One of the most frequently asked questions photographers receive when they book or discuss a portrait session.
Here are a few suggestions that I’ve found to be effective:
Bring a variety of clothing options. This way, you’ll have a variety of ‘looks’ from a single session. Avoid wearing extremely bright or light colours, which draw attention to the clothes rather than the people wearing them. Bear in mind that bold stripes, checks, and other prints will draw attention away from the people and may not always look good in photographs. Dark colours elongate the subject, especially when paired with a darker background. You can get away with some of these things if it works with your brand colours and your personality.
Avoid wearing identical outfits for a group session. Wear complementary colours. Decide whether the basic tone of clothing will be warm (browns, etc.) or cool (blues, greys, or blacks, etc. ), keeping in mind that the portrait’s mood should be shared by all the individuals in the portrait. For instance, if one person is dressed in a dark suit, another in a pullover, and yet another in a silk blouse, the overall effect will be significantly diminished – even if they are all dressed in the same colour tone. It is preferable if everyone dresses casually or dressy. You have the option, but it must be consistent!
If you dress formally on a daily basis, are comfortable doing so, and wish to project that image, then dress to impress. However, if you and your family are more accustomed to jeans than button-up shirts and suits, please dress accordingly. Both you and your family will feel more at ease, which will be reflected in the photographs. Short-sleeved shirts expose more flesh and can be distracting in photographs. Wear a long-sleeved shirt if possible.
To help you feel more at ease, bring along personal props and accessories, or even the family dog. Someone who enjoys music may bring a guitar, while a chess player may wish to bring their favourite board.
Individuals who wear glasses frequently inquire whether they should wear their glasses in family portraits. The answer is that it depends. Because the lenses in the glasses can create glare in photographs, you can borrow a pair of try-on frames from a nearby optical shop. However, some people are unaccustomed to looking around without their glasses and will squint in the majority of photographs.
Of course even better when you make a house call and the client’s entire closet is at your disposal 😉