10 tips on what to wear for Family Portraits
What is it that you look for in your family portraits? Are you looking just to show up and let the photographer do the whole thing? Are you looking to get some shots in a studio on a white background? Do you just want to have someone get a camera and shoot everyone in your family all huddled up?
I frequently get people that ask me to shoot their family portraits. I always start to ask questions because I know in general they are in a state of mind, not always, but usually they are thinking of 10-15 years go where you show up and get some posed pictures of the family. Well, today has changed significantly. Though there are photographers out there and store front drive thru photography centers that will do that for you. Today is the day to be creative. Make them memorable. Talk to your photographer and get to know him/her. If you don't have ideas, work with them and come up with a plan that will get images that speak to the personality and excitement that exists in your family. So when others look at your images you will hear "wow", that is so your family, amazing.
When you put that creative touch into your family images, they will be something you remember forever. You will look back and have a huge smile on your face. It will be an "experience" not just a dreaded family picture session.
Ok, so with all that said, now on to whats important for your family portraits:
10. Location- When thinking of the location you choose (and time of year) think of how the colors are going to blend and mesh with that area. For example if shooting in the middle of summer in a open grassy area, you might not want to wear green that matches the grass. The examples I often see are families that all decide to wear black and the photographer shoots them on a black backdrop......(shame on that photographer) but the only thing you really see is their hands and heads and if they have jeans on. CHOOSE your location and color wisely.....don't fade into the background
9. Simple is better. When picking texture, clothing or location make sure its NOT too busy. Anything that is a distraction in the photo will take away from the subject. The subject being YOU and YOUR family.
8. Cliche- Avoid the All white or All black cliche. There are times when that is cool, even fun, but its in a very special and specific setting that this works. But in general, the time when that was ok, was 20 years ago (grin)
7. Yes I know you love Batman and Elsa but its NOT going to be in the photos. And for your kids, try and avoid the other logos (grin). This goes again to distractions. Busy designs, logos and characters will cause distraction in the photos. Try and avoid them. Let the image be all about the amazing faces and smiles in your family. (or the amazing tantrums that get thrown while posing)
6. Test Run- lay all the clothes out next to each other and see if they work-
5. Plan Plan Plan- Talk with your photographer make a plan. It WILL Inevitably change, but having a base plan makes things go so much better.
4. Props-think of props that fit your families personalities. Talk with your photographer about the theme, then make it happen. Bring instruments, sports equipment, chalkboards, balloons.
3. Theme - Think of a theme for that year. What is currently happening. The personalities of your kids that year, what major events are happening that year. Whats the most important things in your lives at that time. Many ways and ideas to create a theme that fits your family and will make your images pop. Last year I had family that had their own superhero logo. So, for part of the shoot we did a family superhero theme. It worked well and was a blast to shoot.
2. Home Decor - Look at your walls and places inside the house where you will be hanging them. Make sure you pick colors that go well with the color tones inside. Blending is key.
1. Coordinate and do not match- Coordinating colors looks so much better than matching colors. There are times when matching colors work, and colors that work when matching, but coordinating colors has so much more impact than matching the colors. Matching colors was so 20 years ago....(grin) Try and coordinate colors well. And for the girls, ACCESSORIZE. Add the accent jewelry, hats, and other items that just add that finishing touch to the wardrobe.