Have you ever had your family’s portrait taken? If so, then you’ve probably felt the frustration of trying to coordinate outfits for you, your spouse, a couple of kids, and perhaps even the dog. Not only that, but you may have to choose certain colors depending on the background or if the pictures will be used for holiday cards. My head is spinning!! The easy way is to dress everyone in jeans and white shirts (or something similar), and that’s great! But if you don’t want everyone to be matchy-matchy, then things can get complicated. Sometimes you can find what you need in your closets, but sometimes you’ll need to go shopping or borrow from friends. Either way, here are some tips to help you decide what to wear.
2. Coordinate with your home colors: Will a picture be displayed in your home? Will it clash with your curtains or couch? This may be the last thing on your mind when choosing outfits, but it definitely should be considered.
3. Avoid a lot of patterns: You definitely don’t want everyone wearing different patterns. That doesn’t mean that everyone has to wear solids, though. Maybe you love a certain dress with a fun pattern, and you pick colors from that to dress the other members of the family in. Just don’t confuse the eye with contrasting patterns.
4. Consider the background: If your pictures will be taken in the studio, you’ll have a choice and there will surely be something that will go with your outfits. If you’re taking outdoor photos in the fall, for instance, your outfits had better look good with orange! If it’s winter, you’ll want to stand out against the plain white background.
5. Add layers and texture: Scarves, ruffles, sweaters, etc… all add dimension to an otherwise flat-looking image.
6. Consider a theme:
Does your family love sports? Live on a farm? Spend a lot of time at the beach? There are many ways to choose outfits that express your family’s style and make your portrait original!
7. Relax (this one isn’t about the clothes): Most importantly, don’t stress your family out on picture day. You want the pictures to be perfect, and you want your children to cooperate, and that can lead to nervous kids and forced smiles, and sometimes even tears and breakdowns. Just make sure the kids are well rested and fed before they come for pictures. Maybe offer some reward for after the photo session, but that’s up to you. I don’t mind excited kids and goofiness. Sometimes I’ll let the kids choose a silly pose or face in return for a nice smile, and they love that! I want it to be a fun experience, and ultimately that will result in the perfect family picture that you want.