I’m inspired to write a post about Fall family portraits after stepping outside this morning to low-60′s temps. Are you kidding me, RVA? I’ll take it! I know this glorious weather won’t last long, but Fall really is right around the corner, and the inquiries for family portraits are starting to trickle in. Bring it!
One of the most frequently asked questions photographers get is, “What should we wear?” It’s true- few things are as overwhelming as trying to plan your entire family’s wardrobe for family pictures. While I can’t be your personal shopper (but how much fun would THAT be??) or tell you what your family’s unique style is, I can give some simple guidelines that I’ve learned over the last couple of years for dressing your crew.
Here are a few tips that I’ve found to be helpful:
- First, ask yourself what look you’re going for? Bright and colorful with vivid splashes of color? More subtle and sophisticated? Hipster? Formal? Once you nail that down, it’s easier to plan outfits.
- Coordinate your family’s outfits. Find a common color and “weave” it through your family. For example, let’s say you choose the color gray (awesome, neutral color). An idea would be gray slacks for dad, mom wears gray scarf, son wearing gray polo, or choose a dress with small prints that have gray (or a similar shade) in them, etc. Not every member of the family has to wear it, but you’re aiming to try to tie the look together, and color is one of the easiest ways to do it.
- If you’re going for more subtle, softer colors, consider adding pops of color through your accessories (shoes, scarves, belts, hair accessories, etc.)
- Consider allowing one person in your family to be the “wild card.” Maybe that person is wearing a bold shade of green or a fun print. If so, make sure that the other family members are complimenting that person and not competing with them. In other words, you shouldn’t have other people also wear green or bold prints that might clash.
- Layer up! Fall is the perfect time of year to layer your clothes. It adds texture, and also gives you more options of different looks without the hassle of changing outfits.
- Wear clothes that you’re comfortable in. Now isn’t the time to break in new shoes or wear anything tight or constricting. If you’re not comfortable, it will show in the images. Pick clothing that accentuate your best feature or make you feel good. It will show in all the best ways!
- Do. Not. Match. I simply cannot stress this enough (so I put it in bold and hyper-punctuated it).
- Don’t have too many competing large prints (i.e. mom in polka dots and dad wearing bold stripes).
- Unless you’re 85, don’t wear tennis shoes with white socks. Especially with dark pants.
- No hats or sunglasses. Baseball caps are the only exception, and even then, it should tie into the look. Bottom line: I want to see those pretty peepers. Eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses are also an exception, obviously. I’ll make sure to remind everyone to hand me their sunglasses before we get started.
- Moms and girls: watch out for those hair rubber bands wrapped around your wrists. (I do this a lot as well). You’d be surprised how distracting they are in photos, so I’ll be asking you to remove them before we begin our session.