What to Wear
Some helpful advice about dressing for a Family Portrait:
Begin with Neutral Fabrics
Start with solid (or lightly textured) outfits in one of the Color Palettes below. Add a minimal splash of color and pattern with the children's outfits or adult's accessories (ie: a shirt or blouse under a jacket, a scarf, jewelry, etc).
Don't Mix Whites and Darks
Unify the group with a "dark-on-dark" mix of clothing, (OR) a mix of "light-on-light" tones.
Do not mix dark and light tops and bottoms. Especially in larger groups, this can create a "cluttered" look. Ideally, no outfit will compete for attention with your beautiful faces.
Avoid Bold Patterns or Logos
Experience shows that strong patterns and stripes can date a portrait quickly. For a timeless and more artistic effort, employ solids and subtly textured fabrics.
Dark clothing tends to slenderize. Longer sleeves are generally more flattering than short cap sleeves. Wearing the same tone on top and bottom tends to lengthen and slenderize your body visually.
People who wear their glasses all day often want to keep them on for their portrait. Glasses, however, can produce glare and reflections covering the eyes. This is not retouchable. Anti-reflective coating helps greatly to reduce the reflections. Otherwise we recommend borrowing a similar pair of empty frames from your optometrist, or going without.
For a Natural Look
Layering with sweaters and jackets adds depth and dimension to your portrait. Layers can also allow you to move more naturally and look more comfortable. Outdoor portraits are best with "outdoor" casual outfits, which allow you to sit on the ground if needed. Consider jean-style pants and long, flowing skirts for this reason.
For a Formal Portrait
For a stunning formal portrait start with a blend of rich, understated colors. Add a little dark-on-dark pattern with accessories. Don't be afraid to spice it up with a color splash, flattering necklines and jewelry. Layers of darker tones work well to simplify the overall look, while adding depth.
Lay it All Out
Try laying out everyone's clothing in the room where your portrait will live. Replace outfits and add accessories until you achieve a complimentary and exciting look for that room. After laying out your clothing choices, take a quick snapshot with your phone. This can be helpful when sharing information with other family members and when shopping for the rest of the family.
Finally... Bring Options
We highly recommend bringing extra clothing options for each member of your group. Often we find that changing a top or bottom at the last minute can greatly improve your portrait design.
See more Visual Ideas on Pinterest!
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