So every year about this time I’m starting to think about our annual photo of my girls, or all of us, because pop that baby into a beautiful frame and it’s pretty much the perfect Christmas present for the Grandparents! Xx
And one thing I always think about… is outfits!
Our wonderful instructor Pam has been photographing families for over 7 years and she tells us that during those years the one thing she’s been asked by every single family is “what should we wear?”.
Pam’s given us a fabulous run down on how to prepare outfits for your family photos! Lou Xx
Whilst I am all about capturing your family as they are…no phony backdrops, cheesy smiles, or props that don’t belong to you, and I want you to look like you… there are definitely some considerations to be made when choosing what to wear for your session that will make or break your final images. Some careful forethought and the right choice in this regard has the potential to produce timeless imagery that you will love for generations.”
Whilst I am all about capturing your family as they are…no phony backdrops, cheesy smiles, or props that don’t belong to you, and I want you to look like you… there are definitely some considerations to be made when choosing what to wear for your session that will make or break your final images. Some careful forethought and the right choice in this regard has the potential to produce timeless imagery that you will love for generations.
Black or white is ok… as long as the entire group isn’t wearing it. Pops of colour really help subjects stand out from the background, and ensures the final images are so much more dynamic. If there is only thing I can tell my clients with regard to their wardrobe, it would be to inject some colour.
Everyone loves a beautiful black & white portrait. A deliciously rich black & white image needs a good range of tones and textures, so patterns or textured knits, scarves, beanies and colourful woollen tights or leggings in winter make incredible black & whites. Nuff said!
You know those family photos where everyone is cleverly wearing chinos and white shirts? Don’t do that. It’s so 1990. And it’s boring! Try instead to complement and avoid clashing, but there’s no need to match. This shot is a perfect example of a mum who knew exactly what she was doing…
Just…don’t do it. Unless you want your photos to look like a snapshot that you’ll hate in 6 months. There is nothing more distracting and dating in photos than a giant Dora or Big Bird popping out of the frame at you. I don’t even have an image to show you, because no client of mine has ever turned up with a giant logo or character on their clothing. I’m bossy like that.
Contrary to the dreaded logo or character outfit, patterns look fantastic in photos as they add interest… just as long as they don’t take over and become the subject. The trick is firstly to ensure patterns are classic in design – spots, stripes, simple florals, checks and gingham, and simple subtle patterns. Secondly, that not everyone in the shot is wearing a pattern…balance it with some solid colour.
You know how when you’re wearing something that looks great but feels restrictive, or itchy, or requires you to suck your stomach in the entire time? Well, that shows on your face. Be kind to yourself…if you’re comfortable, and you look good, you’ll feel confident and that will shine through your photos. What’s more, kids can move more freely when they’re physically comfortable.
Don’t like your arms, or self concious about your belly? Cover them with sleeves or something flowy. Likewise for any other bits you don’t love (we all have them!).
A top with a collar frames the face really well in photos. But unless you want really formal photos, aim instead for a casual shirt or polo as opposed to a dress shirt.
You don’t need to wear your Sunday best for beautiful family portraits. If your 4 year old insists on wearing a superhero cape or a tutu…let them! Think about this… I’m capturing your family, as they are, today. This phase in your child’s life when they won’t leave the house without a superman cape, is such a beautiful time and so short lived. Even though it might feel like a fight at times, when this phase is gone, you’re going to look back and long for those days again. Trust me, I am there now, remembering and loving and longing to have those days back. So just do it, because you’ll walk past those portraits in 10 years and stop, and you’ll remember when. The memories will come flooding back, and you’ll laugh… and isn’t that what photos are for?
The other benefit to letting the kids do this, is they really enjoy the session that much more when they’re wearing something they agreed on, and then I can capture their natural happy.