Your clothing should be appropriate for the type of portrait you desire, casual or formal. The clothing selection should reflect your family’s personality, stick to solids and subtle patterns. Bold stripes, large designs and polka dots stand out and tend to draw attention from the portrait’s subject. An eclectic mix of patterns can clash and reduce the quality of a portrait.
Dress in timeless clothing for your family portrait. Let your age, rather than the clothes you wear, date the portrait. I prefer the white shirt / jeans or khakis in the summer, dark shirts / jeans in the winter.
Have appropriate shoes and socks. Many family portraits are full-body shots, so if you wear sneakers with your dress, you’ll probably feel silly. If you plan to change clothes, bring shoes and socks to go with each outfit. If during the summer – I personally like all 10 toes showing!
Keeping the clothes simple is our most important recommendation. Coordinate for balance, harmony, and color. Subtle shades of color look best.
Long sleeves, slacks or long skirts are better than sleeveless shirts, short skirts or shorts. Everyone should match on the lower half. Jeans offer a more relaxed look.
Glasses – if you wear glasses most of the time, you’ll probably want to be photographed with them.
Jewelry should be kept simple, wide gold and silver necklaces may cause a glare.
Turtlenecks or V-necks are flattering provided that neither is exaggerated in style.
Apply make-up as you normally would, mascara and a touch of lipstick. Also bring along translucent powder to eliminate any shine.
Need more inspiration?
See the Family Portfolio