( Here's my responses to their questions )
1. My number one tip for picking out clothes for your family photo shoot is: “Have a Plan!”. Many elements ( including wardrobe ) have to come together to make a great family photo. Clothing is pretty unique in the sense that you have a lot of control over it. Knowing your locations, your family, the season,…etc should all be a small part of your decision. The trick is using clothing to help unify your family, the light, the season, the location...etc.
2. What colors look best together? Usually a good blend of full hue colors ( pure color ) combined with muted ones. ( muted tones are darker or more pastel ). Also observe some simple relationships: if you have a warm background, try cool colors for your wardrobe. If you have a muted background, try more brights. Once you decide which to go with then you can add pops of color in the opposite tone. As a general rule, your photos can handle more muted tones than hue. It’s often better to have toned down layering with thin splashes of color than the other way around.
3. Children: I always suggest layers for children. If they have different layers on, you can switch up their outfit easily throughout the shoot. Also, hats, jackets, and boots are best for children.
4. Families: Dress up or down? Before you decide on which one, think about your own family. Are you more laid back or formal? Do you want to have a classic look or a more trendy styled look? Dressing up may be more appropriate depending on the reason for the photo shoot.
5. Settings: Do they affect wardrobe? Defiantly! I just did a family shoot where the wife had two different sets of outfits picked out. She had a more formal look and a casual look. I suggested that we do two different locations, downtown and the fair. You can see from the pictures how the looks and the locations complement each other. Just think, what location would be most logical with what we are wearing? Or the other way around.
Here’s a few more general concepts I’ve found (Of course, nothings set in stone )
NO SHIRTS WITH LOGOS OR WRITING!!!
Kids have energy. They can handle color.
Moms want to be beautiful. They can handle style and color.
Dads are supportive. They can handle muted supportive tones.
Be classy in the plaza,
Wholesome on the farm,
Cozy in the arboretum,
Fun at the fair.
Be bright in the winter,
Bold in the fall,
Colorful during the day,
Dressy at night.
Remember, family photos are about capturing those moments where everyone connects. Relationships in wardrobe give a feeling of relationship within the group, resulting in more “connected” photos.
Sounds simple right? It is…and it isn’t. The trick is to have a plan and start. Think about your factors, make a choice, and run with it. See what’s working, see what’s not. It’s amazing what a little experience can show you when you are looking.
Best wishes and luck,
Kate Jennings Photography