When it comes to capturing unforgettable moments, the ambiance, location, and lighting are all crucial. Yet, what truly brings a photo to life are the subjects in it. For family sessions, coordinating outfits can elevate your photographs from beautiful to breathtaking. Here’s a guide to help you select the best ensemble for your next family portraits session.
Start with a color palette
Choosing the right color palette sets the tone for your entire photo session. Instead of randomly selecting colors, think of the emotion or vibe you wish to evoke.
Warm tones: Shades of reds, oranges, and yellows can create a cozy, intimate vibe. They’re particularly striking for fall sessions, evoking feelings of warmth and togetherness.
Cool tones: Blues, greens, and purples lend a calm and serene atmosphere. They’re great for beach or springtime sessions where the surrounding often carry these hues.
Neutral tones: Tans, grays, and whites are versatile and timeless. They allow for the focus to remain primarily on the subjects and can fit in almost any settings.
Once you’ve decided on 2-3 primary colors, spring in 1-2 complementary or accents colors. This combination ensures uniformity during family portraits while offering enough room for individual expression.
Avoid matching exactly
While it might be tempting to have everyone in white shirts and blue jeans, uniformity can make the picture look staged. Instead, go for coordinating outfits, which give depth and interest to the photography.
Texture and layers are your friends
Think beyond colors. Fabrics like lace, denim, or knits can add an exciting dimension to the photo. A layered look, such as a cardigan over a dress or a jacket with a tee, can add depth and richness.
Keep the location in mind
The backdrop for your family portraits isn’t just a mere background; it plays a pivotal role in setting the mood and narrative. Your outfits should harmonize with this backdrop, not clash with it.
Beach setting: Think of sandy tones, light blues, or even whites. These colors mimic the natural hues of the beach and create a dreamy, ethereal vibe.
Urban setting: Jewel tones like deep blues, burgundies, or emerald greens can pop against the grays and brows of cityscapes. Alternatively, neutrals can offer a chic, modern look.
Forest/park setting: Earthy tones, greens, and floral patterns work beautifully. They blend with nature while standing out just enough to keep the focus on the family.
Remember, the location is an extension of your photo’s story. Your outfits should complement it, not compete with it.
Limit bold patterns
While patterns can be beautiful, avoid outfits with large logos or super bold patterns, as they can distract from faces. If one person wears a pattern, balance it out by dressing the others in solid colors.
Comfort is key
Uncomfortable clothing can lead to discomfort during the shoot, which can show in the photos. Choose outfits that every family member feels good in, and remember to consider the weather.
Accessories like hats, scares, or statement necklaces can provide a pop of color and personality. Just ensure they don’t overpower the primary subjects – you and your loved ones.
Plan ahead for your family portraits
Give yourself and your family enough time to choose outfits. Rushing can lead to choices you might regret later. It might even be a good idea to have a trial run, dressing everyone up and seeing how the outfits look together.
Ask for feedback
As your photographer, I’m not just someone who clicks the shutter. I’m your collaborator in storytelling. Given my experience, I’ve seen the nuances of how different outfits translate on camera.
Expert eye: What might look great in person might not always translate well on camera. I can guide you on shades that might be too reflective or patterns that could distort in photos.
Location insights: I have extensive knowledge about shooting all around the Triad. I am happy to provide advice on outfits that work best with specific settings, taking into account lighting, terrain, and background elements.
Engaging in open communication ensures we are all on the same page, leading to family portraits that are both visually stunning and emotionally resonant.