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Family Clothing Tips

So you have your family portrait session scheduled with us, now what?  Here are a few clothing pointers in getting the most out of your portrait session.

Clothes. Your portraits are going to be up on your walls for the next 30 years or so, choose wisely.  Classic clothing works best. Speaking in general terms, choose solids.  Avoid bold patterns and stripes. The clothes should visually harmonize.  Pick a color theme of two or three colors and stick to it.  For example, beach portraits often look best in some combination of white & tan, or white, tan & blue. Fall portraits often look great in deeper, richer colors like black & jeans, or burgundy & khaki, or navy & amber & jeans for example.   Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where are we being photographed?

  • What colors look great on my family?

  • What have I seen other families do in a similar setting to ours that I have liked?

See the clothing examples in our gallery.  Look at what others have done.  Dress from head to toe.  It is important to match the style of clothing to the location and style of portraits.  Here are a few things to avoid:

  • Never wear sneakers, they almost always photograph badly.   

  • Avoid t-shirts. Short sleeve, collarless shirts look bad. 

  • Men should avoid shorts and short sleeves.  Men look great in long sleeve, collared dress shirts with long pants.

  • Women should avoid sleeveless outfits/dresses unless they have thin, toned upper arms.  

  • It is better to slightly overdress than underdress.

  • Avoid patterns & stripes unless they are subtle and harmonize with the other outfits.  

  • Avoid putting light tones with dark tones.  While white and black look great at a wedding (and some formal images), they rarely work well in a family portrait.  When you pick your color theme, be aware of putting light lights with dark darks.  The light tends to draw attention and the dark recedes.  Some family members will be stars, others will shrink into the shadows.

  • Avoid red, white and blue.  While it is wonderful to be patriotic, it does not photograph well.

  • For extended family portraits, avoid putting each family in a different color theme.  It almost never works well. 

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