Family portraits and…what NOT to wear?!

I recently took family portraits with a friend photographer living in Athens, GA.  It was a lot of fun but i’ll have to say that preparing for the shoot was a bit stressful.  It took me a few weeks to pick what my whole family would be wearing.  I don’t know about you but I didn’t want to leave it totally up to my husband to decide what he’d wear that day let alone give me some advice as to what he thinks I or the kids should wear.  Not that he doesn’t dress well… but since we don’t often take family portraits, I wanted to make the most of this time we had.   It’s probably a good thing that he doesn’t have an opinion either way and leaves it up to me to decide.  I did ask him once to be sure to make him feel included…”What would you like to wear [to the shoot] honey?” and his response was “Whatever you’d like me to wear.” (My husband knows me so well?)

So after several days of  shopping for my outfit (it’s always hard for me to decide on an outfit though my kids can look cute in most anything), I finally decided on a spring color theme of yellow, blues and gray. Our clothes were a mix of new clothes and clothes that were already in our closet.  Of course, on the day of the shoot, my daughter decides she didn’t want to wear my suggested silver /gray shoes but wanted to wear pink sandals (definitely not in my color scheme…oh well).   And I didn’t even notice until I saw the pictures that my husband was wearing dark brown shoes (not exactly color coordinating with my theme here either).  So it (my planned color coordinating wardrobe) wasn’t perfect but it all worked out.  I think our family’s personality and dynamics totally came through this process and I loved the end result.

With my recent personal experience in being on the other end of the camera, I started thinking about how it may be a good idea to write about what you should wear in a photo shoot.

Although there’s no true, hard and fast rules as to what’s always right or wrong to wear…I think a better way to think about it is what not to wear!

1) Don’t wear anything you don’t feel comfortable wearing in the first place. You have to feel comfortable in order for your pictures to look good. If you don’t feel comfortable, you won’t look comfortable. So go with clothes that will make you feel good.

2) Don’t wear clothes that exactly match. We’ve all probably done this…everyone wear black tops and the khaki pants (or jeans). There’s nothing wrong with this but I think we need to be a bit more creative. Also, you’ll love the result of taking a little extra time to think about this and possibly working with your photographer for suggestions.   This doesn’t mean you can’t choose black, browns, jeans or the whites but mix it up a little. For example, here’s a great take on the khaki, black & white theme.

Here’s another example of coordinating but not exactly matching…

Does this look slightly familiar? Well, this set did visually jump start me on my color scheme.

3) Avoid patterns and logos that distract from the person in the photo. This includes TV characters on your kids’ clothing.  You don’t want the shirt or clothing to be the first thing noticed in pictures.

If you’re more casual, go casual. If you like to be a bit more dressed up, you can do that too.  Basically, keep it simple and keep it you!

Also, don’t forget about fun accessories like hats, cool shoes, boots, jackets, jewelry, scarves – you name it!

Stay tuned as i’ll be sharing weekly wardrobe suggestions to hopefully give you some ideas on your next shoot. =) So if you haven’t already, consider becoming an email subscriber or click on the RSS feed icon located at the top right side of the blog.

And just for fun…here’s a family portrait that’s just too cute… I had to share!

Until next time…


2 thoughts on “Family portraits and…what NOT to wear?!

  1. Pingback: What to Wear {family portraits}: Color!!!! « AY Photography & Design

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