Updated: Mar 16, 2019
The Do's and Don'ts
When it comes to family photos, nothing is more stressful than deciding what the entire family should wear, except maybe convincing your husband to behave during the photo shoot. All you moms out there know what I'm talking about!
As quickly as the seasons change (with winter as the exception, at least in Minnesota), so do clothes and color pallets. To keep this as simple as possible, I'm going to break down the "Do's and Don'ts" of what to wear for family photos, no matter the location or time of year.
1.) Wear Cream, Blush or Earth Tones - If I could give only one piece of advice to my clients when it comes to what to wear for photos, it's to ALWAYS wear blush tones or white tones. No matter the time of year (indoors or outdoors) blush tones always photograph beautifully. For instance, take the spectrum of the rainbow and tone it down from red to soft pink, orange to soft orange, bright yellow to soft yellow, and so on and so forth. Warm tones bring out the best in your skin tone.
2.) Find One Outfit You Love - Whether you found the perfect dress for your little girl or even better, the perfect dress for YOU, take that outfit and use it as inspiration for everyone else's outfits. This will give you a good color pallet to work with, unless the option you picked is white, then you've got endless color pallet options.
3.) Add Textures & Layers - Anytime you can add textures and layers to an outfit, do it! Textures add depth and beauty to photographs. Some of my favorites include, Anthropologie, Shop Doen, Free People, anything knit such as Babaà or linen such as Linen Fox. These brands all provide great options!
4.) Search Pinterest for Inspiration - Pinterest has so many ideas! Check-out my Pinterest account here for ideas or simply search "family photos blush tones" or "family photo outfits". You will come up with hundreds of ideas.
1.) Avoid Multiple Persons in a Pattern or Print - It's important to remember that PEOPLE are the main focus, NOT the patterns or prints on your shirts or dresses. You want to keep things simple, especially if there's more then one person in a photo. If your entire family is in plaid it can be distracting. Try to find outfits with one solid tone or color. This will leave room for a pattern on your dress or blouse, which quite frankly is always more fun than a husband in a plaid shirt. The key thing to remember, only one person should be wearing a pattern or a print.
2.) No Neon Colored Clothing - This kind of goes hand-in-hand with patterns and prints. You don't want to stick out from the other family members. Therefore, avoid those super bright colors.
3.) Watch-Out for Black - I hesitate putting this one as a don't because it can definitely be an option if executed properly. Everyone loves black! It's flattering and almost everyone feels comfortable in it ( just ask the Parisians). In family photos it can work, but only in the right environment and under the right circumstances. Black is like neon, it can really pull your eye away from the rest of the family. If you are debating on wearing anything black, consult with your photographer first or refer to my blog, "Wearing the Color Black."
4.) Match Eachother - Okay folks, this isn't the 90's anymore! Khaki's and white shirts are no longer a thing. Neither is everyone in a pair of blue jeans and a different colored shirt. Sure, it's much easier to coordinate, but dressing everyone individually will give you a more timeless photo when you look back on it in 10 years from now. Trust me.
Side Notes: There are exceptions to the rules for all of these "do's" and "don't's". More than one person can be in a pattern, someone can wear black, some people can match, but the execution is key. To learn more about how to choose more than one print or pattern, see my post on that here. To find out when black is ok to wear for your photo shoot, read my post here. Neon colored clothing is never a good idea and matching is sometimes ok with kids.