Coordinating the right clothing can greatly contribute to a successful family portrait. Portraits work best if everyone is wearing a similar color and style. This way, one person will not dominate the portrait. It is good to think about the location of the portrait also. Country clothing might go better with a country setting and casual clothing looks great near the bay.
It is best if everyone is dressed to the same degree of formality or casualness. Solid color clothing of the same tones usually works best. Try to avoid T-shirts, sweats, heat transfer designs and bold patterns (including wide stripes). Babies often spit up; please bring them a second outfit if possible. Dark sunglasses and “Photo-gray” glasses often distract from the portrait and hide the eyes. Regular glasses are fine, but if possible, wear non-glare coated lenses to avoid reflections. Keep in mind that shoes may show in some poses. If you would like to bring along a pet, they are welcome also.
Casual or dressy, everyone should look like they belong together. Solid tops with nice jeans or khakis work well outdoors. Sweaters are excellent when the weather is chilly. Coordinate the colors so no one person stands out.
These are almost always made in your living room. The natural home environment can make a great portrait background. Look around before the photo session and try to find a location with simple, non-busy background. The in-home portrait is usually a more formal one. I recommend wearing solid clothing in the colors that coordinate with the colors in the room.
Very simple garments always photograph best for creating timeless portraits with the focus on expression.
Solid colors are always best, avoid patterns such as stripes, plaids, florals, logos and bright colors.
Light colors are best with light backgrounds and fair complexions.
Darker colors look better with deep backgrounds and dark hair or complexions.
White, ivory, khaki, or pastels are best with a white background.
Shoes and socks or hose should match the tone of the outfit, no white socks with dark pants.
Turtle necks or V-necks are flattering provided that neither is exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particularly deep V-neck garments as well as bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.
Avoid colored shirts with a white collar as the white next to the face pulls attention away from the face.
Remember, when viewing an image, the eye is drawn to the lightest area of that image, which emphasizes it.
Long sleeves are essential for teens and adults, as bare arms call attention to themselves and will overpower the face.
Women being photographed in full length should wear long skirts, pants, or dark stockings in order to keep the eye from being directed toward the legs and away from the face. Dresses or skirts are usually more flattering for women.
Men should have their hair cut about one week before the portrait session. Women should be photographed whenever they are happiest with their hair.