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What to wear to a family portrait shoot

It’s probably the question I’m asked the most at Soul Story Photography – ‘what should we wear to our family photoshoot?’.

Believe me – I get it. These photos are to last a lifetime and will proudly be displayed in your home, on your walls and passed around to loved ones. You don’t want them to clash or date and so what you’re wearing matters. Especially when there’s more than one person in them.

As well as this article, I’m happy to provide advice and ideas on what colours, styles and patterns work well together and also, photograph best! If you’ve already chosen outfits, I’m happy to provide feedback on how they’ll photograph too.

A few tips to consider when selecting what to wear for your family photoshoot:

Simple is best. And easiest.

The first tip for wardrobe – keep it simple. When selecting clothes, try to avoid anything that is overly patterned or bright enough to light up a room. You do not have to match each other entirely!

Complimenting colours and clothing from the same colour palette family helps to achieve unity and not a complete “matchy matchy” vibe of everyone in the same colour/outfit.

So think, soft (not harsh) variations within a general colour palette and combinations and avoid any large written graphics (like logos), busy patterns (stripes/dots etc) and clashing prints in general.

Denim and black are great for pairing with other colour families and generally are complimentary to silhouettes and don’t go out of fashion (if the jean type isn’t too ‘out there’).

The Accessories Is it cooler weather? Don’t be afraid to accessorise with scarves and jackets if your photoshoot will be outdoor and same for hats and layers in warmer weather. These accessories tend to add pops of textures and colour to your photos and also make great props and provide more than one look throughout the photoshoot.

Don’t limit yourself to just one outfit Bring a change of clothes for each of you! That way we can shoot more than one outfit creating a vibe of more than one photoshoot, and also – your kids are safe if there are any accidents or too much fun had in the water (I know this one from personal experience at my own family shoot).

Flexibility here is key – we would rather capture a happy child wearing something they feel comfortable in (or not wearing when it comes to shoes and the likes), than have miserable babies and children who are forced to wear or pose in ways they’d prefer not to.

Avoid anything that doesn’t fit properly

That means anything that is too tight, to big, doesn’t fit arms and legs etc. Think about when you’re posing, if you sit/bend/crouch/jump – does it creep up or down?

Kids are very active little critters and so we know, bruises and scratches are pretty much a given so also consider any bruising that will show on the arms and legs of children.

If you look through our gallery, pay attention to the images that catch your eye. Break it down, what is it that is attracting you to that image? Is it the background/backdrop? Is it what the people are wearing? The colour pallet? This is a great starting point to help you choose what is right for your family when it comes to your family photoshoot.

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