165: What to Wear for your Family Photo Shoot

Have you ever had family photos taken? Or need to have some sort of group photo taken (and we’re not talking about one of those boring staid work group shots) but have no idea what to wear? Then watch this video where expert photographer Elizabeth Marx of Almond Leaf Studios shares her expert advice from years of taking beautiful photos.

Will it Be on a Holiday Card or the Wall?

If it’s going to be on a holiday card or going to be a photo that is used for a short time, then wear the latest trends or whatever fun thing you want.  But if you want to have the photo on your wall and it’s going to be there for some years then it’s worth thinking about wearing colours and fashions that are more timeless and classic so that you’re not cringing in five years time because of your now dated fashion choices!

What Colours to Wear

The old standard of everyone wear a white shirt or a black shirt is old and dated.  Plus those colours really don’t suit everyone, so why emphasise double chins and under-eye bags with that black tee?  

Instead, think about creating a harmonious look with those who are in the photo with you.

Neutrals are always good but rather than just black and white, think about your best neutrals.

Cameras will make dark colours look darker and light colours lighter.  Very dark colours will lose all contouring as you won’t see any shadow, plus dark colours add visual weight and you need to be careful about having too many dark colours in outfits.

Lean into a Neutral that Co-ordinates within Every Outfit

Say you choose grey as your neutral for the outfits. You don’t all wear head to toe grey.  Instead, one of the kids may have grey jeans on, and then another person is wearing a grey jacket and you may have on a grey necklace so the colour leads the eye from person to person in the photo.

Stay Away From Bold Patterns

Be careful of very bold prints and patterns as they can overpower you in the photo.  You want the face of each individual shining through.  Your clothes should support that.

Lay it All Out

How are all the colours, tones and textures in all the outfits working together?

Lay out everyone’s outfits on a bed, then see where your eye goes.  Is it drawn to something in particular?  If something is grabbing attention change out that item for an alternative and have another look.  Can you put each of the outfits next to each other and they work as people will be moving around in photos most likely won’t always be next to the same person in every photo.

The human eye is wanting to be drawn to other eyes.  We want to be looking into the eyes and that is where your focus is drawn in the photo, rather than the outfit.

What’s Your Decor?

If you are having a photo taken that will go on a wall, what is the room decor?  What’s the background colour?  How will the colours in the photo harmonise with that decor?  

Where are You Taking the Photo?

Is it in a studio with a neutral backdrop or outside in a lush garden?   This will impact on your choices.  Do you want to blend in with the background or stand out from the background?  

Choose an Outfit You Feel Comfortable Wearing

If you feel uncomfortable in the outfit, this will come through in the photo.

And wear the Spanx and shapewear under your clothes if this is going to make you feel more comfortable on the day so you don’t have to spend the whole time sucking in your stomach.

Try on the Outfits and Take Some Snaps

Some outfits look great on you, but don’t work as well in photos.  So it’s worthwhile trying on your outfit and taking photos from multiple angles so that you feel comfortable when you’re in front of the camera.

Hair and Makeup

If you need help with hair and makeup do get professional help!

With makeup, it tends to look 2-3 shades lighter in a photo than in person.  So a brighter lipstick, a bolder blush colour and the like can make your features stand out in a photo, otherwise, you can appear to not be wearing makeup at all. 

Don’t try out a completely new hairstyle or something very different from what you normally wear if you want to look like yourself.

Check with Your Photographer

If your photographer is open to giving you some advice about wardrobe choices, they may be able to give you some good tips to ensure that you get the best result for you and your family.

If You’d Like to Define Your Style and Discover Your Colours

If you’re sick of wasting money on clothes that don’t work and you know there is a better way, then join my 7 Steps to Style program and get the right information for you and your style.

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