Are you unsure about what to wear and how to dress your family for outdoor family photos? I’ve put together this list of suggestions for you. I hope it helps take the stress out of your preparation and helps you to get really wonderful family portraits!
1) Think of everyones clothes as one big outfit to co-ordinate. Try to avoid dressing everyone exactly the same but instead in colours that work well together. The idea behind co-ordinating clothes is to make the overall image visually appealing or balanced so that your beautiful faces and your family connection become the most important elements in the portrait.
2) The easiest way to do this is to dress everyone in mainly neutral and natural tones (for example white, tan, brown, olive). Plus, they will look lovely in any landscape. Here are some examples of neutral tones...
3) Try to avoid very bright colours or just pick one. Think lemon instead of bright yellow or pale pink instead of bright pink. Very bright colours can fight for attention in a photo. However, if you have an outfit you love in a bright, bold colour, think about putting the rest of the family in colours that will balance it. Neutrals and a complimentary colour. Here is an awesome interactive colour wheel created by Canva. You just pick your colour and it will show you the opposite, complimentary colour! Genius!
Another way to balance bright colour is to include a pop of the same bright colour in other items of clothing with white and neutral colours. Here is an example of a beautiful family I photographed who did this so well. The bright orange works with all the Autumn colours in the park. A pop of the same colour is in mums top and the rest of their clothes are white (neutral) and navy (complimentary).
4) Where will your family photos be? Here are a few ideas for different locations... For beach, whites, light blues, tan, coral and light pink look lovely. For parks, white, tan, olive, lemon and navy look great. For Autumn leaves you can team burnt orange, amber or burgundy with neutrals.
5) It's tempting to start with what the kids will wear but instead start with you and your partner. What would you love to wear during your family photo session? Think about clothes that make you feel great and will be comfy for you too. Long dresses and floral dresses look great, if you or your partner enjoy wearing them. If not, what clothes makes you feel awesome? Make sure you can move comfortably, especially if you are lifting children. There are some great businesses that hire clothing like mamarentals that specialise in beautiful bump friendly dresses for photoshoots (fyi, we have a discount code with mamarentals when you book family photos with us).
6) Next dress the rest of your family. Pick out some of the colours in your outfit, or look for neutral or complimentary colours (colours on the opposite side of the colour wheel). Two different floral patterns can look great together. More than two different florals might be getting too busy.
7) Avoid stripes and t-shirts with a print or logos.
8) Remember your footwear and socks are also part of your outfits.
9) Once you have everything together, lay out everyones clothes on a bed or sofa to see if they work well as one and nothing clashes. Include footwear, socks and accessories too. Send your photographer a photo if you need another set of eyes. Then tell yourself how awesome you are!
(Scroll down for some preparation tips)
A few other preparation tips...
🌸 Iron everything that can be ironed (bah! I know! Ironing! 😩)
🌸 If you're getting your hair done, ask your hair dresser to check all cut hair is brushed away, no hair colour is left on your skin and there is enough product to keep your hair out of your eyes. The most important parts of a family portrait are of course your faces and your eyes! If little ones have long hair, you may want to have it up or use hair clips to keep it off their faces.
🌸 If you are doing your own make up, here are a few tips. Exfoliating lips the night before will help lipstick stay smooth. Face powder is great for reducing shine. Emphasise your eyes. A little blush is lovely for adding warmth.
🌸 Remember finger nails.
🌸 If your baby is teething or brings up a lot of milk (like mine did many years ago!) bring a change of clothes for baby and for you too.
🌸 Apply insect repellant, especially if you are at a park with a lake or still water. Mosquitos can make little ones miserable.
🌸 Avoid bringing chocolate or melty/ messy snacks but bring lots of snacks and plenty of water. Smiling is tiring work!
🌸 Take glasses off just before a photo if possible and safe for you, especially if they are transition lenses that turn into sunglasses. Take phones out of pockets, sunglasses off heads and hair ties off wrists.
🌸 Finally, relax and enjoy spending this special time with your loved ones! All that matters is capturing the love you feel for each other, the cuddles and the pride. Those are the photos that your little ones will love to look back on and they will always think you look beautiful.
You’re getting studio family portraits done but you’re unsure about what to wear and how to dress your family. I’ve put together this list of suggestions for you. I hope it helps take the stress out of your preparation and helps you to get really wonderful family portraits!
1. Think of everyones clothes as one big outfit to co-ordinate! Instead of thinking about what each person will wear, think of everyones clothes as one big outfit. That doesn't mean dressing everyone the same but instead in clothes that compliment each other.
2. Try to stay within a similar colour pallet. Light, neutral, warm tones are great. White, tan, sand, cream, caramel, beige, olive, blush, browns and navy blue are colours that work really well.
3. Avoid very bright, solid colours. A pop of colour can be gorgeous but you also don’t want to distract from your beautiful faces, or have different bright colours fighting each other in your family portraits. Studio lights can also reflect brightly coloured tops onto your face or the little human cuddled up to you. If you're coming in for individual portraits bold colour can be amazing!
4. Florals can be lovely but avoid stripes, patterns and logs. Stripes and similar patterns can be distracting and can also be difficult to edit. I love florals, they tend to work really well.
5. Dresses give a nice line if you enjoy wearing them. You can also hire dresses from wonderful Australian businesses like mamarentals.com.au
6. Be comfortable. Posing is not always comfy and we love to cuddle your family up together. Ensure clothing is not too tight unless you want to emphasise your shape, for example in maternity portraits. Consider your comfort standing, sitting on a stool/chair or even on the floor.
7. Avoid short sleeves and short pants. Unless of course you have awesome arms you are wanting to show off! Match your socks to your shoes.
8. Keep accessories to a minimum. Simple is best.
9. Plan hair, make up and nails. It’s a great idea to have hair and make up done before a session if you can. We can organise hair and make up at the studio for you to take one thing off your list. For kids, style their hair then add a bit of product to tame fly aways. Keep hair off faces as much as possible and trim fringes so we can see those beautiful eyes. Don’t forget your nails!
10. Glasses off if possible. Would you like to be photographed with your glasses on? Studio lights can reflect onto your glasses. If you would like to wear your glasses, let your photographer know so they can adjust the lights for you.
11. Lay out everyones clothes together to see how they work as one. Does anything clash? Do all of your families clothes play nicely together? How about shoes or do you prefer bare feet?
12. Consider your backdrop. Have you picked a light or dark back drop? A neutral or coloured one? Treat your backdrop as another item of clothing. How will all of your clothing and the backdrop work together as one?
13. Send a photo of everyones clothes laid out together to your photographer. Your photographer may have a particular style. Plus they will know how your clothes selection will work with your backdrop selection.
14. Final checks… Iron everything you can before your session. Cut off tags or ribbon loops that could pop out during your session. Take phones out of pockets and hair ties off wrists.
15. RELAX AND HAVE FUN! The most important thing is that you are getting family portraits done and that your portraits show the love you have for each other. Enjoy!