Wedding Photographer Blog

What To Wear For Your Family Portraits

Shannon Arney - Tuesday, April 19, 2016
What To Wear For Your Family Portraits

What you wear is JUST as important as the photographer behind the camera.  Clothing can make or break a family photography session. And you not only have to dress yourself, but the rest of your clan as well.  No pressure! We know it can be extremely tough coordinating wardrobe for your family, and even harder if you are bringing in the extended family for the shoot.  We want to alleviate a little of the anxiety that goes along with this process by offering up a few of our Fusion wardrobe pointers. 

Family posing with their toddler for their family photography session

  1. Start by picking a color palette.   3 is a safe number when it comes to color schemes, and have your family coordinate within that palate.  The matchy-matchy days are long gone, so look for color schemes to work with and select what suits you. When making this decision it is good to consider where you will display your family portraits once you have them in hand.  Your clothing should blend well with your decor.  If your walls are deep maroon it is safe to say that pink and purple wouldn't be a great color choices for you.
  2. Consider your shoot location.  When selecting your colors think of what your backdrop will consist of.  If it is fall foliage, you will want to stick with a color scheme that is complimentary to a warm, fall palate.  If will be standing on a beach you will want to wear softer colors to accent the coastal locale.
  3. Limit patterns.  Wearing busy patterns and large logos can distract from the real reason we are photographing you!  Make the focus the individuals, not the clothing. However, we do like to see someone wearing attire that incorporates more than one of the chosen colors whether it be a pants, shirt combo or a simple pattern.  Just make this the minority not the majority.
  4. Layer.  Have some, not all, of your family members wear layers for the portrait session.  This adds texture and dimension, while also providing you with different looks once the top layer is shed.
  5. Incorporate accessories.  Utilizing accessories like hats, ties, or necklaces can add to the layering affect mentioned above.  Just make sure what you choose isn't distracting so the individual remains the focus, not the accessory.
  6. Think classic.  Keeping your clothing choices simple and classic will help give your images a timeless feel.  This will allow your family portraits to continue to hang on your wall for years without becoming outdated.
  7. Keep it comfortable.  This especially pertains to the kiddos.  If they aren't comfortable in what you have picked out for them, well, we all know what a meltdown looks like.  Try to keep everyone comfortable to help produce relaxed family photos.
  8. Plan ahead.  Selecting clothing for a small or large group of family members takes time.  You may need to search for shirts, pants, or accessories to find the right combo for your family portraits, so make sure you plan ahead.  This is the most important step to not having a panic attack the day of your photo session

Now, relax and enjoy your family photo session!

Father and his three sons posing on skateboards for their family photo session.


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Being comfortable with your photographer is huge and they were able to create an atmosphere that allowed for that.

Amber & Joe

Amber & Joe