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Family Portraits

8 Tips on Choosing the Right Outfits for Family Portraits

We used to do family portraits every spring and sad to say, we’ve gotten away from it.  I’m working on booking an appointment now but do you know how to make the most of your photo session?

Outfit tips for portraits

So you have booked a session to have family portraits made. Now, what should you wear? There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing the attire your family will wear for the photo shoot. Below, take a look at some of the best tips for selecting the right outfits for your family portraits!


  1. Coordinate but avoid matching

The popular fad of EVERYONE wearing white shirts and khakis is going out of style. Now, it’s better to have a coordinating collection of outfits. For kids, there are some retails stores that will help you coordinate clothing by shopping their style collections. It’s ideal to pick their outfits first, then build Mom’s and Dad’s around the kids clothing.


  1. Follow a specific color scheme

You don’t want to hop in front of the camera with your family looking like a total rainbow. To prevent the myriad of colors, choose no more than two that will work together, and follow this color scheme. Everyone’s outfits should work into the scheme you have chosen, while still wearing different outfits.

Outfit tips for portraits

  1. Find shades that complement each other

Maybe you decided to go with blue and yellow for your color scheme. That still gives you a great deal of room to be creative. You can choose a pale blue and yellow for some, with another family member wearing something a bit darker blue. Avoid shades that are too bold or stark in comparison to everyone else’s choice in clothing. You don’t want one person standing out from all the rest.


  1. Dress for your location

Consider where you will be having your family portraits made. If you will be shooting outdoors, you want to make sure you have the right outfits on for the weather and season. During the fall, more classic reds, browns, or oranges will work with the leaves that are changing color. If you are going for spring portraits, lighter colors and pastels work better with the bright green grass, sunny days, and blooming flowers.


If you will be getting your photos done in a studio, consider the different background colors you may want to use. You don’t want to wear black with a black background – all that will show up in the picture is your heads!


  1. Limit patterns

Just as colors can clash with one another, so can patterns. The less busy your clothing is in the pictures, the better. If possible, everyone should be wearing solid colors. If plaid must be in the picture, limit it to one family member wearing it while the rest wear solids that coordinate.

family portraits


  1. Opt for year-round portraits

While it’s cute to be wearing a Santa hat or “ugly sweater” during holiday pictures, make sure you have some poses that are more evergreen. A portrait that is too specific may look out of place in your home during the offseason. You can still do the more timely shots, of course, but I wouldn’t recommend placing them on the wall during other times of the year.


  1. Comfort is Important

Make sure that everyone is comfortable during the portrait session. This is especially true for the children of the family. If their clothing is too itchy or snug, they will likely be miserable. And when a child is miserable, it’s nearly impossible to get a genuine smile out of them! Comfort is also important when considering the weather. You don’t want to dress too light on a cool or windy Fall day. Likewise, you don’t want to overdress for a sunny Spring photo session.


  1. Consider fun accessories

You can definitely add some character to your portraits without overdoing it. Put a hat on your son, let your daughter carry her favorite purse. Just something to really present their style and personality. Avoid jewelry or accessories that are too flashy or bold, however, as you want them to merely accent your photos – not take the focus off you and your family!


  1. Plan outfits in advance

It is never too early to start deciding what outfits your family will wear for the photo shoot. Once your session has been scheduled, jump online and look for inspiration. Pinterest is a great place to go, of course! The more time you have to coordinate the clothing, the better your choices will be in the end.


Finding the Right Family Photographer

Even if you have the perfect outfits for your family’s portraits, you still have to select the right photographer for your needs. Atlanta-based Donald Chambers Photography is an excellent choice, with over 30 years of experience capturing memories with a camera. Donald is most noted for his classic black and white prints, though you don’t want to underestimate the quality of his bold color prints either! He has also photographed some notable people, including celebrity Steve Harvey.


Understanding the need to work with children and babies until you can get it right, Donald’s camera is ready for you and you family for as long as you need it. You can also sit down and look at the portraits taken during a quick review following the session, just to be sure you captured everyone perfectly!


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Stephanie is a wife and mom of two, a Virtual Assistant, freelance writer and Social Media maven. Stephanie is also the owner of The Autism Diva - a travel, lifestyle blog and special needs resource as she is raising a non-verbal son with Autism. The Autism Diva covers events in the metro Atlanta area and New England. Also hosts giveaways, reviews, recipes and more. With a background in Business and Finance, she left it all behind to be a stay-at-home mom and also homeschools both her kids. Coffee is a must and while life can be crazy, she wouldn't have it any other way.

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