We've all seen the matchy-matchy family photos with everyone wearing the same outfit. Not only does this not look natural because who has really ever gone to grocery store all wearing the same outfit, it is also visually boring because there is no diversity or personality among the group. This doesn't mean you can't coordinate but don't all wear the same. Decide what look/style/theme you want, and build your outfits from there. This allows each member to convey their own personality with the chosen theme while you still all look like you belong together.
As photographers, we’ve seen it all. If you aren’t sure about an outfit, bring a few variables and options, and ask your photographer his/her opinion. We want you to be happy with your pictures, and we can tell you what we think will look best. It is okay to call your photographer before your shoot and ask for advice!
If you are working with large groups of people, just keep in mind that not every red is the same color, and not every blue is the same. It is okay to do different shades of the same color, as long as it is on purpose. You just don’t want Aunt Marge to show up with a “Navy blue” that clashes with Grandma’s “Navy blue”. For larger group photos where everyone is finding their own outfits, pass out paint chips in your desired colors so everyone knows what shade to look for. But keep in mind the first tip, coordinate in style, but don't feel as if you all have to be wearing the same clothes.
For your outfits, you can mix and match colors a bit. I’ve found that it works best to choose a few neutrals (white, black, gray, cream, and sometimes brown or dark blue), and then pick one or two colors that go well together. Generally, the colors that look best together are next to each other on the color wheel. One of my favorite tools to see which colors go well together is Color by Adobe. If you need outfit combination ideas, type “photography- what to wear” in Pinterest or Google and you will get endless ideas. You can also contact me and I can give you some ideas.
If you are doing a shoot with more than one wardrobe, work it out with your photographer ahead of time. If your photographer doesn’t know that you would like to do more than one outfit, he or she might take most of your pictures with one outfit, and you might not get as many as you hoped with the other outfit. Also, some photographers will only allow one outfit unless coordinated in advance. Some outfits might work better in certain locations or under specific lighting conditions, so show your photographer all of your outfits at the beginning of your shoot.
If you are doing multiple outfits, wear your favorite outfit first. This will ensure that you get some great pictures with that perfect outfit!
Some patterns are okay, and I’ve seen multiple patterns in a shoot work out beautifully, but be conscientious about any patterns you use, and don’t wear shirts with words or logos on them. There are ways to break every rule, just make sure that if you break this rule, you do it on purpose.
Apply makeup like you would for any other day. Don’t go overboard. You don’t want to look like a stranger in your own pictures. Also, bring some powder to put on your face. This will help you avoid a glossy look in your photos.
Moisturize your hands, clean off your shoes. You never know if your hands or feet are going to be in a close up shot. Also, take cell phones, keys, etc. out of your pockets.
Props can often make a picture great. Plan out your props ahead of time, and coordinate with your photographer. You want to keep a few things in mind if you are thinking about using props:
This is your chance to express yourself, be creative, and enjoy your moment. Find ways to make your images interesting and really capture who you are as a person, family, etc.