What to Wear - Family Sessions - Leslie Blankenship

The Basics:

When picking your outfits keep a few things in mind. The main goals are:

     1. To make YOU the main subject; not your clothes. 

     2. To find clothing that is flattering and makes you look/feel your best.

Easier said than done? Read on for some suggestions:


* Wear clothing with logos/characters - It's too distracting and will date your photos.     

* Wear too many busy patterns. One large pattern (ex: floral dress on mom) paired with a small pattern (ex: small checked shirt on dad) on another can work, but too many big bold patterns makes the eye confused at what to take in first.

* Wear pinstripes/small stripes. These can create an optical illusion and end up looking very odd in photographs. They don't tend to print well either.     

* Wear bright/neon colors. Bright colors like red or hot pink can cause an unattractive color cast on the skin. Instead of bright red, try a more muted version.      

* All wear the exact same color "uniform". Gone are the days of everyone wearing a white shirt and khakis. It's unrealistic and not very visually appealing (and very 1990s!)     

* Wear sneakers. Unless everyone in the photos is dressed VERY casually, sneakers can throw off the entire feel of a "nice" portrait


* Coordinate; don't match. Establish a base color, like grey or navy, then accent with a couple of other colors. Not everyone needs to be wearing all of the base and accent colors in your color scheme.     

* Texturize and accessorize! Layers, textures, and accessories are a great way to show off your personalities and add interest to your photos. Just by cuffing dad's sleeves or adding a statement necklace to mom's top, you've already added a ton of visual interest.     

* Consider the colors of your home. If you are planning to hang any of the photos in your house, consider your home's decor/colors. You may want to make sure the colors in the photos will not clash too much when hanging on your wall.      

* If in doubt, muted solids and neutrals are always a winner. Tans, creams, beige, grey, navy, etc. 

* Above all - be comfortable! Wear something that is flattering on you and that you don't feel the need to constantly adjust. If you know you will be complaining about how much you dislike your arms, don't wear a sleeveless top! If you feel comfortable, you will look comfortable. 

A few examples of clients who nailed it!

Final Tips:

When I build my own family's outfits, I first think of the location where our session will be. Will it be outdoor in the autumn leaves? Downtown with lots of colors?

Start with mom or daughter's outfit. Girls tend to have more options when it comes to clothing so it makes sense that they may be the one to wear the more patterned clothing. So let's say we pick out mom's dress first. It has a nice (small) print to it. Next, pull colors from that dress and think of who would look good in one of those colors. Tie in the remaining outfits and accessorize/personalize as needed.

Every family's style is different, so ultimately it's up to you.

I'm always available to bounce ideas off of if you want to send me a picture of your options!

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