If you have decided it is about time to get those family portraits updated, you may have wondered "What in the world are we all going to wear?" And really, that is a great starting point, because wardrobe is such a big part of a photo session! But I've got a few tips for ya so maybe you can feel a bit better as you go through closets and start putting together your outfits. :)
1. Start With A Color Scheme
Gone are the days of everyone wearing the exact same thing (black shirts and jeans, white shirts and khakis, anyone?) Though I'm sure those outfits were a lot easier to put together, it isn't exactly what I recommend now. Instead, I suggest choosing a color scheme to work with, and pulling together outfits around that theme. This could be more specific and monotone, such as everyone wearing a neutral and a shade of blue, or you can go a little more general and have everyone wear fall colors or pastels. You can also pick complementary colors, such as this aqua and coral combination.
2. But... How Do I Decide On a Color Scheme?
When deciding on a color scheme for your session, look around your home. What colors would look best when they are up on your walls? What colors do you often decorate with? If everything in your home is neutral and shabby chic, I would stay closer to the same look in your clothing, instead of putting everyone in a pop of color. But if bright colors make your heart sing, then maybe that is the direction you should go (though I personally would choose a neutral to go with the bright colors, so the clothing isn't too distracting!)
3. Textures > Patterns
I am not a photographer who bans all patterns, but I do suggest breaking up busy patterns with lots of solids. Maybe keep patterns limited to undershirts or scarves, or have one or two people with a pattern and keep the rest of you in solids. I do suggest, however, textures and layers! In the fall, this could mean vests and knit cardigans, but in the summer, of course, we may want to keep it a little more simple due to the heat. :) Bringing necklaces and bracelets for the ladies, though, is a great way to incorporate more visual interest without adding more heavy layers. Hats are always a fun option as well!
4. Dress For The Season
This may seem silly, but it is worth mentioning-- Make sure your family is dressed for the season you are in! If it is a cool, winter month, it looks great and it will help your family be more comfortable to add on a scarf or vest, and don't forget some leggings with those dresses. If your session is in the summer, lighter tones and pastel colors may look a little better with the colorful scenery versus dark tones that bring to mind cool times of year (and lighter tones will keep you cooler, too!)
5. Finally, Make Sure It Fits
Lastly, before your session (like, days before, not the morning of!) have everyone try on their outfits and shoes and make sure it all still fits. Little ones grow quickly, and sometimes not as quickly as we think they will, so it is better to be prepared in advance if you need to grab a different pair of shoes before your session or hem up some pants.
I hope this helps you the next time you're preparing for your family's portrait session!