Family Portraits,  Portraits

What to Wear? Family Portraits

As we’re right in the middle of family portrait season we wanted to share our what to wear tips with everyone. A quality family portrait is an investment you are making in both time and money so you want to make sure everyone looks their best – our goal is for you to be able to proudly display the portrait for years to come, and pass it down through the generations. What you wear has a big effect on how you will feel about the final images so it’s important to give some thought to this before your session.

The first thing to ask yourself is what your family’s style is. Are you formal or casual? Sporty or serious? Keeping that in mind while deciding what to wear will narrow down your options right off the bat. If you are going for a casual look, remember to keep it a dressier casual than what you’d hang out in at home on the weekends. Avoid shirts with logos and clothes with excessively bright or busy patterns.  You don’t want the clothes to overwhelm or draw attention away from your face! Generally, we believe guys photograph better in collared shirts. We’re trying to make a photograph that you will still love and display ten years from now – so think timeless, not trendy!

Outdoor Family Portrait El Sobrante
In this case matching colors work well, tying the entire look together!
A range of reds, blues, and whites brings a lot of punch to this studio portrait.

Once you have determined your family’s personal style you can choose your color palette. This does not necessarily mean that everyone should be wearing the exact same shirt or color, but rather, that everyone stays in the same range of either one color or a few different complimentary colors. If you are having problems determining which colors look best together, websites such as Design Seeds are a great resource for helping to choose a color palette for your shoot.

Outdoor family portrait jeans and white shirts
Another example where matching colors works quite well.
A variety of blue tones brings the look together

So – you’ve chosen your family’s personal style and color palette, now it’s time to hit your closets and start choosing your outfits! Ideally this should be done 1-2 weeks before your session, so you will have plenty of time to go shopping if what you want to wear is not all ready in your closet. Remember to think about how the clothes fit when making your selections. Fit is very important! For children this means wearing something that fits them perfectly right now. This is not the time for them to wear anything they are “growing into”. We don’t want the photos to look sloppy so nothing over sized or too baggy. You’ll want to be wearing something you feel confident in as that feeling really shines through in the final images.

Lastly – and possibly most important – be rested and relaxed when you come to the shoot. Pictures look best when you’re having fun, so leave the details to us and be ready to have a good time!

Hopefully this has made it a little easier to decide what to wear for your family photos. If you would like, you can also bring a few options along to your appointment and we’ll be happy to give you our opinion. Whether your portrait will be hanging above your mantle, or gracing the front of this year’s holiday card, the time you put into your what to wear planning will really pay off.  Now: let’s get shooting!

family portrait in Berkeley Tilden Park

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