Figuring out what to wear to your family photo shoot is not easy, and I know it can be stressful, so here are some tips from a local Portland family photographer (that's me!) for selecting the right outfits.
First, you need to decide what kind of feel you are going for. If you are wanting light and airy, choose clothing that is neutral and light toned. Colors that would look great for this are cream, white, beige, gray, muted pinks, coral, rose, and light blues. If you are looking for a more dark and moody look, choose some moodier colors, but mix in some lighter colors with it to keep it from looking TOO dark. Another idea would be to choose a couple pops of color, but keep the rest neutral. (Photo examples at the end of this page.)
When you are deciding on your clothing, you want to coordinate, but not match. So I wouldn’t recommend just saying “We’re doing blue,” and then going out and getting tons of the same colored shirts for everyone. Get a textured shirt in light blue, a gray shirt for another, a floral dress with gray, cream, pink and blue for another person, a pink lace dress for another, etc. See where I am going with this? The goal is to coordinate, but not match. Change up textures and prints.
AVOID! Stay away from thin, close together stripes (it has an odd effect in photographs), small plaid prints (also looks weird in photos), large logos, cartoon characters, or words on your clothing, as it detracts from the main subject of the photo: you. Stay away from too many super dark colors, as it makes photos look dull (especially black, avoid black as a base color of an article of clothing). Also avoid neon colors, they make color casts onto skin and it’s not pretty.
Choose well-fitting clothing and something that you feel confident in. Stick to a certain style for everyone. If one person is going to wear casual, beachy clothing, everyone needs to. I would suggest starting with mom’s clothing first, then build the kid’s outfits off of that, and then find something for dad that coordinates last.
Don’t forget to coordinate shoes! This is usually the thing most people forget about, and it really makes a difference. Stay away from athletic shoes. Wear shoes that go with the style you are wearing.
CLIENT CLOSET! I have a client closet full of beautiful dresses, rompers, etc for clients to borrow during their session. Please check it out and let me know if you need additional sizing info or if you want to set up a time to try something on.
I know that was a lot of info to throw at you, but if you need ideas, please check out my Pinterest Board for inspiration (I pin things pretty often, so the most recent pins are most likely available to purchase if you want. I try to pin a variety of price ranges, too).
Quick note on hair. Keep it loose and flowy, rather than tight and pulled back. I’d rather your child showed up in 2 day old braids than tight french braids. Messy hair is more inspiring and fun to photograph than perfect hair! But really, if it looks good in wavy curls, then do it because that’s going to photograph the best. And if it’s windy, it will look amazing!
Where to shop:
If I don’t have something you’d like to borrow in my client closet, here is a list of some of my favorite clothing shops:
Babies & kids:
http://www.joyfolie.com – $$-$$$
Men and Women:
http://us.asos.com/ – $$-$$$$