We’ve all been there…. Your family session is approaching and with closets full of clothes you can’t seem to figure out what to have each family member to wear. I am by no means a fashion expert but I’m going to provide the 2 things I follow to make those decisions easier and hopefully result in family portraits that display beautifully in your home, colors that keep your portraits from feeling too neutral, and flattering choices that make everyone look on top of their game!
1 The Colors
This will be by far the toughest of steps to decide on and the good news is once you conquer this challenge the rest should be fairly easy!
Follow these steps to choose your colors
The first step is determining your color style. Look around your home, are you a bold color type or do you gravitate towards softer colors. Now to be clear just because your style in your home may be neutral tones does NOT mean you should only choose neutral tones. Actually the more neutral your home is the more opportunity you have to add some pops of color with your photos and that will really grab visitors attention to those gorgeous portraits you are going to have on your wall.
Your biggest friend with this is patterns, yes I said it, (patterns are the scary monster we all fear, how many patterns is too many, do they go together, and on and on and on) they will really help you determine a group of colors to follow. Next time you are shopping take a look at the patterns out there and the color choices they use. There are literally endless possibilities! There are a few things to remember with using patterns and choosing your colors: limit patterns to solid color garments to a 1:3 ratio (this will keep your images from being too busy but add just enough texture to keep it interesting), keep your color choices to no more than 4 (3 is may be better for smaller families). Another tip I tell clients is be careful trolling Pinterest for ideas. When you look at pattern or color choices on other people’s family portraits your opinion on their photo, style, pose, hair, overall appearance will affect your decision on the colors. That’s why I like to look at clothing in store’s. You’ll gravitate towards your own style and remain neutral. Here are two patterns I used to create two separate color choices for each pattern ( I tried to find one with bolder colors and one with more softer tones):
Now that we have some color options, it’s time to start shopping (either your closet or a nice excuse for some new clothing 😉 ). The next thing to keep in mind is how can I add texture. Here are a few great things to add to your overall look:
- ruffles (sleeve, hem, neckline…)
- layers (cardigan, light jacket)
- hair pieces (bow, headband, floral crown…)
Try to keep all the boys from wearing the same polo in different colors! You don’t want family members to be too matchy matchy but instead create a unique look for each person while everyone complimenting each other. Gone are the days when everyone wears khakis and a white shirt (unless you’re at the beach and even then it’s a dying trend).
Here are some images from my own recent family session with Twig & Olive Photography. As I said, I am no fashion expert but I applied all of the above tips and I am personally in love with how our images turned out:
That’s it! Hopefully by this point you are gliding your way to finalizing your picks for each person and maybe even a little proud of the awesome stylist you’ve become! If you have questions feel free to leave them on the group page post and I’ll answer them as best I can! If you have an upcoming session with me I will be contacting you as we get closer to your session. I discuss wardrobe and style choices with every client and am here to answer questions and offer help as much or as little as you need/want. Cheers!!
As you can see