• Photos By Laurinda

Family photos: What to Wear

So you have made the exciting decision to book in for a family photo session...the next thought is usually ‘what are we going to wear??!’

It can be a daunting thought pulling together your entire family’s wardrobe for your photo session, after all it is a big decision! You will look back on these photos for years to come, share them with extended family, possibly put them up on your wall and look at them every day.

The last thing you want is to regret a wardrobe decision every time you look at your photos!

Keep reading to discover some simple tips that will help your family look amazing for your next family photo session.

Be comfortable, Be You! It’s very important that the entire family feels relaxed and comfortable during your session and it starts with what you are wearing!

If you feel awkward, self-conscious or uncomfortable you will remember those feelings every time you look at your photos.

When you are comfortable you are relaxed and free to be ‘in the moment’ with your family which allows me to easily capture natural heartfelt images!

This is the first thing you should notice when you view your photos, the special moments of connection between you and your family, what you are wearing should be a secondary focus. So if you are not a dress person, don’t go out and buy a dress! You don’t have to wear what that family on Pinterest is wearing, you just have to be you.

Don’t match...Coordinate instead!

Coordinating what you wear is a major key to creating amazing, timeless photos that are visually pleasing to look at.

Chances are those family photos you have pinned on Pinterest look amazing because of how the colours and tones of each outfit coordinate together.

Now, let me be clear...coordinating clothing definitely does not mean everyone wearing the same thing!

When everyone in the family is matching (think denim & white for example) it creates large blocks of the same colour which can be visually jarring to look at. The first thing you notice is that everyone matches! The outfits become the main focus instead of the special family moments being captured.

To coordinate your outfits instead it is very helpful to choose and stick to a colour pallet. This makes it so much easier to pull together outfits for your entire family. Everyone can wear what they feel comfortable in, as long as it fits within your pallet.

Choose a colour pallet

This may sound daunting but it doesn't have to be. There are a few ways you can do this.

Try choosing two main colours that you love and adding a few softer colours.

Another simple way is to base your pallet around a printed fabric. For example choose a skirt, scarf or dress for yourself to start with and pull colours from the print for the rest of the family’s wardrobe.

Patterns are great for adding interest but my advice is don’t use too many. The key is to vary the scale, for example choose a large floral print for yourself and team it with a small scale print in a coordinating colour on your partners shirt for example.

It may sound strange but another way to decide on your wardrobe colour pallet is to consider your home décor.

If you are planning to print large scale family photos or canvases for your walls you may want to consider which colours are going to work well with the existing colour scheme and décor of your home.

Would you like a pop of colour on your walls, or something a little more subtle?

If you need more help you can jump onto Pinterest and search for 'family photos colour pallet' and it will flood you with inspiration!

Of course, if you are unsure about all this colour pallet talk you cannot go wrong sticking with neutral colours. Creams, tans, greys and even navy are classic neutrals that look great and never go out of style.

Add some texture!

Varying the texture of your clothing can look great in photos and can add a really interesting visual element, particularly if you have decided to stick with classic solid colours for your wardrobe. Textured fabrics such as lace, tule, denim, linen and knits add visual interest as do accessories like scarves and necklaces. Layering solid colours over one another can also look great, think cardigans and tailored jackets.

My top tip!

To make sure your final wardrobe choices coordinate, lay all the outfits out on your bed and look at them all together. Your eye should travel around what you have laid out without being heavily pulled in one direction towards one outfit. It’s easy to make tweaks and changes to balance things out when you can see everything all at once like this. It also means you don’t need to hassle family members to keep trying on different outfits!

Not all clothing photographs well…

To create a beautiful, classic end product that you will love for years, there are a few things I recommend you avoid wearing.

Some items of clothing create visual distractions in the final images, drawing attention to one person instead of the image as whole.

There are also some clothing choices that just aren’t practical for moving around easily and posing comfortably for photos.

For these reasons please avoid wearing:

  • T shirts with large logos and pictures on them

  • Loud, fluorescent colours, particularly bright red and neon pink tops, these can often cause unflattering colour casts on skin

  • Licensed prints on children's clothes and shoes

  • Short dresses – test your dress or skirt first by making sure you can sit on the ground comfortably.

  • Any outfit that shows bra straps or underpants

  • Loose baggy clothing, fitted options are far more flattering in photos

When you book a session with me I'm more than happy to discuss wardrobe decisions with you. I have even had clients text me a photo of all their clothes spread out on the bed to help them make final decisions.

Just a little thought and planning around coordinating your wardrobe choices can really help elevate your final photos to something pretty special and you will have beautiful timeless images that you will love to look at for years to come.