If you’ve been thinking about scheduling a family portrait session, odds are you quickly realized how difficult selecting clothes can be! Just figuring out how to dress one person can be stressful, let alone your whole family. Many professional photographers will help walk you through potential clothing options that might be best for you and your family. If however, your selected photographer does not provide this additional service or you’re still just stressing out about it a little – this article will give you some helpful pointers on how to best dress for your family photo session.
Let’s start with a very simple question… What colors and style is room, particularly any rooms you plan on putting your portraits in? This may seem like a silly question, but consider this. If you’re planning on hanging a large family portrait over the couch in your living room and your family dresses in shades of grey and black, but your living room is filled with warm browns and yellows and greens, your family portrait is not going to match the decor of your home. So always start by considering the colors of your home first. Some people have neutral shades in their home – all browns and creams and whites. In this way you can add pops of color through your clothes in your portraits. Other people love cool colors like blues and purples. So use the way you decorate and the colors in your space to help you make the right selections for you.
The next thing I always tell my clients is dress normally. If you aren’t a family that dresses up regularly, I don’t recommend going to a photo session wearing formal dresses and suits. Your kids aren’t going to be comfortable and neither are you. Odds are you’ll actually be worrying the whole time about whether or not your kids are ruining their clothes and whether or not they look perfect. So save yourself the headache and dress like yourselves. Another benefit to dressing naturally is that you are more likely to enjoy your portraits longer because they are true reflections of your family.
Be certain not to dress too match-y also. Long gone are the days when families take their photos in matching polos and khakis. It goes back to being yourself! Do you dress in matching attire on a regular basis? I’m going to guess that you do not. How silly would that be? Wearing similar shades of blue or dressing everyone in warm colors or intermixing complementary colors are all ways you can make sure you family matches without being overly match-y. Also combining t-shirts, dresses, blouses, etc in different styles can help mix things up.
It may seem like common sense, but be sure to select clothes that are flattering for you too. Avoiding ill-fitted clothes can help make you and your loved ones look clean, slim, and put together. Wearing darker colors where your body may feel larger, can also act as a slimming benefit for those of us who have a little more meat on our bones. Bold and busy patterns are also better avoided as they can be distracting and pull attention from you and your family’s
faces. Don’t be afraid to layer and accessorize! Scarves, sweaters, jackets, and jewelry can all act as interesting elements and pops of color in your portraits.
Lastly, when you arrive at your session – show up happy and ready to go. Once the photographer is taking pictures, the last thing they want you to worry about is how you look. Let your photographer take control of that! Your job is to relax, have fun, and be yourself!
I hope you found this little peek into how to best dress for your family portrait session helpful! Just remember to be yourselves and dress how you normally dress. Avoid being too match-y and dress to flatter yourselves. Really just trust yourself and be you! You’ll have far more fun and be far more happy if you relax and just go with the flow. And you’ll have family portraits that will reflect how beautiful and perfect your family truly is!