what to wear!


Deciding what to wear in family photos can be very challenging.  These are photographs that will hang on your walls for quite some time!  I typically start by selecting outfits for the children, then coordinate the adult attire thereafter.  Refer to these tips when selecting attire for photography sessions.

PLAN AHEAD.  Once you book your session, start thinking of attire right away.  If sessions are booked way in advance, be sure to try clothing on the children to ensure fit is appropriate at the time of shooting.  It is a good idea to have an extra shirt/outfit for the little ones especially if they are teething/drooling!  I  welcome clients to send attire photos to me for thoughts and feedback.  When in doubt, ASK!  I worked in the fashion industry for 14 years and would love to help.

HOME DECOR.  Think about your home decor.
Do you like bright colors? neutrals tones? warm colors of the spectrum or cool hues?  Since you will be hanging or displaying these photos in your home you want to make sure the colors of your clothing coordinate with and compliment the color schemes of your home.

COORDINATING COLORS.  Select coordinating colors; not matching colors.  Choose a couple of colors to create a “color palette” then select clothing that will fit into this color scheme.  Colors that are “lighter or darker” shades/tones of a color can also work.  I would shy away from all members wearing the same color and matching everyone in the family.  Do keep in mind that I will take photos of the entire family together and also shots that may not include all members.  Considering this, be sure to break apart the “family” attire to insure outfits work together when members are taken out of the picture!

ACCESSORIES.  Don’t forget “the flare”!  Accessories not only add to your outfit but they can be fun to use in photos and certainly can make a good pic GREAT.  Have the man wear a tie for the woman to hold.  Necklaces for the kids to play with or hats to hide behind.  (fun shoes/boots, umbrellas, scarves, bow ties, hair accessories etc.)  I have a collection of little toddler boy bow ties and ties.  Please inquire if you’d like me to bring along!  We can always take away accessories at the shoot if need be so be sure to bring along options!

PATTERNS AND PRINTS.  Personally, I LOVE having an outfit in the mix that has all the colors in it. However, not everyone in the photo should wear patterns/prints as it may distract the final image.  I find it is very easiest to put the little ones in the bold pattern or print.  A men’s woven button down shirt may be a pinstripe, but actually appear solid from afar.  Even printed socks or patterned shoes add interest.

TEXTURES.  Texture add lots of dimension and visual interest!  Texture is a surface quality related closely to our sense of touch or sight.  Texture may be hard to soft or smooth to rough.  Texture is as important in clothing as color, and in fact, in tone-on-tone outfits, can be the defining quality.
Don’t shy away from different textures…wool, linen, silk, velvet, suede, leather, twill, seersucker, cashmere, denim.  Even a leather belt, silk scarf or patent shoes can make an outfit great!

RETAIL COLLECTIONS.  When shopping for clothing for my children, I gravitate toward stores that typically have color coordinating collections for both genders.  I can then purchase outfits for all the children from one store making it easy to coordinate.  This helps when you have multiple little ones to dress for photos.

 AVOID.  Avoid all white or all black clothing as it makes it easy to lose detail in the photograph.
Say NO to characters!  Yes, your little one may love their CARS tee shirt, but you may want to skip it for the family photo session.  Like patterns, characters or large numbers on clothing can be pretty distracting.

Avoid dressing everyone in the same outfit unless it is required for an event!

BACKGROUND AND LOCATION.  Consider your background/location.  If you are doing a session at a park, selecting more casual attire is most likely appropriate as I typically do standing and sitting photos.  Dressy attire is more suitable for formal settings.  If you are taking photos in front of a backdrop, consider your color choices carefully.

Choosing simple, classic clothing you will help give your images a timeless feel.



apryl dukes-mcdaniel



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