What to Wear Part 1 : Family Session
You’ve booked your session and you’re excited that you’re finally going to have great portraits of your family adorning your home, when suddenly you get a sinking feeling in your stomach. What are you going to wear?
This is definitely the question I get asked about most often. Today I’ll go through some general tips about what to wear for your family portrait session. Watch for upcoming blog posts about what to wear for maternity sessions and newborn sessions.
Remember, colour is a good thing! When most people look at my photographs, the first thing they comment on is how colourful they are. While I do bring in lots of colour from wherever we’re doing you session, the more colour your wear the more fun and vibrant your images tend to be.
Patterns are also a good thing – especially on kids. Personally I think there is nothing cuter than plaid shorts on little boys or polka dots on little girls.
So colour and patterns are good but how does that help me? I suggest you start with a colourful patterned piece of clothing you love for your children and pull colours out of that when you’re coming up with the outfits for the grownups.
Try to think of everyone’s outfits combined as one big outfit. If you put all the pieces of clothing that all the members of your family will be wearing during our photo session in a big pile on your bed, you want the pile to be colourful and have some variety but still look fairly pleasing all together.
Here is an example from the JCrew Crewcuts May catalogue. While there’s no pattern, there is lots of colour without everyone being too matchy matchy.
And if you happen to be browsing through the May 2009 Crewcuts catalogue online, check out the adorable tutus for girls on pages 8 and 9. I would love to a session with two girls in those tutus!
I’m not a big one for rules but there are a few you need to think about….
- Avoid words or big logos on clothing. Your eye will immediately jump to them.
- Avoid obvious trends. These images are going to be on your wall for a long time to come so you don’t want to look at them a year from now and say “what was I thinking”.
- Dads – do not wear white socks with darker pants and darker shoes. I know, this one goes without saying everyday but seriously, check the socks before you leave the house.
- Another for dads – take off the wristwatch. Unless your watch was specifically put on to be part of your outfit, take it off for the two hours we’ll be together. Your eye will immediately go to the big black thing on your wrist when you’re looking at your images.
- This one is going to be a bit controversial but here goes… you wouldn’t all dress in the same thing when you’re heading to the mall on the weekend so why would you do it when you’re having your family portraits done? Your family is so much more fun and interesting than every family member in white shirts and jeans!
If you can’t decide between something funky and something a little more traditional, bring a change of clothes in the car. We can take a little break halfway through your session and you can all change in the car.
I do a planning session with all my clients before their actual photo session. Use this opportunity to pull some outfits out of your closets. I’m happy to looking through them and tell you what will look great and what you might want to add.
My final advice… be yourselves. Wear what you’re comfortable in – but
jazzed up a bit. If the thought of colour in your closet makes you
cringe, add a colourful necklace or scarf.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I’ll make sure and answer them in a future post.