family with kids dressed in blue photographed by family photographer in preston lancashire

What to wear for your family photographs

Ask the Photographer - What to wear for family photographs

In my last blog I spoke about why you should have family portraits – beautiful timeless photographs around the home. But what should you do before the session to ensure they are as good as can be?

Firstly, think where you are going to put your portraits. Having those amazing, printed images on your wall is what I want for you, so that you will walk past them every day and see them, the family all together and connected. If you are looking at these images every day for years to come, you want them to stand the test of time. While something might seem really great now in an image, if it is sat there in ten years’ time will you still love it? Those logos, stripes etc will date, so it is something to think about.

Family with teenagers in white studio by family photographer in preston lancashire

What clothes to wear for your family photography

Outfits is a biggie. I love seeing matching or complimentary tones in images, but it is up to you. Again, for the reasons I put above, you are making an investment in time and money to have these images taken and the art on your walls, make sure you can live with them. Another thing to think about is will they match the décor in the room you wish them to hang? Talk to me about this and I will make sure we can come up to clothing colours and I’ll suggest studio background colours that will compliment to create a great image. If in doubt then neutrals like creams and beige are always great, I love denim with plain white and black. Greys work well on both light and dark but if you want bright colours, they can also work well as long as it compliments.

What about my arms?!

Sleeve length is another thing that people worry about. Quite often I find people don’t like their upper arms, if this is the case then go long sleeved, it works well if all are in the same but don’t worry too much if you have different sleeve lengths, it’s my job to make it all work in a portrait.

family of four in photography studio on white background by Family photographer in preston lancashire

Feet and faces!

Footwear is a personal choice but it’s one I can help you to decide on. In my experience, shoes on or shoes and socks off work but it has to be the same for everyone in your group. Bare feet for everyone are timeless and won’t draw attention in an image. White trainers in an image of all black or dark colours will stick out like a sore thumb! If you have a more formal portrait in mind then you should encourage everyone to wear dark, smart shoes.

That’s enough of me talking about what to wear, but have a think about things like haircuts and nails etc. Mismatched nail varnish isn’t going to look great, the same as a brand-new hair style that you haven’t settled with yet. I want you to be comfortable in your images so don’t worry about all the little details, that is my job.

Which family members to include in your family portraits?

Last thing I really want to talk about it a little more personal, I often have parents, grandparents etc coming in with children for a shoot but not wanting to be in the images themselves. I hear all the excuses, wrong clothes, too much or too little make up, not lost weight or too thin… all the excuses as to why. Forget all that, It is about existing in portraits for years to come, to build that legacy behind you so that when the time comes when we don’t look like we do or in fact, we are no longer here for our children then we are still there for them in these lasting images.

If in doubt, get in touch and I will talk through things with you because, at the end of the day I want you to have the best portraits for your family at the studio in Preston, Lancashire.

Family with teenagers in white studio by family photographer in preston lancashire

How Important Are Family Photographs?

Family with teenagers in white studio by family photographer in preston lancashire

When Should You Have Family Photographs Taken?

We often have milestones in our lives, something that is important to us and we celebrate or make memories for that. In the UK we tend to have a more conservative approach to having family photographs taken than  in other parts of the world. Take the USA as an example; baby portraits, child portraits, family portraits yearly, seniors’ portraits (teens), marriage, pregnancy and the cycle continues. These are all very standard for American families. In the UK, weddings, babies and perhaps one family portrait is what UK families tend to celebrate and record with photographs and in particular, professional photographer portraits.

Now as a photographer, obviously I want more and more people to have professional portraits taken. I want to encourage that and I want people to know why I say that. Of course, it’s my job, But beyond that I care about your memories because of my own experience.

Famiy with young baby by family photographer in preston Lancashire

I wish I had more family photographs…

I come from a large family, had the most incredible parents who loved us so dearly. My Father was my best friend growing up, he did everything he could to support me. I was 17 when I lost that best friend suddenly, leaving a huge void in my life. The only things I have left of him are those precious years of memories and photographs. I have ONE photo of my Mum and Dad together, it was taken at a family members 18th Birthday and it’s a small, blurry print. It is so important to me that I have it scanned, backed up to dropbox, on my phone and on three hard drives. The original sits in a padded envelope and is well looked after. I cannot replace that and it means the world.

I understand that you might be reluctant to get into the photo, but it’s so important. 

I always do my upmost to get parents involved if they come into any portrait session. If I am photographing their child, I get a portrait or two with them. I hear all the protests, my hair isn’t right, make up isn’t perfect, I need to lose/ gain weight, my clothes aren’t right. I don’t photograph well, I have heard them all… What I say and what I say to you reading this is this, whilst portraits are important for now, what is really important is that those portraits are here in the future to support those memories we all have, to remind us of those stages in life. Let me tell you this, no child or parent of someone who is no longer with us, looks back on a photograph and says, wow, so and so didn’t have their hair done, make up right, hadn’t lost weight, when looking at that image of a loved one. They cherish the fact that they have that printed image to look back on, to remember them. THIS is what makes family portraits so important.

family with kids dressed in blue photographed by family photographer in preston lancashire
Family with teenagers photogrphed in black clothes on dark backfround by Family Photographer Preston Lancashire

Family photographs are something you will treasure for years.

Yes it is an investment, time and money but, they will be there long after that latest iphone is obsolete, that fancy car is in the scrap yard, so please, make those memories for people who mean so much to you and get those portraits booked in. They don’t need to be formal, they can be casual and fun, my own style is posed but relaxed and most of all, timeless and cherished.

Don’t wait… book now

When you choose Art of the Portrait as your family photographer, you are deciding to book a multi-award winning photographer, who trains other photographers. Art of the Portrait is chosen by MANY professional photographers as their own family photographer – a testament to the quality of the images you will receive and the memorable experience that comes with it!

Take a look at some more examples of my family portraiture in the gallery, and do get in touch if you’d like to book. I have very limited weekend availability so if you have a special date in mind then book early.