A question that clients always ask is “What do we wear?” It is a great question, after all, you are talking about photos that will be cherished by yourself as well as by friends and family for years to come. Following are some tips and ideas! Also, be sure to check out my “What to Wear” inspiration board on Pinterest.
1. Outfits should coordinate but don’t have to match completely. Choose a color scheme and work with it. Different shades of the same color paired with khakis for example are a good choice. Or choose 3-4 complimentary colors and each person wear a different combination of them.
2. Texture! Any garment with texture photographs wonderfully! Knit sweaters, jeans, corduroys, tweed, scarves, etc. Also layers look great too!
3. Don’t do trendy. Stick to timeless, classic outfits that you will look back on in 10-20 years and not think “Geesh what was I thinking!”
4.Stick to solid colors and small patterns. Logos and big, bold patterns are a no-no. Nothing is more distracting in a family portrait that giant letters or a big NIKE swoosh.
5. Shoes make the outfit. White sneakers show up like a pink elephant , so if you don’t want them to stand out, keep with neutral. Also, don’t be afraid to take them off as barefoot shots often make for great photos. If you specifically want to do the photo shoot barefoot, please wear loose fitting sandals or flip flops to the session so that you do not have sock marks on your feet.
6. Comfort is key. If you are uncomfortable in it, don’t wear it. Custom outdoor portraits often involve a bit of moving, walking, playing, etc. My goal as a photographer is to have a fun photo session with you so that you can see it in your photos. If your outfit is too restricting, too revealing or you can’t get it dirty then please wear something else. It will help to make your session much more enjoyable.
7. Hair and make-up. While I want you to look nice for your portraits, please don’t try anything new the day of your session. Haircuts should be tried out about 2 weeks before your session so you don’t have that, “wow, he just got a haircut” look. Girls, keep with your normal hair style, there is no need for a new fancy do that does not look like you. Make-up should not be overdone but even if you are not a make-up kind of girl, at least apply some foundation, a little mascara and some lip gloss. This will help your complexion to look smooth and will also help to bring out your eyes. Also, guys, if you have an evening session, please wait until later in the day to shave to avoid that 5 o’clock shadow.
8. Accessories are a nice touch but don’t over do it. Keep jewelry simple. If you are wear a more neutral color palate but want a splash of color, then choose a bright scarf or necklace. Guys, leave the big black wristwatch at home, or opt for a nice classic gold or silver watch. Just like the NIKE swoosh, a big black plastic band on your wrist is also a distraction from the main subjects.
9. Props, toys, etc. are all fine. If your child has a favorite blanket or teddy bear that they cannot live without, just let them have it. After all, these portraits are a reflection of who you / your children are at this time in your lives.
BABIES & TODDLERS
For babies not yet walking, try to stay away from uncomfortable, stuffy outfits. Avoid puffy, frilly outfits, big collared shirts, shoes and anything else they don’t usually wear. A baby is best photographed in a diaper cover and bare belly, legs & feet. Sometimes I will suggest a few simple props, hats, bows, etc.
For toddlers, keep it simple. Little girls always look cute in a simple & classic white slip dress and toddler boys in a pair of jeans and bare feet. If you are really daring (and are not planning on family portraits), let your toddler pick out her own outfit to be worn in a few of the shots. You may be surprised at how cute a mismatched outfit like a cute tutu, some boots, leggings, chunky jewelery & hat would look!
Newborns are always photographed best in their birthday suits or a simple diaper cover. I will bring along accessories & props to add to the photos so that all you have to worry about is keeping baby happy. If you are interested in being in the photos, this is the only time I will suggest all black tops paired with jeans…this allows for some great, emotional black & white portraits.