One of the most common questions I get about family portrait sessions is What do we wear? Many people haven’t had photos taken since their wedding day, and the thought of getting in front of the camera can be overwhelming. And if you're trying to plan for the whole family it can feel like even more of a challenge!
On the other hand, the day of your family portraits can also be one of the most fun days of your life! A professional portrait session is an opportunity to feel like a model, show off your family's personality and showcase your unique style in a series of images that you can enjoy and display for years to come. The resulting artwork will show the world who you are!
What you choose to wear for your session is entirely up to you, but here are a few tips for selecting your outfits and accessories!
Style your pickiest family member FIRST.
This will always be my top tip for families. We all know that there is one person in the family who is harder to style. Whether it's a child with sensory issues who doesn't like anything itchy, a teen who wants to look more grown up or a parent who is self conscious about a body part (yes, in my family that's me!) - that person should be worked around. Obviously everyone should be comfortable and happy with their clothing but let's let the most difficult person pick their outfit first and build around them. Mom wants her little black dress? Great, you can glam everyone up. Toddler needs a soft cotton dress instead of a sparkly gown? Consider a more casual family theme. Get the idea?
Your family portrait session is all about showing off your personalities. Bring clothes that you love, outfits that capture who you are. And don’t be afraid to go all out! Go for glam with a stunning formal dress or display your unique style with a fitted jumpsuit. Need help with this? Remember, our studio has an extensive client closet that includes gowns and dress clothing for the kids and even some gowns for mom! Just ask!
Don't want the images to be fancy? No problem, expressing yourself doesn't have to be formal. You can choose a variety of outfits to capture all the facets of your personality. Bring something comfy and casual, something classic, something bright - whatever works for your family. Remember: this day and this session is all about you, so come ready to strut your stuff!
Keep it simple, but mix it up.
For your portraits, avoid patterns as they may detract from your face, which is where all the focus should be! A little bit of pattern might be cute but in general, solids are best. You might want to bring a variety of colors, depending on the season. I love rich, deep colors for the fall and winter and softer pastels for spring and summer but it really is about what looks best on you.
As far as colors go, I suggest two or three base colors - different shades of blue, deep burgundy with army green, rich reds with grey and black - and then add a color pop with a scarf, jewelry or some other fun accessories.
Different textures will add visual interest as well, whether that’s a top with a bit of lace, a knit sweater, or a blouse with sparkly details. And think about wearing layers so you can mix and match and create different looks.
Make sure your clothing fits. Everyone looks best in clothing that properly fits and hugs their figure. Not only does form-fitting clothing have a slimming effect, but it also shows your shape. If you wear something baggy or ill-fitting, you’ll look sloppy in your portraits. If you just lost weight - or just gained weight - now's a great time to treat yourself to a new outfit that fits well. And don't forget that this applies to the kids too! Make sure their clothes fit - now is not the time to buy a size up or try to squeeze into something too small.
Be bold and experiment.
Your portrait session is your chance to try something new, whether it’s glamorous high fashion, the latest trendy sweater or that classic jumpsuit you have been dying to try out. This is a great excuse to go shopping and find a beautiful outfit that you’ve only dreamed of wearing. How often do you have the chance to get all dressed up and get gorgeous photos as a result?
Don’t be afraid to accessorize.
Nothing says “glamour” like statement jewelry! Show off your style with golden bangles, dangling earrings, or a string of pearls. Choose pieces that are versatile and can work with multiple colors to increase your outfit options.
Think about your shoes.
Old sneakers, comfy crocs, your favorite broken in Uggs - what do these have in common? They might not be the best choice for your photo session! You don't need to invest in expensive shoes or wear something uncomfortable but clean is key. If you're wearing dress clothes, dressy shoes make sense unless you're making a statement with fun Converse or funky boots. After all of your hard work getting ready for your session, you don't want everyone zeroing in on your son's lime green crocs or your beat up boots. You want everyone's eyes to be on your beautiful smiles!
When you’re choosing your wardrobe for your family portrait session, think about the outfits you love, the ones that make you feel confident, comfortable and happy. If you need advice on where to shop, ask your photographer! See if they have a client closet, ask them about Pinterest boards and where to shop online and in person. Splurge if you need to and be ready to show off the style that makes you unique. Remember, these photos may be on your walls or in your family albums for decades! You won't regret picking up new outfits and getting everything just right!