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How to dress for a family session

Things to think about when dressing the family for a photo session:

I get asked all the time by my clients who book a family session "what should we wear?" 
So I created a few examples of outfit combinations so that you can get an idea of what looks good in a family photo. The most important thing is that there are no distractions from the most important thing in the image - the relationships! Family portraits are the most likely to be up on your wall for a long time so clothes that are easily dated are not ideal. First I'll get the clothes that you should avoid out of the way.

Clothes to avoid:

1. Clothes with large brand logos on them. They are a massive distraction - please avoid these at all costs! Probably my biggest no no for family outfits. 

2. Exactly matched clothes. This is a common go-to for families but to be honest, I prefer everyone to have their own outfit that is similar perhaps but representing the individuals style and personality. 

3. Busy patterns. I love patterns but if the whole family is dressed in patterns - it will get too busy fast!

Outfit Formula


Choose a colour palette (Include a neutral as a base no matter what other colours you choose)

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Choose an occasion (smart, casual, at home relaxed)

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Pick 1 or 2 patterns

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Accessorise (keep it simple)

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Beautiful, timeless family portraits where your personalities and relationships take centre stage!


Other things to think about when dressing your family:

Babies

If you have a young baby who is going to be close to you a lot it is best to have one dressed in a pattern and the other in a plain, complimentary colour OR both in plain colours. If both are in patterns it can clash and distract the eye when looking at the final image.

Textures / Material

I love linens, cottons and silks - these transfer really well onto camera and they are very flattering for most people. Good quality material that fits the body well is going to look good and will not look out of fashion in 10 years time. 

Season

Dress for summer when it's a hot day and dress for winter when its cold - this seems obvious but it is still important to consider. Cold kids and cold parents during a photo session will make the experience uncomfortable which will translate into how the photos turn out - you can't hide chattering teeth and goosebumps! The same applies for summer - sweat stains and red faces are not a good look. I don't want the first thing you think of when you look at the photos to be "we look exhausted and hot" or "I remember it being so cold that day". 

Here area a few examples I've put together - I've just used a basic nuclear family as the model. Keep in mind that girls do not have to wear dresses and the styles may not suit everyone. I've tried to show how patterns, colours and textures combine to create a really cohesive look where everyone can show off their personality and still be apart of the bigger picture.



 

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