Portraits are a great way to reminisce. We often don’t realize the importance of family photographs until it is too late.
One of the toughest decisions is choosing the right clothing. Google bad family portraits to see why. The goal of any group shot is to direct the viewer’s attention to the subjects’ faces. No one family member should stand out or distract from the other members of the group. It’s essential to focus on coordinating outfits. This doesn’t mean everyone in the photo has to wear identical outfits. Instead, the idea is to make sure one family member doesn’t show up wearing shorts and a tank top when the rest of the group is in khakis or jeans.
A standard setup you see often is for the whole family to wear white shirts and blue jeans. A Google search will probably return lots of matching outfits in family portraits. However, the trend is to coordinate, not match for a couple of reasons. First, this is the best way to show off each family member’s individual personality. Second, not every outfit looks good on every person. Those white shirts will wash out most skin tones, and not every cut works on everybody.
“What should we wear,” It can be stressful enough dressing oneself, let alone making a decision for the entire group. here are a few examples of what you can do.
Figuring out what to wear
•Neutral, coordinating colors. Do not match! Unless you really want to. Not every color or fit works for everyone. Mix colors that go well together but are not precisely the same.
•Patterns like plaids, stripes, and florals. You can even mix-and-match them, and don’t be afraid to layer them with solid colors and types of denim.
•Fitted clothes. Tailored outfits will always look better than loose-fitting clothing. You can never go wrong with having your clothes fit correctly.
•Closed-toe shoes. There are a few instances when you should go barefoot or wear sandals, but in general, most people should wear closed-toed shoes. This can include fashionable boots, dress shoes, and sneakers.
•Jeans. It is not an absolute, but don’t be afraid of them, including torn jeans, if that’s your style.
•Layers. Often you won’t have time to change! Family sessions usually move along rather quickly as we try to fit in as many shots as possible so, layering rather than bringing a change of clothes will give you more options and time.
•Avoid dressing your little ones in short-short dresses as they have a tendency to ride up, you will spend most of your session playing or fixing them! Be sure that the outfit you’ve chosen to dress your little one in is play-time appropriate.
•Use spandex shorts if you are putting your child in a dress just in case.
•Try your best to hide diapers. Bloomer pants are a great choice, and a longer shirt (tucked in or not) will help as well. Diapers don’t need to be covered up. Do a wardrobe test-run, and if you find yourself fiddling with your child’s clothing to cover up their mid-section, diaper, or underpants, choose a different outfit.
•Be careful with accessories. Often children don’t want to wear hats or scarves and will remove them. In other cases, they’ll use them to hide from the camera. Remember that the critical part is not the outfit, but the moments that are captured of your family.
Clothing that has caused several issues in the past
•Unfitted t-shirts. This includes any kind of loose or oversized t-shirts.
•Sleeveless shirts, strapless tops, or halter tops. This is not a hard rule, but I recommend that people wear sleeves. The brightest part of your photographs will be the most noticeable. Because our faces are generally always exposed to the sun and our arms often aren’t, the skin on our arms is usually lighter than our faces. This can be exaggerated in photographs, and result in a very distracting arm situation.
•Anything that shows your bra straps or underpants.
•All white or all black.
•Short dresses. A short skirt can significantly limit your ability to pose comfortably for your photos. Test out your favorite dress to see if it’s appropriate for your session by sitting on the ground. If you cannot comfortably sit in it, it will be best to choose a dress that is longer or opt for pants.
No matter what you choose to wear for your family portrait, make sure everyone feels comfortable and relaxed in their clothes. This will lead to beautiful smiles and natural poses, and you’ll end up with a gorgeous family photo you’ll love displaying for many years to come. Below are some color combinations that work great!