The most common question we’re asked is “What to wear for family sessions?”. It can be a daunting task. Especially if you’re like me and not overly confident in your own styling capabilities. I typically call my sister or friend for advice. It doesn’t have to be hard though! And being a photographer has given me a bit of insight into some general tips and knowing what photographs nicely!
Most importantly, you have to feel like you. Our sessions are relaxed and fun. We want you to feel comfortable and confident. You’ll want to look back on the images and enjoy everything about them.
Some General Tips
Complement and coordinate, don’t match
Having everyone in jeans and a white T is a thing of the past. Also, they tend to make it hard to distinguish who’s who when all you see are legs and jeans. Instead, opt for colours that generally complement each other.
Start with one person and use what you have
It’s easier to start from a strong base. I tend to use a favourite item of mine or an outfit I have for my daughter as the starting point. We usually have a bit more to choose from and then I have an easier time adding to the scheme once I have one outfit set. It helps that Shaun tends to have tons of blues and greys that go with almost everything. I also like to borrow an item or two from a friend if I don’t have something I really need. I’ve borrowed shoes, belts and even a bow for Neko’s hair in the past.
Consider the weather
If you’re planning an outdoor session in the Fall, or Winter, you may want to think about bringing your jacket, gloves, and hats. In the summer, dress in layers that you can take off if you get too hot. We tend to use a lot of natural areas in the river valley here and we make you do a bit of walking. Wearing comfortable shoes is a good idea! You can always bring along another pair of shoes to complete the look.
Take your home decor into account
If you’re planning to hang your images in your living room or bedroom it might be a good idea to make sure your outfits don’t clash with the space. We have a lot of grey in our living room with a dark blue wall, so I took that into account and we dressed in lighter blues, and mustard yellow to complement the wall we were hanging prints on.
Extra things to keep in mind
COMFORT - I really think its most important to be comfortable. You want to feel fantastic. It will translate well in the photographs too.
TEXTURE AND PATTERNS - Extra details add to your outfits. A knitted sweater, or detailed lace photographs really well. Also, patterns or prints aren’t always a bad idea either. Too many can be distracting, but something subtle can add dynamic to the group.
LAYERS AND ACCESSORIES - An easy way to step up an outfit can be by adding a layer or accessory. Something like scarves, blazers, cardigans, belts, jewelry, fun socks, and hats can be added or taken off to change things up.
A few things to avoid
BRIGHT WHITE OR NEON COLORS - If you really love white, off-white or ivory is a great idea. Bright whites can easily wash out your face in the sunshine and neon colors can create cast issues. Another reason is, too much white or having a bright color is distracting and can take away from the dynamics of the image.
LOGOS & TEXT - Words will also draw attention away from your faces.
ITEMS THAT DON’T FIT OR ARE TOO BAGGY - Properly fitted clothing looks put together and will show your best shape. Structured material photographs nicer than flimsy fabric.
Sample color palette ideas
If you are overwhelmed by this long post, here are some sample color palettes I found online that you can use as a starting point! And then, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send an email. I’m happy to chat. As a general rule though; if you have two or three colours in mind, use them and then fill in the rest with a neutral one.