I’m going to try to start blogging more because I am so often asked the same questions over and over, and although I don’t mind answering them, I thought addressing each subject in a blog might be easier for people to reference before getting their pictures taken. This brings me to the subject of this blog; dressing for a family photo shoot. This is probably one of the most stressful things for my clients, and I promise you, it doesn’t need to be. The following tips will hopefully help you relax and stop stressing about photo attire so you can actually let loose and ENJOY the process of getting your photos taken! FUN should always be your main objective for your shoot because it will show in the pictures you will cherish forever. So here we go….
1. Just say “NO” to matchy-matchy! There was a time that dressing the entire family in white shirts and jeans or khakis was the “in” thing. I know because my family has those pictures, so I am not judging, trust me! I am just stating that that time has passed, and photos where the family all wears the same color can look boring.
2. Instead of matching exactly, you want to choose a color palette. While I don’t advise everyone wearing white, blue, pink, etc.. I also don’t suggest one person wear bright orange while another wears pale pink; that just doesn’t go together at all, right? So, instead choose a palette to stick to, and choose shades from said palette. Fall colors, pastels, jewel tones, etc. You want to COMPLIMENT each other, not match. This can be super simple because I’ll bet you already have complimentary clothing hanging in your closet, so this tip saves you the extra expense of a shopping trip just for pictures.
3. Choose a “POP” color and try to weave it in with the rest of your pallet. You want this to be a striking color that compliments what everyone is wearing and you just want to add it in here and there in the form of accessories or single pieces of clothing. This can be done with a pair of shoes, jewelry, a boy’s tie, leggings, etc. Be creative!
4. Be comfortable! I can’t stress this enough! If you are uncomfortable in something because it doesn’t fit correctly, IT WILL SHOW in pictures! It will show in your face and posture that you aren’t relaxed, and it doesn’t look good. When choosing an outfit for pics, put it on and do three things to see if you’re truly comfortable in it. First, sit down. Sit down as you may be asked to do in pictures and ask yourself, “Am I comfortable and does this still look good?” Can you breathe? Has the outfit created an unflattering roll or does it "pull" in certain places? If so, you may want to choose something else. Second, stand up and look at yourself in the mirror WITHOUT adjusting the clothing. Does it still look okay? The reason I ask this is because photoshoots can go quickly and you may not always remember to pull up that waist band or re-tuck that shirt. If you stood up and noticed your clothing needed major adjustments, choose something else. You’ll thank me later. ;) Third, get a 360 degree view of yourself. Yep, sometimes a photograph will show the side of you, and yes, the back of you. Does your outfit look nice from every side? If not, it may need tweaking.
5. Ladies, heels are your friend! Flats are comfy for everyday wear, but for pictures, you may want to step it up to some kick-butt heels. They can elongate the leg, they improve posture immensely, they make most women feel sexier and more confident, and they can be just the ticket for adding that pop of color we discussed earlier. They don’t have to be fancy stilettos; a cute wedge works just as nicely and will match jeans, a summer dress, etc. I don’t wear heels often, but I try to wear them for pics because I know how great they look. See my teal wedges in this pic? They add that pop of color I was talking about and they make me look and feel more confident, not to mention that they keep my jeans from dragging the ground! ;)
6. Don’t forget your accessories. Jewelry, hats, scarves, ties, gloves…they all add so much to your look. Don’t forget about them! Again, be creative!
7. Dress the hardest person first. In many families, that person is mom. She decides what is hung on the living room wall, so if she doesn’t like how she looks, she won’t like the picture. Start with the most challenging person first, and coordinate everyone else’s outfit to match.
8. Think of your background and be sure to coordinate your outfit to match the surroundings. Will your outfit “go” with the country field or barn scene you’ve chosen? Is your outfit urban enough for a city photoshoot? You may have an awesome black dress, but would it look right in a field of daisies?? Probably not as great as natural colors would, right? Keep those things in mind.
9. Be careful with patterns. They’re okay to wear, but not if everyone has on a different pattern. In that case, they might clash even if they are in the same color family.
10. Try to stay away from neon and white. There are exceptions to every rule, but normally, these colors don’t photograph well. I would avoid them unless you are sure they will look nice in a picture. White is very reflective and can sometimes appear too bright in a photo. Go instead for off white or ivory, or wear white with layers that have color. Neon is just a real brat to photograph and the colors tend to reflect onto your face, often giving your chin the “glow” of whatever color the shirt is. Not very flattering.
So there are your 10 tips for better family photos! Hope this has helped ease the stress you may be feeling over family pics and given you some inspiration for ways to rock this year’s family photoshoot! Feel free to comment or ask questions! I look forward to seeing what you all have chosen for family pictures this year!