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Family Matters – The Dos and Don'ts of Family Fashion

Author: Libby - Printique by Adorama

It’s  the time of year when you dream about the perfect holiday family portrait.  You’ve booked your session and now you’re done. Well, not quite. You need to think about the final image and the coordinating of your family’s outfits. Thanks to the birth of Pinterest, it’s now easy to point people to a specific board and blog posts on what to wear for family portraits. However, we wanted to take this one step further and show you a balanced report of the Dos and Don’ts of Family  Fashion.
1. Coordinate
Take the time to come up with a color scheme. Sticking within th same color tones will let the colors flow in your family portrait. In the examples below, this family chose earth tones.   Their personalities also shine through their portrait. They weren’t afraid to use a pop of color  to add a little personality to their family session and break up the color scheme a bit without overpowering the image. Although there is a patterned scarf in the photo, it is subdued enough to not become the focus of the photo.
2. Wear Comfortable Well Ironed Clothes
Make sure to try your clothes on before your photo shoot. If they are new, make sure they fit comfortably without being too snug. Same goes for making sure the clothing is not too baggy. The night before the photo shoot, make sure to iron your clothes. Photoshopping wrinkles out of clothing is very time intensive for the photographer and it can be costly to the client. Nothing looks more put together than great fitting clothes with no wrinkles. You want the attention on your faces, not what you are wearing. Below is an example, of how photographer Kim Ackerman of Vogue Portrait Studio worked with her clients on finding the perfect outfits.
3. Keep your Decor and Background in Mind
You’ll want more than just to order holiday cards from your portrait session. You put so much time and effort into planning it, you’ll want to make the most of it. Consider wall portraits and photo books. With this in mind, you’ll want  clothing that is timeless. In otherwords, those cute holiday red sweaters portraits you see, probably won’t look great above a mantle all year long. If you want to do both, talk to your photographer. Perhaps start with a classic look and then end with more of a holiday look specifically for the cards.
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1. Wear Tennis Shoes
There are a few items that can date your family photo quickly. One is wearing white tennis shoes in your image. Tennis shoes change drastically year to year and you can typically pinpoint the year an image was taken just by the runners. Keep it simple and ban the white tennis shoes. Plain and dark will always be in style for shoes. If all else fails, you can always have everyone take their shoes off. This keeps it uniform and fun. A special not for the men and boys, if you are wearing dark shoes, make sure to wear dark socks. Nothing throws a portrait off more than glaring white socks peeking through the bottom of a photo. In the photo below, the family did a nice job of wearing shoes that do not draw attention to their feet or date the image.
2. Go Matchy Matchy
Everyone is an individual in the portrait, their personalities should shine through with the outfits they are wearing. Back in the 90’s it was great to have everyone in khaki pants and white shirts, it was easy to do and it was unified. It also lacked personality and color.
3. Get Busy with Patterns
Keep the patterns to a minimum. Your eye should go to the faces in the portrait, not what the subjects are wearing. If you have no choice but to do patterns, try to make sure only 1 person is wearing the pattern and make sure it’s subtle.
When in doubt on any of these steps, contact your photographer who will help you put together pieces for the perfect family portrait. You can also head over to the Printique Pinterest board on what to wear, we have more than 45 boards lined up to help you get it right.