Jenni Nikki

How to coordinate outfits for Family Portraits

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You chose your photographer and location but are now stuck on what to dress the family in? Read these helpful tips below on how to choose a color scheme for family photos and assemble everyone’s outfit for a look that will match your vision.

Atlanta Family Photographer

Choosing a color scheme for your family photos

  1. Decide on a color palette that will match the scenery and feel of your outdoor session and not clash with the colors in your home or where you want to display the images. If you are going for a natural/ lifestyle vibe, stick with earthy tones that match the season (soft earth tones for spring or bolder earth tones for fall).
  2. Choose color schemes that are in the same color family. Do not choose a bright orange with a maroon fall color. Choose a color palette theme – fall colors, earth tones, pastels, spring colors, bright colors, neutrals/creams/tans, etc. To help with a visual, I created a Pinterest board with pins on different color palette themes for families.

3. Stay away from busy patterns. They can be overwhelming to look at and distracting from focusing on the subjects in the portrait. Choose one outfit that may have a subtle pattern with a few colors in it. Then use those colors for solid shirts, pants and accessories (bowtie, scarf, vest, jewelry, hair bows) to dress others in. 1 or 2 patterns are ok but do not dress everyone in different patterns that can clash with each other.

4. Avoid large logos and characters. They may love Mickey Mouse but it can be distracting on a shirt, especially when part of it is covered up. This might be ok for theme smashed cake sessions of just one child but not ideal for family photos. Also avoid wording like Big brother and Little brother because most likely their hands will cover part of the wording so you will not be able to read all of it. The wording also takes away from the focus of your beautiful kids because it will distract the eye in trying to read it.

5. Dress in an outfit that is comfortable and flatters you. If you are subconscious about your arms, do not wear a sleeveless shirt that would highlight them. If the weather will be cold outside, do not dress everyone in shorts or they will be miserable taking their photos. If you have a toddler that will be active, do not put them in an outfit where you have to constantly adjust their shirt collar flipping up or tucking their shirt in because it is not long enough to stay or dealing with suspenders that are too big and keep falling down, etc. You want to focus on the love and relationship of your family so dress everyone in outfits that they will be comfortable in and easy to wear to eliminate any distractions, meltdowns or bickering. Don’t forget about the shoes. Many people focus on the outfit and forget that the dirty sneakers or clashing socks will totally ruin the look. Think about all the small details from head to toe.

6. Steer clear of solid bright red, bright orange and bright pink shirts. These bright colors tend to reflect on lighter skin and cast a color on the face that is different from everyone else. Using these colors as accents, accessories or bottoms are ok but stay away from the super bright solid shirts.

7. Wear your hair how you like it, but typically stay away from ponytails. Typically, the looser and more flexible the style, the better! Also plan a back up style if it is windy outside by adding in a bobby pin or hairband to avoid the hair constantly blowing in your face and ruining great shots that end up having several loose stands blowing over their face.

8. Plan ahead! Do not put things off until the last minute. Sometimes things you order online look different in person, don’t fit properly or the color is not what the online image looked like. If you are heading out to different stores, bring the other family items with you so that you can put them side by side to ensure the color scheme will look good together. You don’t want to be stressed the day before heading around to every store because your original outfits arrived and it did not work out.

These images will be hanging on your walls and cherished for many years. You want them to have a timeless feel so think less is more. Keep it classy and simplistic so that the focus is on the subjects by choosing the right color schemes for your family photos.

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Lifestyle session with Soft Blues and Tans
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Extended family session using Navy, Yellow and Light Teal Blues.
family photographer near me
Outdoor Family Photoshoot using Tans, Whites and Soft Blues.
family photographer near me
Studio Photoshoot using soft Earthy Tones
family photographer near me
In home session with whites, soft pinks and tans

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