What To Wear
In general, think simple when it comes to your family’s outfits. Large patterns, stripes, and text on clothing is not recommended. Neutral colors photograph best, particularly pastels or fall colors. True red is a color to avoid – it turns a blah grey in black and white and tends not to look great in color as well. Cranberry or burgundy shades are fine, however. To add interest and personal style to your outfit, you can always accessorize with something more vibrant. You are welcome to bring hats or accessories that you would like in some of the images.
Start with one outfit (for family sessions, this is usually mom’s.) Once you’ve chosen one outfit, lay it out on the bed with some options for the rest of the family. Squint at the ensemble. If anything stands out, take it out and try again. The key is to coordinate and have similar tones without being too matchy-matchy or having one person’s outfit draw attention away from the rest of the family. I am a strong believer in staying is key in my images. This means, if you are having your pictures taken with a dark background or scenery, stay with dark colors in the outfits. The same is true for light backgrounds or scenery and light outfits.
For cooler weather, layering is a great idea. It’s flattering and if you want a shot with an under layer, you can just take off your sweater or jacket quickly and throw it back on after the shot.
Other Items to Include
Babies and children can bring a special toy or stuffed animal if you want that included. Other items to consider including are special quilts or blankets, small furniture items, or anything that is related to an activity your family enjoys (sports equipment, for example.) Seasonal items like umbrellas or bubbles can be fun, as well.
What It’s All About
Ultimately, we are creating images for your family about your family. They should represent your style and personal flair. So, don’t over think your dress or props too much. You should be comfortable in whatever you where so the focus remains on the loving relationships in your family. So break the rules if it suits you and have fun!
Check out my boards on Pinterest for more inspiration on great outfits, props, and poses for portrait sessions.