This is far and away the most common question from clients. We all want that magazine-worthy picture of our families, with color-coordinated outfits, smiling children, and the sunset in the background. While I can’t guarantee the happy kiddos or the location of the sun in the sky, I can provide some tips on achieving that desired “look.”
- Plan ahead. Coordinating colors and styles with two people is hard enough, let alone a family of four or five (or more). As soon as you reserve your session, begin thinking about the colors and styles you’re visualizing, and take a while to check out what each family member has in their closets.
- Choose a couple complimentary colors that you like. Select solid shirts from the same color pallette, and incorporate a coordinating pattern for one or two people. Try to balance solids and non-solids and not look too matchy-matchy.
- Choose varying shades of the same color. It is difficult to find the exact color in shirts for everyone, so don’t even try. Vary the shade of your chosen color to provide variation yet cohesiveness.
- Choose two or three colors for large groups. This works well with extended families. Choose a palette or just a handful of colors and let everyone choose which color to go with. Hopefully, this will allow for coordination without requiring parents to run out to buy new clothes.
- Add texture. This includes scarves, layers, belts, jewelry, ruffles, etc. Texture adds some dimension and often adds that “pop.”
- Consider what looks good in your home. Ultimately, you want pictures that you can hang on your walls. Coordinating the style and theme of your photo session to match your interior design style will make the end product even more impressive.
- Start with neutrals and then add a splash of color. Think denims, khakis, or greys with coral, mint, or another lively color.
- Avoid logos or text. These things can be distracting and often do not photograph well.
- Be comfortable! If you’re not comfortable, it will show in your photos. Wear normal, everyday clothing with an extra special touch, such as those layers, scarves, or jewely.
This extended family chose a handful of colors. They went with mint, coral, creams, and light grey. Other pictures that included spouses and kiddos stayed consistent with this theme.
This family gave extra consideration to textures and layers. They incorporated scarves for the girls and a vest for the boy.
And this final family did exceptionally well with color coordination. This mom started with her son’s shirt and selected coordinating pieces from that. All members of the family layered their shirts, providing variation while not looking like they tried too hard. A scarf or jewely for Mom would be the only thing I would change about their clothing choices.
And remember– have fun! Enjoy your photo session and have fun with your family. These moments will shine through your photos!