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What to wear for your portrait session


Deciding what to wear in family photos can be just as challenging as finding the perfect photographer. These are photos you will display in your home and cherish for years to come. It can seem overwhelming when considering what to wear but it doesn’t need to be. Use these tips to help you pick out the perfect wardrobe for you and your family.

1. Coordinating colours not matching.

Long gone are the days of everyone wearing a white shirt and dressing matchy matchy. Instead, pick a couple of colors and choose clothes that will fit in this color scheme.

2. Look at your home decor.

What type of colours do you like? What colours are on your walls? Bright colors? Neutrals? Since you will be hanging these photos in your house you want to make sure the colours of your clothes go with the colour scheme of your home.

3. Don't forget accessories, textures and layers.

I am a huge fan of a cotton fitted shirt. However, in photographs I like to add textures like scarves or belts to add a little more to the image. Don’t shy away from different textures and layers. Layers can be ideal on a cool day! Add a sweater or jacket to quickly remove for a whole new look. Don't forget about accessories like necklaces, scarves and belts as they add a detail to an image and are a great way to add a pop of colour.

4. Limit patterns.

Personally, I enjoy having an outfit in the mix that has all the colors in it. However, not everyone in the photo should wear patterns as it may distract the final image. You may notice I wear floral a lot in our photos, I use the patterned outfit as my main piece and then I pull colours from there to dress the rest of the family.

5. Look for clothing collections.

When shopping for clothes for my kids, I head to stores that typically have colour coordinating collections. By shopping at stores like The Gap, Children's Place, Old Navy or H&M I can then purchase clothes for all the kids from one store and I know their clothes will coordinate. Also, some stores now carry coordinating outfits for the whole family. Check out Old Navy & Target for matching family options.

6. Plan ahead.

Once you book your session, start thinking of the clothes right away. You may think certain clothes will fit your kids or that one dress is clean. If you wait until the day of or day before you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting, being dirty or need to be dry cleaned.

7. Say no to characters.

Yes, your little one may love their Paw Patrol shirt but you may want to skip it for the family photo session. Just like patterns, characters on shirts can be pretty distracting. If your little on is insistent on wearing a certain shirt try and hide it under a collared shirt or sweater.

8. Avoid all white or all black clothing.

While wearing an all white or black shirt can look nice in photos, it is very easy to blow out parts of your shirt on a bright day causing it to lose its detail. Same can be said with all black, it’s easy to have clipping on black clothing and the detail is lost.

9. Consider your background.

If you are taking photos in front of a backdrop, consider your outfits on the backdrop. Family’s wearing all black on a black backdrop can look like floating heads and family’s wearing all white at the beach can get lost in the water!

10. Think classic and timeless.

These photos will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come. By choosing simple, classic clothes you will help give your images a timeless feel.

If you ever need help deciding outfits. don't hesitate to reach out. I have clients sending me their outfit options when they just can't come to a decision.

#whattowear #clientguide

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alysha@alyshaspencerphotography.com

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