Family photo season is upon us again! I thought that I would get ahead of the game this year and answer your questions ahead of time.
What should we wear for our family photos? What photographs best?
Well I am so happy you asked, what you choose to wear for your family photos really does matter. If you are going to invest your money in family photos then spending a bit of extra time carefully selecting your outfits and perhaps even purchasing a few new items, will really make your investment that much more beautiful.
Let's start with what doesn't look good.
- Everyone wearing the exact same outfit i.e. jeans and a white t shirt, or khaki's and a white t shirt, or jeans and a black t shirt. Your family doesn't wear the same outfit every day at home, there is no need for you to do that for your family photo.
- Neon anything is always a no no, it doesn't photograph well and is hard to match.
- Clothing that doesn't fit well. Clothing that is too tight is not flattering and clothing that is too loose and baggy isn't flattering either.
- Clothes that are worn out, faded, dirty or have holes.
- Just say no to character t- shirts for the kids or t shirts with writing on them, these are distracting and take away from your beautiful faces
- Burnt skin - please make sure to wear sunscreen in the days coming up to your photography session, no one wants to look like a lobster in their photos.
Things to consider
- Picking a colour scheme. I usually recommend that people try to coordinate, and not match exactly. I like to choose two coordinating colours and then add in one to two neutrals depending on family size. Each family member should have two of these colours in their outfit whether its a scarf, a colour in a patterned dress/skirt or shirt and pants.
- What is your home decor like? Are you neutral and classic or are you filled with sprit and love warm, bright colours? Both can work if done the right way!
- What is the location like? A colourful, spirit - filled wardrobe is fabulous for a colourful city shoot this is a place where your amazing cobalt blue dress, or your kelly green jacket are going to look their best. Doing your photos in nature? Colours that actually exist in nature look best. For the fall think cream, browns, navy, maroon, dark muted reds, mustard yellow, olive green, burnt orange.
- Layers and Accessories: Accessories really help pull things together for a coordinated look, scarves, jewellery, tall boots, hats (not ball hats, but stylish ones), cute shoes, blazers, jackets, and vests. While we are on the subject of accessories, giant flowers the size of a babies head take away from the cute baby, they don't distract from the fact that your baby doesn't have hair yet, it actually draws attention to it.
- Limit patterns. Patterns are great in a small dose, a flowered dress is amazing, but a flowered dress and plaid don't exactly mix well together. Try to limit to one pattern, or for larger groups two similar patterns i.e. two similar but not exactly the same plaids or two florals.
- Textures: Textures go along with layers, leather boots, cute fur vests for little girls, flannel plaid on a man or boy, having varying textures adds dimension and a natural feel to your images.
- Footwear matters! Timeless looking footwear looks best, save the sneakers for working out, save the crocs for gardening and bumming around, save the light up shoes for school. Family photos are the time to break out your nice shoes, think solid coloured shoes.
- Think classic and timeless. We want you to enjoy these photos for years to come.
- Think "Sunday Best" - I know the notion of Sunday Best has gone a bit out the window, people don't attend church as often and churches have become much more relaxed with what is acceptable to wear. However, it is okay to dress a bit nicer than you normally would for your family photos.
- Stores that carry collections. There are a lot of stores that carry lines for mom, dad and the kids, if you are considering buying a few new pieces, sometimes sticking to one of these stores can help you coordinate items! Sales people love it when you actually let them help you, so let them! Stores that are great for this are The Gap, Old Navy, H&M (excellent spot for family photo clothes), ZARA, and Joe Fresh at Loblaws grocery stores. Your clothing doesn't need to be expensive. If you are planning on doing your photos in the fall, then saving one of your kids back to school outfits to use for family photos and planning for it to be one that matches the whole family is a great way to justify the purchase!
Last Minute Prep
- Plan your outfits ahead of time, this will give you lots of time to make sure everyone is coordinated, also this will ensure that what you want to wear is clean for the shoot, nothing worse than realizing the outfit you had planned to wear is in the dirty laundry bin.
- Make sure kids have had a good night's sleep and a nap if needed before hand, also as photo time is usually in the evening, ensure they have been fed before. Tired and hungry kids don't always love having their photos taken.
- Make sure that kids have clean faces and combed hair, avoid messy snacks in the photo outfits before hand.
- Remove any cell phones and keys from pockets before the shoot, bulges in pockets look awkward in photos.
- Do you keep an extra elastic around your wrist? Does your daughter? Make sure you remove these things before the shoot.
If you need more inspiration I have created an amazing Pinterest board that may inspire you! Follow me on Pinterest @ www.pinterest.com/amytaylorphotog