Guide To Your Best Family Portrait Outfit

When it comes to your family portrait outfit, one of the most common questions we get is, “What should we wear?” It’s a tricky decision! Since these photos will last a lifetime, you want to make sure your entire family looks as good as possible. But at the same time, you also want them to look like themselves – not wearing stuffy clothes that make them feel uncomfortable. We always recommend wearing clothing that makes you feel and look your best, which can be different for every person. 

All along our journey, I help you design the wardrobe and location so you end up with portraits that not only captured your life’s meaningful moments, but create timeless artwork you are proud to display in your home. 

Here are a few quick wardrobe suggestions that photograph beautifully.

MATCH YOUR STYLE

These portraits become artwork for your home. You want that artwork to seamlessly integrate with your style and colors. Seek outfits that match your home décor. Is your home light and airy with grey walls, white cabinets, and tan couches? Look to blue color tones. Does your home have darker, earthy tones? Look to the deep maroons, blacks, and navy colors. 

KEEP IT TIMELESS

What looks good today in pictures is what looked good 50 years ago. Simple solid colors. Patterns are okay but keep them subtle. Bright Red? Nope! Look to your navy blue, forest green, blacks, and maroon (this is not red). For lighter colors, stick with taupe, lavender, and gray (or is it grey?).

WEAR COORDINATING (NOT MATCHING) OUTFITS

Make sure your outfits coordinate well with one another. Stick to a color palette of one or two colors. Matching outfits can look a little dated – coordinated outfits look harmonious and pretty. To make sure all of your outfits go well together, try laying out everyone’s photoshoot outfits together the day before. Pay close attention to dark colors. We love black and while slimming in person, black clothing that is too loose can have thee opposite effect on camera.

LET YOUR KIDS HAVE A SAY

Ask your children what they’d like to wear. Asking their opinions will help to make sure they feel comfortable and involved. (Just make sure they know their picks are subject to your final approval – otherwise, you might have a little Spiderman in your family portraits!)

DRESS WEATHER APPROPRIATE

Keep an eye on the weather forecast and make sure you dress accordingly. Choose colors that are appropriate for the season. And if it’ll be chilly during your photoshoot, be sure to bundle up a bit!

A FEW “DONT’S”

While what you decide to wear is ultimately up to you and your family, there are a few things that tend not to photograph well.

  • The Color Red: Aside from unique circumstances, red should generally be avoided. Red has the affect on a person viewing the photograph like it does a bull seeing a Matador. They see nothing but red. We said it before and we’ll say it again, avoid red.
  • Patterns: one or two family members wearing a pattern is okay, but too many patterns tend to clash and draw too much attention away from the subjects (you!).
  • White: Wearing white tends to wash people out. If you do choose white, it tends to work best in pants and skirts. 
  • Large logos: No graphic tees! You want the photo to be about the people in the picture, not the fashion trend of the day. 
  • Sleeveless: Sleeveless clothing tends to distract from an image and draws the eyes away from the face. And ladies, unless you really love your arms, avoid sleeveless as our sessions are dynamic and can catch even the best arms in an awkward state. Gents, no tanks, even if the wife approves!

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