For many people this can be one of the most thought-provoking parts about taking portraits. I get more questions about what to wear than about anything else. Don’t stress – here are some tips to help!
Don’t do matchy-matchy. The whole everyone in white tops and jeans things is played out. When you go all out for matching outfits it makes your portraits look overplanned and a little cheesey, not to mention unrealistic. When was the last time your whole family went to a social function in matching outfits? Probably never. So steer clear.
Stay in the same color family. While you shouldn’t get decked out in the same shirt, you can stay in the same color family. Try having everyone in an outfit that incorporates the same color – blues, browns and grays work well. It doesn’t have to be the same shade, just the same palette. That way you’ll look like you fit together, but not like clones.
Choose a level of formality. Decide if you want a more formal or casual look, and make sure everyone’s outfit is on the same level. You don’t want everyone in dress pants except for one kiddo in jeans. I highly recommend staying casual, but if you want to dress up be sure everyone does.
Be comfortable. Depending on the location of your session, you may have to walk quite a bit. Engagement portraits often require a lot of walking, so be cautious of wearing super high heels if they’re going to kill your feet. Wear shoes that won’t hurt you feet, and clothes you don’t mind getting just a little dirty. For family sessions, it’s imperative that the kids are comfortable, too. If they feel awkward and itchy in their outfit, you’ll see it all over their faces in the photos.
Wear what you know. There’s a temptation to go out and buy brand new outfits for your portraits – resist! Wear something you know you like and that looks good on you. You don’t want to look back at the photos and realize that brand new outfit wasn’t as cute as you thought. What you wear should also show a little more about who you are and what you like – so it’s a good idea to wear something you already have.
Dress for the weather. If you’re having photos taken in August, dress for August. Don’t wear sweaters and pants because it will look seasonally appropriate on your holiday card later this year. You’ll be hot, uncomfortable, and sweaty, and it will show. Conversely, wear warm clothes if it’s chilly outside. If it’s snowing outside, photos of your kids playing in their winter coats will be much cuter than frozen kiddos with blue faces.