Clothing: Highlighting & Flattering

Clothing plays a huge part in creating a successful portrait. It may be tempting to throw on your favorite Hawaiian shirt or your most flattering leopard print dress but keep in mind, the portrait is about the whole group.

1. Solid colors are an absolute must! Prints and patterns distract the eye and draw attention away from everything else in the image.

2. Matching colors are best. You don’t necessarily all need to have matching outfits, but tops and bottoms should all be of the same tones/colors.

3. Jeans are great. They are dark in color and almost everyone owns a pair that look great on them. Maybe stay clear of the old favorites with the rips and holes, but jeans are a perfectly acceptable option. If you are looking for something a little bit more formal, try dark pants, skirts or even khakis. Just remember that lighter colors draw more focus.

4. Dark colors are not only flattering, they also keep the viewers eye moving toward the lightest part of the image (which should be your face). If you are doing an outdoor portrait, earth tones work really well. Blues, greens, browns are all great options.

5. If you decide to go lighter just make sure the colors are the same or similar. People love to dress in white for family portraits. This is fine as long as EVERYONE is in white. Otherwise the one guy who is wearing a red polo shirt will be the only thing viewers ever see.

6. A warning: For some reason, it happens all the time, my clients have color coordinated beautifully but have forgotten the NO PATTERNS rule. If you are all wearing a lovely shade of blue, the fact that one person has stripes, another has checkers, and another has flowers kind of defeats the purpose of trying to coordinate. The image will look busy and the viewer will be distracted. Stick to the solids.

So, in summary:

-AVOID PATTERNS: Solid colors are the way to go.

- KEEP COLORS IN THE SAME TONAL RANGE. (Commit to a color and stick to it)


-HAVE OUTFIT CHOICES. If there is time we can do a change and give you more image options. Consider a dark outfit and a light outfit.

* Please feel free to call or email me to discuss your clothing choices for the big day.

* Try laying all of the clothes out together and see if anything doesn’t go with the overall scheme. Think of it as one big outfit. If there is a piece that stands out you might want to swap it for something else.

*Check out the portfolio for a few family photo examples.

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