what to wear in photoshoots family lifestyle

1. stay true to your style

What you wear is a part of you and your personality, it states who YOU are in a certain phase of your life. Stay true to yourself and wear something that makes you “YOU”. Imagine 10 years on and what you will see when you look back at the pictures. Will you be able to recognize yourself?

Lifestyle family session photography picturelyspoken marianne hope

2. coordinate

It looks nice if the colors on the different clothes work well together in a natural way. Bright, colorful and happy clothes, can look wonderful, but be careful not to overdo it. The colors could end up competing with each other and take the attention away from the subjects and create a bit of a chaos. If in doubt; Less is more.

A good “set up”, is having a few “center pieces” that pop out, while the rest is kept neutral and subtle. What works well in a family is letting the kids wear bright and colorful clothes, while the parents have a more neutral look. The mom can wear a flower or a scarf that coordinates with the kids’ clothes.

3. avoid too much white or black

White and black are problematic colors when photographing in natural light, especially sunny weather. White will easily be blown out and loose details, while black will just look flat and boring. Wearing a few white or black pieces should be fine, but don’t go all white or all black if you can avoid it.

what to wear in photoshoots Lifestyle family session photography picturelyspoken marianne hope

4. limit patterns and character prints

Patterns and characters (i.e. Sponge Bob) are fun, but they can create a real mess in a photo as well as take the attention away from the subjects. Keep in mind what is most important in the pictures you want to end up with. I’m sure you would rather the focus was on the expressions on your faces, than on the faces on your clothes.

If you want to use clothes with patterns, avoid chaos by restricting them to 1 or 2 persons acting as “center pieces” (often that would be the children), while having the rest of the subjects (i.e. parents) wear something subtle and neutral.

5. accessories and props

Accessories and props can add fun and interest to the pictures. They should compliment your personality, not take center stage, so again stay true to who you are and don’t forget that “less is more”. Think scarf, ties, flowers, hats, jewelry, blankets, umbrellas, balloons, books or objects that means something to you or your kids etc.

Some accessories have the added advantage of making the subjects interact with each other in a natural way and add energy and/or emotion to the setting. See some ideas on the left.

6. shoes matters!

They really do, so don’t forget to consider them. Your shoes show a part of your personality and they’re perfect for making creative compositions and focal points. They also have important functions like making you look taller or classy, sporty or colorful. If the whole family have the same type of shoes, i.e. Converse, or the girls have some sparkly ballerinas, that can be a fun thing to focus on.

7. consider the environment

If the weather is cold, wear enough clothes to stay warm. Hats, scarfs and other wool accessories will not only help you stay warm and comfy, they also add interest to the images. If the weather is hot, wear something that doesn’t make you sweat more than necessary. Also think about the type of fabric, will there be visible sweat patches?

If you know the surroundings and main colors of where you are shooting, it can add interest to the image if you wear something that stands out from the background color -think complimentary colors. I.e. imagine green surroundings,  green clothes would be almost invisible, while red would stand out.

8. the end-products

Consider where you will use the pictures. Will you be using color pictures or black and white?  If you are particular about your interior, you could choose colors that will look nice on your walls and not crash with the color scheme. If your preferences are towards black and white pictures, chances are they will fit into most interiors regardless, but you should consider how the clothes will look in black and white. If all subjects wear black/dark colors, you might all end up looking like a huge dark lump of fabric with several heads. Different textures, layers as well as mixing dark and light clothes together is always a good idea:)