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What to Wear

I have wanted to do a post on "what to wear" for quite some time. Your outfit can determine so much for your portrait session. This is not the time to just wing it. 

So what is my suggestion? First, keep it simple. Choose one bold, solid color and then add hints of it throughout the family. A shirt, necklace, hair bow, shoes or tie could all be done in shades of that color. Secondly, layer!!! Layer and then layer some more....okay well maybe not so much that you begin to overheat. But layers are a great way to pull out slight pops of color without overwhelming the image. Third, don't outlaw patterns. Some patterned fabrics in your clothing is great, polka dots and stripes (in moderation). Lastly, outlaw the tennis shoes. If you don't own coordinating shoes for your outfits, consider a barefoot shot, or consider changing your outfits. But tennis shoes are my arch enemy! ;)

Here are some hints and tips on clothing from my fellow photog friends and bloggers....

From emillerphotography

From Confessions of a Prop Junkie
Layers can help coordinate multiple family members for fantastic portraits.  The cousins in the above photo used vests, hats and ties to fill out the color palette and add dimension.  The boy in the middle adds extra color with double polo shirts in blue and orange and brings pop with a bright green hat.  Notice that the boy on the left has a plaid vest and a striped tie.  Layers aren’t just about color and texture, but about pattern as well.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match!

Read some of the following tips from SimpleMom "Coordinate, but don’t match. This is just my opinion, as I know many families like to wear the same outfit for their portraits.  But in my experience as a holiday photo card designer, photos look better when everyone blends well, but not too much.  To be honest, when I see a photo with the entire family wearing denim shirts, all I see is a sea of denim shirts – not the people.

Avoid patterns. It’s okay if one family member has a simple stripe or a basic design, but too many intricate patterns detracts from faces.  If in doubt of what to wear, go with a simple, solid-colored shirt.

Go casual. Especially if you have little ones.  I love photos that look like the family is relaxed, having fun with each other, and basically like they do most any other day of the year.  Sure, go ahead and brush their hair and have them in clean clothes – but you’re probably fighting an uphill battle asking preschoolers to sit still more than a minute at a time."

The following images give some great suggestions on coordinating, but not matching. I love the bold colors too!