What To Wear For Pictures!?!
Deciding what to wear for a shoot is hard, and a lot of times, right before a shoot, I'll get an SOS about wardrobe decisions! I mean, these pictures are going to be blown up, hung on your wall and probably not updated for a few years; you want them to look fabulous! Gone are the days that everyone wore the same black, white or same-colored shirt with jeans/khakis and called it good (thank God!). *I will not lie, I argued with my mother that we were NOT doing that for our family pictures... this year...2016...eeekkkk!!!! Thankfully, what we ended up with is below #4 on my list :)
The biggest thing is to PLAN AHEAD. You don't want to show up at your session looking like you just rolled out of bed, rushed to your shoot and barely remembered your shoes!
So, here are some tips and considerations for when you're planning family pictures.
1) Think about where your family picture is going to hang. More than likely, these photos are going to be blown up, hung on a wall where everyone will see them, and not be updated for a few years (if you're anything like my family). You may want to plan to have them go with your home décor so that it looks like a piece of art, and because it may be a few years before you get around to scheduling your next family session, think classic. These images will be around forever!
2) Once you figure out your color family, choose coordinating colors. Coordinating colors does not mean "the same." The only people that should be wearing the same thing are twins (and that's still kind of an "eh" for me), or a family that's doing a cute "we're all wearing the same team jersey" theme. Think neutrals with a pop of color(s), or two to three colors that go together. One year we did red, black and denim together, and it turned out really nicely. When you have a very large group with multiple smaller families, this gives everyone an idea of what to wear. They'll look good in smaller group pictures, and when you do the extended family shots, no one looks out of place.
3) Consider your background; you want it to make sense unless you're going for that "Cinderella in the junkyard" look. If it's rustic, don't hesitate to wear jeans and coordinating tops and boots. If it's inside a museum, library or nicer building, you may want to dress up a bit. This family wanted greys/industrial and paired it with beautiful, statement-making blues.
4) Patterns - I love them, but you definitely don't want to go overboard! There should be a healthy mixture of patterns and prints. For example, my boyfriend LOVES checkered shirts, so once I knew which one he was going to wear, I found a shirt that had the same color family in an ombre-style (not totally plain, but not wild paisley either). If you check out the family picture below, you'll see each couple had a pattern and a solid, so our couple shots looked good, and when we all got together it was still cohesive.
* Avoid lettering, cartoon characters, etc in your pictures; they're super distracting. Also, really small stripes on shirts can give a weird optical illusion effect (I tell people to avoid those).
5) Textures and accessories are great! Textures like fur, corduroy, and sheer scarves look great. Accessories like necklaces and jewelry, colored shoe-laces, coordinating ties, and hats really add to a session. Hats, ties and coordinating blankets to sit on can be used as props as well!
6) Shoes - this should be a whole blog post, and actually...yup, coming soon. BUT, don't go out and get Jr. a cute little suit and leave on his Spider-Man Velcro kicks for the session (insert Homer Simpson's "doah!" here). I can't believe when people show up in their flops (it is AZ) for their fall session and ask, "oh, are our shoes going to be in the picture?" I guess not if you only want close-ups...what??!!
7) Comfort! If you're uncomfortable with what you're wearing, it's going to show. Make sure your stuff fits (planning ahead), doesn't bulge in weird spots, isn't see through, etc. Also, if it's hot (again, we're in Arizona) don't wear heavy stuff that makes you sweat, and if it's cold, layer your outfit so you're not shivering and hunched the whole time.
8) Make sure it's YOU - you want to look like YOU in your pictures, so if you're getting dolled up, don't go extreme! I've had to fix makeup that a stylist did because the eye makeup is too heavy, or foundation too orange. I've had people get their hair done and they comment after, "it doesn't really look like me". Make sure you're looking YOUR best, not trying to be someone else.
9) Cheat! There are a ton of brands that sell coordinating outfits, so you can mix and match while automatically staying in the same color family. Also, check out Pinterest; you don't have to be creative, let someone else do it for you!
Hopefully this is helpful to those of you having panic attacks about your upcoming family sessions! I'd love to see your outfit combinations!