Jenn McKinney Photography
Family Photographer Serving Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Apex, Cary, Raleigh, and Surrounding Areas
You have found your photographer - scheduled your family session. NOW WHAT DO WE WEAR? That is the most asked question I get from my clients. If you still need help picking the best
family photographer for your family, you can find helpful tips here Tips for Choosing a Family Photographer .
Here are 10 tips that can help guide you in picking out your family's outfits.
1. PLAN AHEAD
Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to be able to pick out the best outfits for your family. You might be able to find some of your outfits in your closet, or you might need to go shopping. Either way give yourself several weeks to plan out your family's outfits. You might have to order an outfit and you want to make sure that you have allowed yourself enough time for it to arrive before your family session. What if you order something and it arrives and the order is wrong or doesn't fit properly. Give yourself some breathing room incase of mishaps. Have everyone in your family try on the outfits to make sure everything still fits. Be sure to try on your outfits in a well lit room and that nothing is see-through. Make sure there is coverage where there should be coverage. Make sure everyone can sit down comfortably and that the clothing isn't too tight. If there is one person in your family who is the hardest to find an outfit for - start with them and go from there. Or if there is a particular dress that mom wants to wear, plan the other outfits around her dress.
2. COLOR SCHEME
We have all seen those pictures of the family wearing all white in a family portrait. Here is my take on that - Yes I'm sure it was a beautiful picture and everyone looked beautiful. But to me the family portraits were everyone is matching makes everyone blend too much. Each person in the family is unique and should stand out not blend in with the person beside them. Your family's outfits should coordinate but not be matchy matchy. You should pick coordinating colors so that everyone flows nicely together. Pick out 2-3 colors and go from there, add in some neutral colors and one main color pop. Not everyone should wear the pop of color, but enough so that everything flows nicely together. This might sound really difficult but I'm going to walk you through some steps to help you decide on what to wear.
Think about your house decor colors. Most likely you are going to want to print out your family portraits or even have some wall art make to hang in the living room. You want to make sure that your outfits will not clash with your decor. For example say you have red accents in your living room and you pick out yellow as your pop of color for your outfits. In my opinion the only time yellow and red go together is on hamburger with mustard and ketchup, those would not be colors I would pick to decorate with. Are you planning on redecorating your decor anytime soon? Take that into consideration also when picking out your outfits.
What color makes your family's eyes pop. Is there a certain color that when you wear it you get a lot of compliments? If so try to stay with colors that compliment that color.
What season are you having your pictures taken in? This is important because you want to be comfortable during your session, not too cold or too hot. You also want to make sure that everyone in your family is wearing outfits for that certain season. It will look strange if everyone in your family is wearing fall outfits including boots and Mom is wearing a spring dress. Just because the colors coordinate doesn't mean that is the dress that should be worn. During Fall/Winter a scarf, sweater, vest etc can be added to your outfit. In the Spring/Summer beautiful flowy dresses can be worn by the ladies.
Think about the location that you will be having your pictures taken at. You do not want to wear a lot of white especially if your pictures will be taken in front of a lot of white buildings. You will blend into your surroundings. You want to have a nice contrast with your background. Another example is not wearing a lot of green if your background will be a lot of green trees. If you are planning on having your pictures taken in front of brick walls that are red/orange tones wearing aqua might not be the best choice. You also do not want to clash with your background.
6. CURRENT TREADS
Pick more solid colors and simple patterns not the latest trend and stay away from graphics on clothing. This type of clothing will have a more time-less appeal in your pictures. Just because there is a trendy loud shirt that you like today doesn't mean that you will love it 3-4 years down the road. You are more likely to enjoy your portraits for a life-time if the clothing is time-less. As an example growing up in the 80s "jams" were trending so of course I had several of them that my mom had made me and I loved them. But looking back now at those pictures all I can think is why did I wear that? My eyes tend to focus more on those shorts than my face because they are distracting in the pictures. You want the focus of the pictures to be you and not what you are wearing.
Do not forget to plan and coordinate shoes for your family. Make sure your shoes fit the season that you will be having your picture taken in. Make sure the shoes still fit, especially for children whose feet grow so quickly. Consider if your pictures will be on the beach or somewhere fun like that to go barefoot. That makes the shoe choice easy.
Do not forget to plan accessories especially for the ladies. Earrings, necklace, bracelets and hair clips etc. Adding in a pop of color with these accessories can also be helpful.
9. TAKE A PICTURE
Once you have an idea of what you think you want your family to wear, lay everything out including accessories and shoes and take a picture. This will give you a general idea of how everything looks together. If there is something that you don't like, change it out and take another picture until you are satisfied with out it looks.
10. PICK A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO WILL ASSIST YOU
I Highly recommend a photographer who will help you in picking out your outfits. They should be able to make sure that everyone coordinates together and that you will not blend or clash in with your background.