You've decided to book a photo session for your family. You want to commemorate the year and who you are with a beautiful boutique image. But what to wear?
I am not a proponent of matching outfits as pictured. To me this is a dated, if not silly look that makes the photo less about your family and more about a ridiculous matching shirt.
If you decide to dress alike in your portrait session, you will no longer appear to be individuals within a family. Yes, it will be easy to identify you as a "family unit" but you are most likely issuing these photos to people who know you. Don't give them a reason to tease you during Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of one matching family outfit... I recommend outfits with complimentary colors, that exemplifies your personal style. Be yourself, you are already unique without the matching shirts.
Inspiration for styling your Family Portraits, Fall 2013
For men think, classic tailored pieces that are either new, or vintage. Vintage shopping can be light on your wallet, leaving you a little extra money for tailoring. Why tailor a shirt or jacket? Because it will fit to your body only. Ready to wear items found on the rack are generally sized. If you're spending money on a jacket that isn't trendy but something you will wear for several seasons tailoring it to fit you ensures it looks absolutely perfect on you. You will look polished, and professional.
Chambray shirts are big for 2013, but I do not recommend pairing it with jeans. Flat front Navy pants are always flattering. Pleated pants, if still in your closet should be donated. They do nothing for the frame of the body, male or female. Press your shirt and pants but only use light starch. Pleating your pants and shirts will make you appear rigid or stiff. You want to be comfortable, and look relaxed and natural. I recommend boots if you're wearing jeans for your session. Dress shoes won't match your jeans, and sneakers are too casual.
For the ladies:
Women's fashion can be tricky. There are many more options offered to women, and this can actually set you up for making more mistakes in planning your portrait outfit. The first rule should always be "Be Comfortable". Once your feet start to hurt, no matter how hard you try - your face starts to show it. If you're not wearing 6" heels daily already opt for a more comfortable heel height or a fashionable boot. Your feet and family will thank you for it!
Wear a color that is complimentary to everyone else's outfits. A pop of color is great! Keep it a solid color that again matches the tone of everyone's outfits. Monochromatic shades of red and burgundy look great with browns and blacks. Orange is one of my favorite colors for fall, paired with jeans. A classic color scheme is tans and ivories with your jeans and looks great in photos!
When in doubt look to Kate Middleton. Her style is classic, and elegant. She is always polished and poised and wears things that photograph beautifully. Her clothing fits her appropriately and is tailored to her frame. Most dry cleaning shops will have someone who for a very small investment will take in, hem or correctly size any item of clothing. Even an off the rack jacket can look couture - the difference really comes from the tailoring.
Kate's hair is always simple and unpretentious. Loose curls and a side part is really all you need for portraits as well. Keep makeup clean and fresh. Make sure to darken your brows, but if you don't have experience with doing this yourself skip it. A professional make-up artist is always recommended and I work with several so if you are interested in having this service provided for you please ask.
I hope from these examples, tips, and tricks you will be comfortable and confident in choosing the best outfit for your session day. Style consultations are always free and I welcome questions about what is and isn't good for your photographs. Please feel free to email any questions you have about what you've chosen to wear! Remember, classic cuts and dresses will never look bad, that's why they're "Classic"!
Saint Paul based photographer offering Headshot and creative portraiture focusing on Commercial needs.
Nouvelle Design Studio
Elle Halls is a member of the American Photographic Artists
What our customers have to say