Though McKay’s Photography loves to take chances and buck trends, planning your clothing ideas for family photos is still an important task. So let’s discuss how to plan clothing ideas for family photos, engagement pictures and any other group portrait session.
A good friend of mine is a filmmaker… In high school and college, we would always be causing ruckus by taking over a diner for a silly homemade movie of some sort. Randomly, we would get a phone call and the message was always the same: “Grab your bag of tricks!” This was code… a suitcase full of silly clothes, costumes and props (supposed to always be in the trunk of our car)… a.k.a. “the bag of tricks.”
When hiring me for your family photos, whether it be for an engagement or for a family... bring your ‘bag of tricks’ and I’ll help you plan the perfect outfit based on the location and your body type. If you are wondering what goes into your ‘bag of tricks,’ read below for some standard ideas, then look at the images posted for ways to break the rules!
Dark clothing tends to minimize body size, and light tones tend to emphasize body size.
It is best to select clothing that will stand the test of time. No logos, words, etc.
Avoid busy patterns and bright colors.
Light colors are best with light backgrounds and fair complexions.
Darker colors look better with deep backgrounds and dark hair or complexions.
Avoid wearing yellow or green as they can adversely affect skin color. Unless it looks great on you.
Teens and adults should wear long sleeves to cover elbows. Bare arms draw attention.
In a group portrait, skirts should cover the knees.
Shoes and socks are often overlooked as a significant aspect of portrait clothing. They should compliment, not contrast. Carefully consider your apparel from head to toe.
Earth tones meld well together (forest green, brown, maroon, navy blue) or pastels together (lime, peach, salmon, ivory, yellow, baby blue.
Red and orange tend to draw a lot of attention.
First, choose a color theme that simplifies the look of your family portrait. Too many busy patterns and colors are especially distracting in group portraits. While all the clothing does not have to match, the colors should be harmonious. Coordinate the clothing for all subjects in a group portrait so that one person will not dominate the scene (one person wearing black and one person wearing white, for example). A family group should choose clothing that blends with each member’s attire.
Outdoor Portraits, the background is always busy:
Indoor Portrait Sessions, take more chances:
Color Harmony and Portrait Placement:
Also consider the location where the portrait will be displayed. Study the relationship between your initial choice of clothing and the décor in the room itself. By laying clothing out on the couch where the portrait will be hung, anything that clashes will be obvious. Make your final selection much as you would if you were choosing throw pillows. This process will assure that you choose garments that are most suitable.