Tips for choosing family outfits on a family photo shoot

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It’s that time of the year that most kids and teenagers dread. Mum whips out her knitting, sewing patterns from the late 80’s and the fabric that her great, great-aunt passed down to her grandmother in the 1930’s. It’s got all the makings of a blockbuster horror movie fitting. But it really doesn’t have to invoke feelings of terror and embarrassment every year. Mums take note that those matching jumpers for every member of the family are a thing of the past (and should probably be thrown into room 101 to never see the light of day again).

However, I completely understand the need to look like a family unit, and therefore I do have a few ideas for you that will make taking family portraits a more bearable experience for everyone with an end-product that the whole family is proud to share.

Choose a portrait photography theme

A theme is a great way of making sure everyone sticks to the dress code. The best themes keep it simple. That way you can add little extra’s that are unique to your family, without overloading the visual appeal of the image.

Stick to a colour theme, for example, black and white, pastel colours, bright colours. You could go one step further and choose a set of complimentary colours for your family photo shoot outfits.

Just as a side note: there are some big no-no’s when it comes to colour themes. A tip is to resist the urge to have each family member represent a colour in the chosen scheme. For example, dad dressed in all blue, mum dressed in all coral, Jennifer dressed in all purple. If you want each family member to represent a different colour, then break the colour with a stable item. You could for example make a pair of white jeans mandatory. You could also introduce accessories and let the accessories add the splash of colour you’d like to see on your family portraits.

Choose a specific item everyone should wear.  A few quick ideas include denim items, a scarf, or a white shirt. Maybe you’d like everyone to wear a hat, or a specific leather jacket that has meaning to your family. Choose the outfit combination that illustrates your family the best.

Choose a location or background setting that compliments your family dress code

One of the biggest mistakes in family portraits are busy backgrounds vs busy outfits. Choose to liven one or the other up. Your choice in background needs to support and compliment your clothing choices for the photo shoot. There’s a few tips for choosing a great location.

Wear clothes to your family photo shoot that are interchangeable

You might want to get a few “looks” from one shoot. This will be a problem if you have to change your key clothing items each and every time, it can end up being costly, and younger kids may lose patience. Adding a few accessory pieces as your key items can solve that problem. Take off a necklace here, add a hat there, and put on a jacket for your little jumping bean and you’ve quickly added some depth and variety to your family photo shoot. Even something as small as rolling up the sleeves and unbuttoning the collar button on dad’s shirt can present a whole new image.

Of course, your family photo is something that is uniquely you, so you should take every opportunity to show off your character. That’s why I suggest considering how you will feel about the choice of your clothing in a few years’ time, if you’re happy, then that’s all that matters.