Deciding what to wear for your session can be a little difficult. This is the number one question I always get asked when someone books a session – whether it’s a family session, high school senior session, or just about any type of photography session – everybody wants to know what they should wear. I know it can seem stressful trying to figure out what everyone clothing and at the same time making sure everyone feels comfortable and looks good. So, one of the first things I try to find out is what your goals are for your session and what you plan to do with the images. Believe it or not, this can make a huge difference in how you style your family for the session.
Do you plan to display a large family portrait in your living room? Do you plan to decorate your walls with your beautiful family pictures? If so, then you really need to think about what colors will complement the colors in your home. Not “matchy-matchy”, but just look well together. If your goal is to just get images to use for Christmas cards and get a few for gifts, then your color scheme may depend on other things. But if you are wanting wall-portraits to accent your home decor, be sure the colors don’t clash (clothing color and room colors should complement each other). One trick is to lay out your clothing in the room where you plan to display your images and take a step back. How does the clothing color look in that room? Does it stand out too much or does it blend well.
Another tip when planning your clothing is to remember that not everyone needs to match and be in the same color. Sure, that can work and when it’s the right color scheme it can look great. But, just like when planning your portraits around the color scheme of your home, it’s important to remember that clothing colors should complement each other too. You probably wouldn’t want to mix colors like green and orange, brown and black, etc. It’s just good color theory sense😉 You’ve studied that, right? No worries if you haven’t – I have and can help you along the way.
By the way, here’s a good article that talks about colors you probably DON’T want to mix https://fashion-spreads.com/8-colors-that-should-never-be-combined.html
And here’s a reference pocket guide for choosing colors that look well together https://deapalmbeach.com/2016/03/07/color-theory-for-designers/fresh-color-wheel-pocket-guide-to-mixing-color-artist-paint-color-wheel-of-color-theory-for-designers/
One last thing about your family portraits, think about the background colors too. Is your family portrait outside? Then try to choose colors that won’t clash with outdoor colors? When in doubt, think neutral colors – you can never go wrong there (well, almost never). If you are wanting indoor portraits as well – don’t worry about it…I’ll pick the best background for your clothing.
With all sessions it’s important that we have a “pre-consultation” before your session to help with making the best clothing decisions. This is done via phone or email (or you can always choose an in-person planning session). You’ll also receive a “What to Wear” guide for your family session that will give you ideas on how to plan for your session. Remember, nothing is set in stone – the most important things to focus on when planning your family photography sessions are:
-How do you want to see your images 5-10 years from now?
-Where do you plan on displaying your wall-portraits?
-What is your family style? Casual, formal, or a little in-between?
-Is everyone’s clothing comfortable and fit well?
-Do the colors/ patterns complement everyone
And one last thing…I always say “once you know the rules, you can break the rules”;) If you favorite colors are green and orange, then by all means GO FOR IT! Wear what your love!!!