- Avoid white/black t-shirt and jeans –
The only time I would suggest wearing a plain black or white shirt and jeans, is for newborn photos. In newborn photos when you wear a solid black or white, you become more or less a backdrop for the baby and the focus remains on them.
However for family photos it seems like a default for parents to bring a white or black t-shirt and jeans for the whole family. I get it. It’s easy and classic, but there are just many other amazing options available, why limit ourselves!
2. Coordinating colours –
So how do we spice things up a little? Choose a few colours (2-3) from the same colour scheme and have fun with it!
This is a great example of using colour to your advantage in photos! Gaëlle chose a few bright summery colours, and then pulled them all together with a neutral. Remember your neutral doesn’t necessarily have to be white; it could also be grey, beige, black and even navy.
The outfits in the photo above aren’t overly matchy, yet they work because they are in the same cheery colour scheme. The skirt also adds some visual interest, since everyone else is in a solid. In outdoor images you can pull inspiration from your surroundings. For example, in the fall, warm reds, yellows, greens and browns would work just as well as these cheery summery colour.
3. Limiting Patterns –
Patterns are great, don’t get me wrong it’s just important to know how to use them. A great way to plan your families outfits is to pick a piece with a pattern and a few colours in it, and have family members wear a few of those colours to tie it all together.
Line has on a great metallic scarf with accents of blue, grey, white and brown. It adds visual interest to the image, while also serving as inspiration to the other outfits, and really ties all of them together. Especially since everyone is in solids here, it would be a little boring without the scarf. Which brings me to the next item!
4. Accessorize –
Accessories can make all the difference in a photo. Don’t be afraid to accessorize! Bring a few options to your photo session and switch them up as you go along. You can change the whole look and feel of a photo just by adding or taking away an accessory.
5. No cartoon characters or logos please! –
I know it can be hard to convince your little ones that a collard shirt is nicer than their favourite Elmo t-shirt. Trust me, I’ve been there with my lil one!
I’m all for incorporating sentimental items into photography. If there is an item of clothing that your child is particularly attached to, get a solo portrait of them with that item for memory sake.
Otherwise characters and logos can be very distracting in family portraits. You want your family portraits to be timeless, and when you look at them you probably don’t want to first notice Hello Kitty, and your family next!
Instead go for their favourite colour, or a simple pattern to make it more fun! If your kids are old enough, get them involved in the planning process. Or give them a few options and let them choose, it will go a lot easier this way!
6. Plan ahead –
There’s nothing worse than running around a few days before your photo session stressing about getting everyone’s outfit coordinating and in the right size! You will end up showing up to the photo shoot already stressed, and this isn’t going to translate to good photos.
When you have your session booked, start planning your outfits right away. If you need some inspiration check out Cait Lemieux Photography’s Pinterest board.