It seems like Fall is that perfect season in Colorado for family portraits. August and September have been very busy for me and October is not slowing down. I actually recently had my own family portraits done as well (I’ve got to be in some of them!).
A common question from my clients is “What should we wear?”. Pinterest has tons of inspiration and I have a board that I steadily build onto for clients to reference.
But I thought it might be helpful to take you through wardrobe choices from a photographer’s point of view…
For my home and business I have a color palette that I like to keep with. Colors that you find as you move throughout your home are always a good inspiration point (unless you are about to completely remodel in brand new colors). These are typically colors you are visually drawn to and will use time and again. Unless you are only going to print Black & White versions of your images this is something you may want to take into consideration.
For my family, I choose navy as a starting point more than any other color. In the spring it can be lightened up and in the fall it can be darkened with accents. Other colors that work the same way are black, brown, grey and cream. Once you have your base color, pick 2-3 other colors or patterns to coordinate with. More than 3 and you start getting too busy for your images and it can get distracting. Don’t do more than 2 patterns and try not to choose two busy patterns (flowers and polka dots). Instead, flowers and stripes, or plaid and solids that tie into the plaid.
Finally, consider your session location and any potential theme. Will there be props provided by the photographer that you will need to coordinate with? For instance, if a gold chair is going to be provided, you may want to avoid mustard or gold in case they aren’t exact matches.
Movement and Theme
Ask yourself what look you are trying to achieve with your family portraits. My fall minis are all outside
with wide open spaces. These are spots that you can move in and for women/girls especially I suggest finding dresses with some flowiness or movement to them! Slits in long dresses are also fun and visually interesting!
What does that mean and why should you think about it? Dress movement can add visual interest to your images. Twirling, swishing a dress and having skirts draped around you all keep the eye moving around an image. It means little things that might make you self-conscious are less likely to be noticed by you and your image will be a bit more artistic. It also allows your images to be less stiff and posed in their overall feel. Hats, scarves, sweaters and more are all great options as well. Cardigans and kimonos can give incredible movement even if you are wearing jeans and a tshirt! These can give your hands something to do and let you play a bit!
There are a few things I suggest that families be aware of when picking outfits. Especially with minis, if you are worried about these things we lose precious time and editing out/fixing these issues is an additional cost later on.
- Bra Straps – there are a lot of gorgeous dresses out there that bra straps regularly pop out of. When picking options for women, test out the bra you want to wear with it.
- Length – every once in a while someone orders a dress and it is way shorter than expected and you can see their discomfort. If it looks cute with leggings or stockings, go that route. Otherwise, message your photographer. I keep a stock of gowns and dresses that are meant to flatter multiple body types.
- light shines through cream dresses – prepare accordingly
- Logos – I don’t have a problem with these but if you are going to be annoyed seeing “x company” across a polo you might want to have the guys wear a different one.
- Shoes – High Heels are gorgeous, they make my calves look awesome. However, when doing outdoor photos, you may be comfortable in dirt with heels.
One last tip… Wearing form fitting dresses is often gorgeous. If you are going to do this give your body a chance to breathe for 8-12 hours ahead of time. Tight underwear and pants can leave lines even after they are off.
If you are interested in booking a session and creating “MAJECK” with Mary Elizabeth – you can contact her here!