You've Booked Your Session! Now What?
It's typically the first thing I hear from my clients after booking a session: "What should we wear?" I can usually hear the stress in their voice and their wallets opening as they head out to buy a new wardrobe for the whole family. The pressure is real. You are making a big investment into the preservation of your family's history and you don't want to ruin it with outfits that will be quickly dated or not photograph well. Take a deep breath and follow these simple guidelines when picking the wardrobe for your next photography session.
1. COORDINATE, DON'T MATCH:
Long gone are the days of everyone wearing white shirts and blue jeans and welcomed is the era of coordinating colors. I know for large family photos you might think it will be easiest to coordinate by just having everyone in the same outfit, but selecting a color pallet will create depth to your portraits while keeping things consistent and allowing each member of your family express their individuality. There are many different color coordinating options, but below I have provided a starting point of some combinations I love!
2. CONSIDER LOCATION
It is important to take into consideration the location that you plan to display these images as well as the location you will be taking the photos. Are you going to be printing and hanging the final images in your home? Then take your home decor into consideration when deciding what to wear so the final images can blend seamlessly with your style and make for a permanent piece of art to hang in your home.
Keep in mind where you will be taking the photos when selecting a wardrobe. Will you be surrounded by greenery? Then it might not be a great idea to put little Timmy in a green polo or he will turn out as a floating head haunting your family photos.
3. LIMIT PATTERNS AND JUST SAY "NO" TO CHARACTERS
One or two simple, clean patterns can add to the overall image, but it is important to remember that the focus of the photo is YOU! I want people gazing at my children's beautiful faces; not the disco ball I am wearing for a shirt. I like to add patterns with accessories like scarves. When deciding how to add patterns to your family wardrobe just keep it minimal and non distracting.
I don't feel like I have to elaborate too much on "NO CHARACTERS". Overall they don't photograph well and bring attention to any wrinkle or bend in the shirt. While batman might be the coolest super hero of all time, he has no place in your family photo.
I am a big fan of a simple fitted cotton shirt, but on its own it can fall a little flat in a photo. Adding accessories like scarves, belts, and jewelry can add interesting textures that take your image to the next level. The best thing about accessories is they are typically small and easily interchangable so bring a few different options and have fun playing around with different looks!
5. COMFORT MATTERS
This is especially true when working with children! Sweet Sally Sue isn't going to be her fun and playful self if she is itchy and uncomfortable. I love accessorizing children with bow ties, hats and scarves and I have found over time that it works best to pack a small bag with the accessories and just put them on right before the photo is taken.
REMEMBER: Family photos are suppose to be fun! Follow these simple steps to give your images a timeless look that will forever have a place of honor in your home. When in doubt, ASK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER... that's what I'm here for!