Start with color. The easiest place to start wardrobe planning is with your favorite color palette. Thank coordinated, not matching. Begin by choosing a mix of complimentary neutral colors, punctuated by brighter accent colors on individual clothing items or accessories. Or go for a range of shades of a certain color where each family member of your family gets their own shade. Your goal is to create a pulled together look that’s natural without matching or being uniformed.
Create interest with layers and accessories. Using layers and accessories is a great way to add visual interest and create different looks for each family member during your session. Simply adding or removing items, like sweaters, vest, or jackets can give you a quick wardrobe change between shots. Carefully chosen accessories like scarves, statement jewelry, or a favorite hat are fun touches of personal style and personality and they’re great techniques to make individual family members the star of a particular group of poses.
Timeless, not trendy. While the latest fashion trends can be great for your day-to-day look, taking a more classic approach to your wardrobe choices is always best for portraits. Choosing timeless favorites- pieces that rarely go out of style- will ensure your family portraits don’t have a dated look in the years to come.
Your home plays a role. You should also consider which room your portraits will be displayed in your home. For larger canvases or framed prints, perhaps intended as the focal point of a family or dining room, consider your wall colors and other décor when choosing wardrobe.
Make-up, hair and nails. Staying timeless applied to make-up and hair, as well. If you are normally a gloss and mascara kid of girl, don’t go full on Kardashian for you portrait session. You want to look like your self at your best. Also, avoid glittery eye shadow or gloss, which will catch light in unflattering ways and create reflections in your images. Be wary of chapped, red lips. Make sure nails are clean and free of chips.
A few more tips:
Avoid everyone wearing one color or matching outfits, even twins. Everyone should wear the same color tones or groups, but not the same outfit.
Avoid wearing true white, especially around the face. Our eyes are drawn to the lightest area of a photograph, and lots of white will take away from your beautiful family
Avoid any graphic or logo printed t-shirt. This can draw the eye away from the most important thing: your face!
Form fitting, not too tight or loose, looks best in photographs. Make sure it is something in which you can comfortable sit or kneel on the ground.
New haircuts or styles are best scheduled 2-3 weeks before your session to allow hair to grow out just a little for a more comfortable, true to you look.
Make sure your shoes match your choice of clothing: all white tennis shoes with a suit of stiletto heels with a sundress won’t work in photographs
There is no need to buy new, expensive clothing for your portrait session (unless you want to!). Look to your own closet: you probably have a favorite outfit or something that you’ve been holding onto for a special occasion that would be perfect.
If your child (or husband) isn’t on board, yet, let them choose their wardrobe from a selection of outfits you’ve already picked out. It will give them some independence and make them feel like part of the planning process.
Try to avoid tight bands: like bra straps, hair ties on the wrist or onsies with tight seems around the wrists and ankles that could leave indents in the skin
Make sure your children feel comfortable in their clothing. Genuine smiles and sweet moments are hard to come by when you are in stiff, scratchy, or tight clothing
Be sure to use sunscreen in the weeks leading up to your session to avoid any unsightly burns.