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What Should we Wear for our Family Pictures?

What Should We Wear for Family Pictures?

Yesterday, I discussed the best time of year for family pictures.  If you missed that, you can revisit it by clicking here.

Another frequent question I get is is “What should we wear”.

So today I want to discuss clothing tips.

Choosing your clothes for your family portraits is a major decision that should be thought over carefully.  The key word in choosing clothes for your family pictures is “coordinate“.  You don’t necessarily have to be “matchy, matchy”, but the colors and style should go well together.  In the same way that you pick a “color palette”  when you paint your walls or redecorate your home, you should select a color palette for your clothing and make sure that not only do the clothes go well together, but that they also go well with the colors of your desired location.

Here are a few guidelines to follow (certainly not hard and fast rules)

  • Long pants and long sleeves will usually draw more attention to your faces.  The more skin we see on your body, the more distracted we are from your faces.
  • Jeans are timeless.  They can be dressed up or dressed down.  Just try to get the shade of the jeans to match.  You don’t want some members of your group wearing light jeans and others wearing dark jeans.
  • Darker colors tend to photograph better and will be more slimming.
  • It’s usually a good idea to avoid clothing with large distracting patterns.  Solid colors tend to photograph better.
  • Accessories like jackets, scarves, hats, hair bows, etc. can add interest and provide accent colors in the same way that an accent pillow on your sofa would.
  • Wear clothes that are flattering on you.  Photoshop can do certain things, but it’s not magic!
  • Glasses can cause problems unless you have non-reflective lenses.  Make sure that if you do need to wear glasses they do not tint and shade your eyes when you go outside, and that the light does not create a glare in the glass
  • Hair and make-up is also important for the ladies.  We often suggest having your hair and make-up professionally an hour or so before your session.

Having said all of that, the bottom line is that the clothing should reflect the personality of your family.  If you’re a very casual bunch, don’t feel like you need to dress in suits and ties.  Be yourself and come ready to have a great time.

Here are some examples of some families that did a great job coordinating their clothing.  Browse through the images below and also check out our family gallery on our website (click here) for even more examples and ideas.



Daugherty-399 Meyer-133 Ozbun-512 Sharp-061 Walton-165

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