The number one question I get about family portrait sessions is: What time of year is best? It may surprise you, but the end of summer is actually my all time favorite time of year for family portrait sessions. It’s still warm for both morning and evening session times, the light is just the most beautiful golden tint, and there are lots of foliage and flowers still around. My second favorite time of year? The fall, obviously. 🙂
Then, almost always, question number two is: What should we wear? Well friends, I am here to help you today to give you some tips and inspiration of what to wear for your family portrait session.
Number 1: Choose a coordinated color palette.
Above all else, I really do think that when the group looks cohesive, the whole picture is more pleasing to the eye. Now, what do I mean to coordinate colors? Choose a group of 4-6 colors that all look complementary to each other and base your outfit choices around those. The easiest way I have found to do this is to pick a neutral color first. Then build off of that. You can also go right on over to Pinterest and search for ‘family portraits outfit color palette’ and you will have a bunch of ideas right at your fingertips. Bonus tip: choose more than 2 colors and don’t choose just black and white! You will look like a group of waiters.
Number 2: Limit your patterns.
Depending on the season and what’s trendy you may be tempted to grab that patterned shirt or dress as an outfit choice. I will caution you against that. Now, I am not totally again patterns, but patterns can be really overwhelming in a photo and can sometimes even cause weird warping in the final photo. If you are set on having patterns, here are some tips to follow:
-Keep the number of people wearing a pattern to just one or two.
-Floral patterns work best on pictures, plaid and stripes work the least(these tend to look warped).
-Simple patterns can work well, like simple florals and a simple 2 color stripe.
Number 3: Avoid bold colors
Colors look different on photographs. Camera technology tries it’s best to match the colors perfectly as they are in real life, but many times it just gets it wrong. Colors I am talking about specifically: Black, primary red, primary green, any neon color, and white. Now don’t worry. If you are using black or white as a base color in your color palette, just try to limit the amount of those colors in your outfit choices. Maybe have one person wear black pants and another wear a black shirt. Everyone else can have black accents like shoes or a headband. Best colors to choose are jewel tones(ruby red, sapphire blue, etc.) and pastels(baby blue, mint, etc.).
Number 4: Choose something you love
I know it is so tempting to shop for something new for your family portrait session, I usually advise against wearing brand new items. However, I am totally guilty of this and would offer up this advice: If you are buying something new, get it earlier enough that you can test drive it one or two times. There is nothing worse than finding out your new dress is not breathable in the Midwest humidity and ending up with sweat stains or having whiney kids because their new shirt is too itchy. Also, you don’t have to be so fancy! If you feel great and comfortable in what your wearing then it’s a great choice!
Number 5: Dress for the season
If your session is in late August, don’t dress like it is October and vice versa. This is especially important for kids. You will have much happier and much more cooperative littles on your hands if they are not too cold or too hot. However, we all know you can’t really trust the weather report beforehand, so come prepared. Hand fans and water for the summer and an easy to throw off blanket or coat for the cooler days are easy ways to keep everyone happy.
There we go, 5 tips to help you choose what to wear for your next family portrait session. Needing some visual help? Click Here to be taken to my Pinterest board for ideas on outfits and colors!