Here is What You Should Wear
As a family portraits photographer, we get this question very often at the studio; “What should I wear for my family portrait?” I always respond by thanking them for their question, because what you wear is so very important for what you would like to reflect in your family portrait.
My response is always, wear what best reflects your family’s personality. If it’s formal and conservative, wear elegant dresses and suits for Dad. Dress as if you are taking the family to an elegant restaurant. If you’re more relaxed and informal, wear a pair of nice jeans, sweaters and colorful scarves. Dress as if you are taking the family out to a nice family restaurant.
Now, there are items of clothing that are complementary to the body and complexion. Then there are types of clothing that work against us. My favorite recommendation as a family portrait photographer with years of experience, is to wear dark solids. Dark solids always help with appearing slimmer.
Stay away from stripes, patterns, plaids, prints, logos or lettering. These tend to distract the viewer whereas solid colors tend to isolate faces and keep the family as the focus of the portrait. Primary red and primary blue tend to place their shade onto face so I would suggest to stay away from these colors as well. Both these colors as well as florescents also tend to be dominant forces in portraits I find.
When making a determination on how to coordinate colors with the family, one does not always have to be overly concerned with wearing matching tops and bottoms. Coordinating colors and finding colors that complement each other is very important.
Instead of matching, try to pick two simple colors that coordinate well with each other. Once you have picked your two colors, tell each family member to select wear clothing featuring either both colors or one. For instance, if your colors are white and navy, dad can wear a navy suit with a white dress shirt, mom can wear an all white dress, sister can wear a navy blouse with white pants and brother can wear a white sweater and white bottom with a navy scarf. Both white and navy are featured in this family portrait without being matchy or clashing.
Lastly, I always tell my clients that the most important thing is that this family portrait will be a visual memory of your family that you will look at everyday on a wall. You want to ensure that you are happy with how you look and that the end result is a family portrait that shows the emotional relationships between one another.