way you normally do it while wearing these clothes – no fancy up-dos with jeans. You want your portrait to be timeless and represent who you are, not just what you look like coming out of the hair salon. If you want to get a haircut or new hairdo, make your appointment at least 2 weeks prior to your portrait session. Fresh hair cuts rarely look their best the same or next day.
Family portraits should focus on the unique qualities of each person, and not just the outfit they were wearing. Clothing should compliment your portrait, not complicate it.
If you’re still unsure of what to wear for your family photo session, let me help you make the final choice. It’s easy to email or text me some photos of the choices prior to your session.