Thursday, August 22

Decisions, Decisions: What to Wear to Your Family Portrait Session?

So, you have finally decided to book that family portrait session, but you aren't sure what to do in preparation for your family photo shoot. What do you wear? What do the kids wear? And, goodness what on earth do you put your husband in?

Choosing the right clothing can make a world of difference when it comes to capturing your memories in a family photograph. So, let me help you out a bit.

First things first, be sure to choose clothing that you will all be comfortable in. There is nothing worse than spending two hours in clothing that doesn't feel natural to you. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, let's say the cloth is itchy or it is too warm for the season, it is going to show in your photographs.

The same holds true for your children. If they don't like the clothing you have chosen for them, or it is too tight or too loose, it will come across in their photos in less than flattering ways.

Choose clothing that each of you will feel confident in. If you feel like you look good, it will show. Avoid clothes that make you feel self conscious. A blouse that is cut so low you are wondering if anything is showing, or a skirt that is too short for you to sit comfortably in will make you feel out of sorts.

Build each family member's clothing choices around their personality. This will make a great reminder of where each person was at the time in their life that the photos were taken, in years to come.

Many families like to "match" in their pictures. This doesn't necessarily mean that all the kids are wearing matching outfits, or even the same colors, but more that their clothing compliments each other. When deciding on what colors to choose, look to your home d├ęcor for inspiration. Chances are you are going to hang portraits from your session on your wall as a fine piece of artwork, so you can kind of tailor your clothing choices to how they would look when hung in the room where they will eventually end up.

Family Photography Session in Deland, Florida

Begin with a color palette or pattern and use different layers and textures that work within your color scheme, to give each family member their own look.

Make sure your clothing is appropriate for the season and location of your shoot. If you are shooting your family portrait session in a park, formal wear like suits and ties will be inappropriate for the location. Is the weather particularly warm? Then you don't want to wear lots of hot layers or long sleeves. And, in the reverse, is the weather going to be colder than normal on the day of your shoot? Then you don't want to wear too little clothing that will leave your lips blue and your teeth chattering in your pictures!

I usually advise my families to avoid the "trendy" and "hot right now" clothing. These are pictures that you will be looking back on decades from now. You don't want to look at them and think, "What was I thinking wearing that?" Instead think more simple and classic when choosing your clothing. Also, try to avoid logos or distracting patterns on clothing. You don't want to detract from the subject of the photographs.

Family Photography Session in Lake Mary, Florida

And now let's have a look at some of the things people tend to overlook – shoes and socks, undergarments, grooming and makeup.

Make sure your choice in shoes is appropriate for the location. If you are shooting at the beach or in a park with soft grass, you may want to forgo high heels and chose instead to wear sandals, or even go barefoot.

If your children will be wearing shoes, make sure their socks match and that their shoes are free from scuffs, dirt and grime. Those things will show up in photographs.

Ladies, think about your undergarments. Remember that it all starts with foundations! Proper support for your "assets" will make you feel more confident in your photographs. Make sure that any straps that you don't want to show are properly tucked away and panty lines aren't visible. Give yourself a once over in the mirror before leaving for your session, to double check it all.

Consider wearing makeup, even if you don't normally wear it. I am not a big makeup wearer myself, but I know it can make a huge difference in photographs. I always recommend wearing just a tad bit more than you normally wear every day. You don't want to overdo it and end up looking like Tammy Faye. For little girls, a bit of sheer lip gloss makes a nice touch as well, even when you don't normally let them wear makeup. It can be kind of a "treat" to them on picture day and it looks good on film.

Try to get any haircuts, coloring or new styles done at least a week before your photo shoot. Not only will the day of the shoot be less hectic if you aren't running from the hairdresser to the photo shoot location, but you will have some time to get used to the hair style as well.

And, finally, check the grooming of all your family members before you leave the house. Make sure all fingernails and toenails (especially if you are doing a barefoot session) are clean and well-manicured. Chipped nail polish on the girls, and dirty fingernails on the boys, is very distracting in your photos.

On a side note, and not really related to clothing, but make sure you and your family members all get a good night's sleep the night before your photo shoot! You don't want to look tired and exhausted in your photos, now do you?

And, just remember, your family photo shoot is about you and your family. Being relaxed, happy and comfortable in whatever you choose to wear will come across a lot better in your final photos, then trying to be formal and perfect. You want to capture memories and experiences. Relax, have fun and be yourself!

Brothers Having Fun at Family Photography Session in Orlando, Florida

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