This is a question I often get asked so I thought I would write a blog post offering some advice based on my own experience.
Everyone has their own style, and it is important that you wear something you are happy to wear. There’s nothing worse than uncomfy clothes, and children won’t hold back their feelings on being unhappy!
In my experience though, there are certain guides to bare in mind when selecting your family’s wardrobe for your shoot. So you can take these suggestions and put your own twist on it.
Colours that work well together
These can be neutrals i.e. whites, browns, greys or colours like blues, greens etc. A variation on different shades of colour works well with a mainly neutral base.
Cool colours like blue, grey and white work well together in the Studio. I wouldn’t advise you all to dress in the same colours (unless for a special occasion), generally it works much better if you select colours which are complimentary to each other. You just cannot go wrong with white t-shirts and blue jeans!
This depends on the season, so dress according to the season we are shooting in.
Spring and Summer – cool, muted shades of blue, pink, peach, white, grey. Think denim, cotton, lace.
For Autumn shoots I recommend mustard yellow, purples, reds and greens, as they make a pop against the foliage. Cable knit, hats, scarves, bright boots, wooly textures.
Winter can be any bold, bright solid colours. Textures such as wool, ‘old faithful’ denim, bright boots, scarves and wooly hats all work well. Checks and plaids also work well here.
Take a look at this graphic to see how the colours work well together.
Keep patterns to a minimum
Loud patterns don’t tend to photograph well and too many clashing patterns together makes for a busy mess!
Checks, plaids and the odd subtle pattern is great with neutrals, and don’t forget that textures like cable cardigans add interest.
Solid colours always photograph better.
Leave the logos at home
You may be a big football fan or absolutely love Nike, but our tastes change with age and you may decide you prefer rugby or Ralph Lauren in the future and cringe at your old likes. Incorporating logos, although I agree this is personal to you, actually ages your photos and takes away the focus from yourselves.
Hats, scarves, teddies are all great accessories to enhance your photo shoot. They can help to pull the portrait together and add a personal touch.
Don’t forget about your footwear
Make sure all footwear is clean and polished if applicable. A portrait can be ruined by scruffy/muddy shoes.
FOR STUDIO PORTRAITS YOU WILL BE BAREFOOT UNLESS FOR A PARTICULAR REASON YOU CANNOT BE. I do not allow muddy shoes in my studio for hygiene reasons, and you will have just walked through my garden. Please take them off on arrival.
Make up and hair
Light make up and natural hair works best. Keep to your usual style unless you are very confident that a new thing will work! I’d really not recommend dying your hair a different colour just before your shoot, as if you didn’t like the result, you won’t enjoy your photos. Don’t forget to bring along a brush to help with flyaways.
When all is said and done, it is YOUR family photo shoot, and it is important that you are COMFORTABLE. This is just a guide, so please feel free to ignore it and turn up in a bright green onesie if that is your normal dress and you are comfy. Just bare in mind the results – they will be on your walls for many years to come.
I want you to be happy with your photos, and I hope you found this guide helpful!