In the summer months, our portrait business consists of family reunions or large families over eight. One of the first questions we get is "What should we wear?" so we've put together this post to help you with outfit planning.
First, you want timeless images that stand the test of time... but your teen daughter is "soooo in love" with the worst color on the spectrum or your father-in-law refuses to wear anything other than a black outfit that looks like he's a mobster vacaying in Havana (your session is in the mountains)... well, let me tell you this... You have my full permission to blame outfit selections on me by using any of the following phrases:
1. She's such a temperamental artist but her photos are wonderful... we are only allowed to wear <insert your desired color palette here> as she says it compliments the location.
2. Yes, Honey, the photographer says I need to spend <insert amount here> on new clothes for the session. It IS a necessity.
3. Cindy, sweetie. I know you hate my telling you how to dress but this photographer will give you amazing photos to butcher on instagram so let's try to find something you love in the color palette we've chosen.
Okay, so we have to get real here. We have to talk about all the things that you shouldn't do.
1. Matching outfits went out in the 80s. Like selective coloring photographers everywhere finally rose up and said no more white shirted blobs in my photos (because that's what your images will look like on first pass).
2. Should you wear denim? Denim is fine, in moderation, in my mind. Mix it and match it in with different pieces (jeans here, denim dress there, etc) but if you glance at yourself in the mirror and like an 80s pop star in denim from head to toe... you may want to rethink your outfit choice.
3. Avoid too many patterns. Every year I have at least one client show up and one person with have plaid on, another a big floral pattern and a third with polka dots. There is just no way to make this look cohesive. When choosing patterns, stick with mainly solid clothing and throw in one or two pieces with coordinating colors to give the photos some pop.
Now on to some things to do!
1. Use neutrals to balance out your color palette. Cream and Khaki can even out a strong bright color, add pop to your photos but not make it look like you should be at a carnival. If you want a classic, timeless look stick with only neutral colors (grey, white, navy, steel blue).
2. Not sure how to add color to your photos but want that something extra? Accessorize! f your main colors are white and grey, having a coral bowtie on a little boy or a great statement necklace in teal on a woman while a third family member wears a shirt with both colors. This really makes the outfits flow while making outfit choices a bit easier for all members.
3. Texture is a great way to add visual interest to your photo
LARGE FAMILY STYLE BOARDS
WITH THE PANTONE 2017 SPRING/SUMMER COLORS
PERFECT LOCATION: Lakeside
PERFECT LOCATION: White painted family home porch, Sailboat
PERFECT LOCATION: Ocean
PERFECT LOCATION: Dreamy field, Barn Location
PERFECT LOCATION: Urban with access to locations with great murals
Choosing outfits is not one-size-fits-all (literally) so while we created style boards with outfits we love, it's mostly just to show you how some color combinations work together and how you can incorporate some of this seasons hottest colors.
Here's a bonus board in case you really want to embrace the bold colors of 2017. It would be the perfect combo for a sister session.
Final thought. In the end, it has to be about you and your family. While I always encourage my clients to not dress how they do from day-to-day, I do also encourage them to be who they are as a family. If you are a bold family who loves lots of color, choose a strong, vibrant color palette for your outfits. If you are a family that is more traditional, stick with cream, ivory and khaki but add in lots of texture through lace and accessories to give visual appeal to your images. The more your images are about you, the better they will turn out!
www.ymphotography.com | YM Photography | Bolton Landing on Lake George, NY Family Reunion Portrait Photographer