what to wear for your family photoshoot?
1. The “Match the Couch” Method
First of all, when you hire a photographer, you’re hiring an artist to create custom artwork for your home that features your amazing family! In this regard you have the ability to customize what those images look like by choosing a location and outfits that match the style of your home.
Before your session you should start to think about the rooms in which you’d like to decorate and use those rooms as your outfit inspiration.
I highly recommend that you take the color and style of your home into consideration when choosing the outfits you’ll wear to your upcoming portrait session. The colors you choose to wear will effect the overall look and feel of the photograph because color is an integral part of an artwork.
This is where the phrase “match the couch” comes into play…
If you’d like to display your family portraits in your living room and your living room has tan walls with white trim, brown leather couches and light turquoise accent colors in the curtains and throw pillows, you should try to incorporate those colors into your outfits. Here’s an example of how you could do that: Dad wears khaki’s and a light turquoise shirt, Mom wears a cream colored maxi dress and brings a brown scarf, your son wears brown pants and a white shirt, while your daughter wears a turquoise dress. Perfect!
Here’s another example: You want to decorate your dining room which is styled in navy blue, gray and white. Mom wears a navy blue dress, Dad wears Blue jeans and a gray shirt, son wears gray pants and a white shirt, daughter wears a white and gray striped dress. Awesome!
See how easy that is? Try to mix and match colors that coordinate with the room (or match the couch!) so that your custom portrait art will fit perfectly into your home!
2. Match colors to one persons patterned outfit
Another way you can choose outfits is by basing all of the outfits off of one persons pattern. I don’t recommend having multiple family members in different patterns as it will cause your portrait art to look busy and be distracting. But having one family member in a pattern can be very beautiful! In this case I recommend basing all of your families outfits around one persons pattern.
Now, these aren’t the only methods you could use to choose the perfect outfits, but hopefully they’re a good starting point for you to generate some ideas!
Keep it simple.
Avoid: shirts with large brand logos or graphics, bold patterns, and outfits with very small repetitive patterns or pinstripes that can create moire in photos.
Don’t forget to: Iron and Lint Roll outfits, Match your belt to your shoes if applicable, and bring accessories.
Accessories that double as props are excellent! A bowtie, flowers in your hair, hats, scarves, jean jackets that can be thrown over a shoulder, etc.
Makeup & Hair
Keep it natural.
For women, hair should be styled naturally. In other words, if you don’t usually wear your hair in a formal updo, skip it. The same principle applies to makeup: if you’re thinking about trying out that trendy fluorescent orange eye shadow you saw in a magazine, save it for another time. Instead, choose natural makeup that makes you feel beautiful, then add a light layer of powder to reduce shine, just before the session.
Keep it clean.
A clean-shaven look for men is best (but if you’ve always rocked a beard, I’m not telling you to shave it off!). Haircuts for boys and men should take place about a week or so before the session.
Even after sharing all these tips, I always remind clients that there’s really no such thing as a “wrong” wardrobe choice — that is, if they absolutely love what they’re wearing. That’s because by the end of each pre-session consultation, we’ve discussed the most important question, which is this: what do they want to do with these images?
Since I specialize in wall art and archival keepsakes, I want my clients to picture how these photos will look in their home for years to come. So, if we’ve discussed how they’ll use the images and I’ve given them my style tips, but they still want to wear matching bright green velour tracksuits (okay, this has never happened but you catch my drift!), then that’s a family who owns their style and can (and should) pull it off.
What’s important to me as a photographer is that the session is an enjoyable experience for the whole family; everyone should be relaxed and have some fun! At the end of the day, there’s no amount of clothing, hair, or makeup that can distract from a truly sweet moment between family…even if they’re all wearing matching jean jackets.
From the moment my clients contact me, I'm there with them, guiding them all they way, from what to wear, to what products they should order, and if you are keen to book your family photoshoot, just reach out and lets start planning it!
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See you next time,