Planning for a portrait can be tricky, especially the more people you have in the photo. Should you all match, or wear coordinating colors? Or maybe you aren’t even sure what coordinating colors are! I’ll talk about all this and more.
When it comes to portrait photography, what you wear does play a huge role in the final success of the finished product.
But before I get into what to wear, I want you to understand that several things that you do NOT need to do it preparing for your portrait
1. Brand New – Don’t think it all must be brand new, or ultra fancy and expensive. If that’s your thing, go ahead and do it. But just remember, that if hubby or your teen is much more comfortable in his jeans and tee or polo, making him dress up in suit and tie can make a stiff and uncomfortable picture.
2. Matchy Matchy – There is no need to have every little thing, from your child’s head band to her striped socks, be exactly the same. In fact, variety adds spice. If every single one of you is wearing white shirt and khaki pants, the portrait may have a very formal, classic feel, but usually will not be nearly as FUN as when there is a bit more variety. So think about what you are looking for from the photo and choose accordingly.
3. Stress – Don’t worry or fret over whether each item is perfectly suitable. This is supposed to be fun. If you need help, give us a call, and we even be glad to get together and go over your outfits ahead of time to make sure you look your fabulous best, or throw it all in the trunk and bring it along, and we can wing it together. Either way, we can get some fabulous photos, and there is no need to stress.
Now that I’ve covered several things NOT to do, let’s look at some basic TO DO’s.
1. Make Sure it Feels Good
We prefer relaxed outdoor sessions where everyone can be comfortable, where kids can run, climb trees, and roll in the grass. Where you can tussle with your kids and toss them in the air. Wear clothing that will let you do these kinds of things comfortably. And remember, that uncomfortable kids are cranky kids, but happy kids make happy pictures. So toss out the very idea of stiff, itchy scratchy, starchy stuff that makes you fear to even bend lest you pop a button.
2. Make Sure You Look and Feel Your Best.
More important than whether or not it is this year’s trendiest fashion, is that it makes YOU feel fabulous when you wear it. If you love, love, love a certain outfit, and feel like you can take on the world when you wear it, by all means, bring it along!
3. Make Sure it Looks Good Together
It’s not just enough that everyone look good and feel good – you also need to look great together as well as fit with your desire location and mood for your portraits. If this leaves you feeling panicky, then, quick – refer point 3 of the very first list – DON’T STRESS!
This is really a lot easier than it seems. For instance, if you can’t get Sammy out of his PJ’s then think twice about putting Susie in her lace prom dress. If we are going to be playing in the park, then you probably don’t want to wear your starched Sunday best. If Dad’s favorite shirt clashes terribly with the sweater you had wanted to wear, think about a different one. And if you just can’t decide refer to the final suggestion of point 3!
With that said, a few tips on looking good together.
Coordinating or complimentary colors are colors that go well together. Looking at the color wheel below, you can see the arrow across the middle.
Colors exactly opposite from each other, or in a triangle from one another are considered complimentary colors. Coordinating colors are colors that blend. White, Gray and Black are neutral colors. Gray especially will go well with nearly any color and is great for tying together your color scheme. The first picture is an example of a winter theme, tied together with gray as a neutral color. Notice how the gray adds harmony to the whole.
Several more tips –
- If only one person is wearing a really bright bold color, it will make them stand out in the portrait. Do you want this?
- Long sleeves, and darker colors tend to slim, while white can add weight (unless against a light or white background.
- Wearing colors that fit with the season is a great idea. In the spring, pastels and greens will flow nicely with fresh budding greenery and flowers. Summer colors are often brights or neutrals with a pop of color. In the fall, when leaves are turning, consider colors like purple, plum, red, yellow, or orange. In late fall, when things turn brown, try warm tones, or neutrals like tans, and browns, with a pop of color. Snowy pictures are great with blacks, reds, and grays like above, or other bright colors to add interest against the white landscape.
- And in cold weather – remember to dress for the weather. Coats and scarves can really look great, and everyone looks better when they aren’t so cold that their nose reminds you of Rudolf. 🙂