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.