If you are treating the family to a nice portrait session this spring, take a bit of time to compose their outfits. Coordinating outfits among family members can really add a finished touch to a family portrait and doesn’t have to take a whole lot of time or money. Follow the steps below…
Sit down with pen and paper and jot down key words related to your family’s overall style (casual or formal, funky or traditional, etc.) and the location of your portrait session (garden / flowers / beach / water / park / trees / buildings etc.) Use the key words to start visualizing what type of look you are going for. Jot down a few key pieces of clothing you already own that match your overall vision.
Consider the colors of the year.
This year’s colors are very earthy and happy colors. This is a great starting palette for your family’s fashion ensemble. Which colors look best on the different members of your family? What pieces of clothing do you already have that you can use? Even if you prefer neutral colors, you could add a scarf, necklace, wristlet or other accessory for a pop of color. See the link below for this year’s most popular colors: Pantone.com
Find coordinating colors.
Matching colors is not one of my strong suits, so I am a bit obsessed with using a color scheme tool to literally calculate color combinations of 3 or 4 complimentary colors. Use the color wheel on Paletton.com to select a color you like and then with the push of a button or two view coordinating colors and hues and take the guess work out of matching colors. Voila!
Okay now – let’s go shopping!
Maybe you have a few key pieces from home and you just need a few more shirts/pants to fill in the gaps. Maybe you want to start all over with brand new outfits for everyone. Here’s a little trick – find a store or brand that makes clothes for adults (both men and women) and kids (both boys and girls). You will have better luck finding similar colors, fabrics and textures for the whole family. Stores like Target, The Gap, Old Navy or brands like Nautica, Ralph Lauren, and Land’s End are great places to start.
- Add a layer. Layers always add a little soft dimension to you photo and are great for accentuating (or hiding) certain body issues you may have. Layers also give you options in case the weather is a little colder or warmer than expected.
- Leave the funky patterned pants for another day. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the funky patterns going on lately with leggings and skirts, but leave them at home on your family picture day. Such patterns will distract from the cute faces and family connections that you want in your photos.
Don’t forget about the feet!
If you are shooting a more casual portrait, bare feet are absolutely fine. However, if you need shoes, make sure everyone has nice shoes (and socks!) If you have taken the time to choose outfits, you don’t want a photo to be less-than-par because of little John’s junky old tennis shoes or bright white socks under Dad’s jeans. Eeeek!
Now that your little entourage has photo-tastic duds, allow time for a proper dress rehearsal. First, lay out all the outfits on your bed or a large clean floor space to see exactly how they all look together. This is a great time to snap a photo with your phone. Send the photo to your photographer for feedback. Any new clothing items should be tried on for proper fit. Finally, take the time to press out any wrinkles – then hang all the clothes up together (and don’t let anyone wear them) until picture day!
Happy Picture Day!