This is the one question I get asked all the time when someone books a family photography session, and I completely understand why. You have booked your time, date and location and are looking forward to having some beautiful family photographs that you can hang on your wall but that one big question remains 'What do we wear?'
Choosing what to wear can sometimes seem quite daunting. How formal should we be? Should we all match? which colours should we wear? In this blog I will give you some pointers on how to look your best and create a cohesive look.
Dress for the location
When choosing your outfits for a family photoshoot, consider your surroundings and time of year, then think to yourself 'what kind of clothes would I normally wear there?'
From there just make your outfits a little smarter.
For example if you are having an autumn photo shoot in the park and you are all wearing your Sunday best and mum is wearing her heels, she may look a bit out of place. You would probably look more natural in some smart/casual clothes with a pair of cozy boots or wellies!
Similarly, as you put your family’s outfits together make sure that everyone in your family is dressed for the same weather and occasion.
For example if everyone is wearing short sleeved tops with shorts or skirts, but one person is wearing a thick cardigan or coat the person in the cardigan or coat will look out of place. Similarly, if one person is in shorts and a t-shirt whilst everyone else is wearing formal dresses and trousers the person in shorts will look out of place. Making sure that you’re all dressed for the same weather and occasion will make sure you look cohesive as a group.
Should we match?
Current trends have left behind the group photo where everyone was wearing the exact same thing (i.e. blue jeans and a white shirt) and has changed to more of a coordinated approach. This means that you may have a few colours in your colour scheme and the group chooses their clothing based on those colours. This method allows for more creativity and individuality. For a family photo, mum or dad may want to choose what they are wearing first and ask the rest of the group to coordinate around those colours.
As you choose your colour scheme, take some time to consider the colours that will surround you in your chosen location, as these will also influence the colours that will work best for your shoot.
For example, during the spring and summer nature provides a softer colour palette – think spring flowers, or long grasses in the summer while during the autumn and winter brown, gold, and orange are more dominant colours.
With this in mind, soft neutral colours tend to work well during the spring and summer, whilst deep, bold colours can work well during the autumn and winter.
Layering and using different textures can add a lot of dimension and interest to your photos. Think gilets, cardigans and jackets which can be particularly useful during early spring or the autumn, when the weather’s cooler. If you don’t want everyone to wear their coats, layers can keep you all warm instead.
Accessories can also work well too, if they are what you would normally wear in that location, for example; hats, scarves, jewellery and hair bands can add depth and texture to your photographs.
There are some things to avoid though, very bright or fluorescent colours can cause colour casts – in other words, they reflect the colour of the clothes onto your skin. Tight recurring patterns don't always look great in photographs and big brand names and logos on clothing can also date an image really quickly.
The most important thing is to wear clothes that you feel confident and comfortable in. Especially, make sure your kids are comfortable and happy with what they are wearing. Happy, comfortable kids make sessions go a lot smoother and result in better family photos.
For more information or to book a family photography session please get in touch.