What To Wear For Family Portraits

What To Wear For Family Portraits

“What should we wear to have our family photos taken?!” It’s a question that’s perplexed families for decades… centuries even. And yet despite so many (humiliating) examples of what NOT to do, still so many get it wrong. Until now. We’ve put together a foolproof guide for styling your family for your next portraits and we’re certain that if you take our advice, the next shots you have taken will never be looked back on with shame.

Basic Rules Of Outfit Styling For Photography

Before you even worry about coordinating your family look, it’s important to understand the basics of dressing for photography. Such as…

1: Colour and contrast

Whatever your surroundings, it’s important that your outfit coordinates but doesn’t clash. If you’re having shots taken in a leafy green setting, stay away from those earthy colours so you don’t blend into the background. If the backdrop is grey or white, you’d best avoid neutrals and pale colours, instead going for something bright.

2: Solid and simple

Your faces should be the heroes of the shot, so stay away from busy patterns as they’ll only distract. They often look different on camera to what they do in real life too, so to play it safe, stick to solid block colours with only very subtle prints if necessary.

3: Just be natural

Your family portraits should capture your family’s natural essence. Choosing clothing you’d never normally wear defeats the purpose – and will probably result in stiff poses and uncomfortable expressions. Stick to styles you’re comfortable with so you’re all as relaxed as possible.

…Oh, and this should go without saying: Stay far away from themed outfits for obvious reasons!

4: Coordinate, don’t match

Those classic family shots of everyone in white tops and denim bottoms? Not natural, not cool. Instead pick a colour theme and choose various shades within that theme so each family member has their own colour that complements the others. Perhaps try a mix of navy and dark denim on the bottom half so you look uniform without looking like you’re actually wearing a uniform.

5: Avoid trends

You want these photos to last for years (and yeeears) to come, so don’t choose your most “on trend” outfits for the big day. These will probably age badly as opposed to choosing classic pieces (button up shirts, t-shirts, simple jeans, chino pants etc.

6: Hair & makeup

The key here is to look like you, but on a good day. These photos are an investment, so if you normally struggle with your hair and makeup (and/or hate seeing yourself in photos) just go get it done professionally. It’s worth it!

Preparation is key

You’ve got the basics down, but now it’s time to plan ahead so you’re not stressed on the day. This means setting aside time (ideally a few weeks before the shoot) to try on various outfit combinations together so you can check they work. Not happy with them? You’ve got plenty of time to hit the shops!

Also keep in mind that your photographer is your ally in this. They want a drama-free shoot and for you to love the photos, so don’t be afraid to ask them for advice on what to wear. Most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself on the day because any outfit will look more impressive if you have the smile and confidence to pull it off.

Feeling ready for your next family photoshoot?

Why not take a look at our directory full of talented photographers. You can search by category and location making it easy to match you up with the perfect photographer for the job.

Over to you

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