You have taken the plunge and booked that outdoor, family portrait session of your dreams. You have your location chosen, have gotten all the kid's a fresh hair cut, and you haven't eaten a single carb since last Wednesday.... Two days before the big event, you sit up in bed with a jolt; What the hell should everybody wear!?
The most common question clients ask me just before their Family Portrait session is "What should we wear?" It's a source stress for many parents as they plan their sessions. You want everyone to look their best, but how do you pull everyone's looks together in a cohesive way? Never fear! I am here today to offer some basic dos & don'ts to help make your Family Portrait Session wardrobe-planning as stress free as possible.
DO! Stick to solid colours and timeless 'patterns', like stripes, plaid, & polka dots.
DON'T! Large logos, slogans, or 'ironic' t-shirts with any sort of amusing jokes/images on them. This is distracting in images. We want the viewer of the photo to be focused on how gorgeous you are as a family, not what your husband's t-shirt means.
DO! Dress to 'go together'. Similar, but not identical.
DON'T! NO MATCHY-MATCHY! The days of everyone wearing jeans and a matching white t-shirt are over (thank goodness!!) Whatever you do, no matter what your Mom insists, resist the temptation to show up in identical outfits.
DO! Throw in a couple of pops of bold colour and texture. A cozy, knitted scarf on Mom. Bright pink hair bow on Little Susie. Yellow sneakers on Little Johnny. It's amazing how much visual interest can be added to an image by just a few pops of colour.
DON'T! Dress everyone all in monotones. Greys, blacks, & dark blues, certainly have their place, but if *everyone* is dressed head-to-toe in monochromatic shades you're going to look a bit dull. This is where a 'pop of colour or texture' can really go a long, long way.
DO! Dress comfortably and practically. Likely your session is going to be outside, and there will be plenty of walking, & sitting on the ground. Be prepared to get a tiny bit dirty. Be prepared for the weather.
DON'T! Wear your most delicate silk dress & 6" stiletto heels. And certainly don't dress children in summer clothing if it's cold outside. A cold child, is a miserable child, and your images will reflect that.
DO! Wear something that makes you feel GREAT. I mean, really, really, super great! Now is an awesome time to splurge on those expensive jeans that made your butt look so good. If you genuinely *feel* great in what you are wearing, you are going to look great. It's as easy as that.
DON'T! Force your kids into an outfit that they absolutely hate. I'm telling you, if Little Johnny hates the button up shirt you fought with him for an hour over this morning, we are going to have a hard time getting him to cooperate at all during the session. Ask yourself, what is more important? The kiddos wearing clothing that maybe isn't quiiiiite their Sunday best, but their smiles are genuine and their eyes twinkle in each image? Or, they're in the clothing that you chose, but they refused to smile the entire day? Pick your battles!
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly! DO! Dress everyone to look like themselves. This session is meant to capture who you and your gorgeous family are. If your little one has a superhero cape that he or she has been insisting on wearing for the last 6 months straight, let him wear it. 20 years from now, you will look back at the photos and find it endearing. If your oldest daughter is a "jeans and t-shirt" sort of girl, let her wear a (nice) t-shirt, and jeans. BE YOURSELVES!! .... Just slightly polished up versions :)