Easing the Pain of Dressing for your Family Photoshoot

Maybe you love the idea of preparing your clothes for any event or maybe, like me you would rather bury your head in the sand until the last possible minute then end up scrabbling around and hoping something appropriate is clean and dry (& not too small)?

A family photography shoot can seem like a daunting enough process without having to think about clothes too so hopefully the following can provide you with a few pointers to take the stress out of the planning process.

1)  Comfort  

If anyone is uncomfortable it is going to show in the images; particularly later in the shoot.  Comfort is key to happy people.  Likewise, dress everyone to match their personality because this will reflect back in their faces.

 Pick colours and styles that compliment rather than match.  Picking seasonally appropriate colours will also compliment the location.

Pick colours and styles that compliment rather than match.  Picking seasonally appropriate colours will also compliment the location.

2) Timeless

Think about clothes that won’t make you cringe too much in the years to come (or make your grandkids laugh!).  Of course clothes change over time but by avoiding anything that screams 2018, your images will last far longer on your wall.  Jeans, jumpers, plain t-shirts have been in fashion for decades and I’m sure they will remain so for the foreseeable future.

3) Co-ordinate 

This doesn’t mean match.  The kids don’t need to be dressed exactly the same but if one of them is dressed up to the nines and another is ready for the park, the pictures won’t flow properly.  Also, think about colours that work well together and avoid patterns as these can also clash even if the colours compliment each other.   If the idea of co-ordinating colours all seems a bit confusing, then hopefully this article may help a bit.

4) Subtlety

Avoid big patterns, or cartoon characters.  Not only are these distracting but they can also really date a picture.  If one of the children can’t bear to be without their Lighten McQueen t-shirt, bring it along and we can get some shots of it, but also have an alternative that will go with the overall look of the images.

5) Weatherproof

Let's face it, a photography shoot in Devon is always going to be weather dependant. If it is a winter shoot, you will just look cold and miserable in the finished pictures if you wear shorts and t-shirts.  Coats look much more appropriate when there are no leaves on the trees.  Likewise, if it could be hot you will want light clothes that keep you cool as hot and bothered subjects make for grumpy subjects

 If you know you won't be able to keep the kids out of the puddles then dress them to play in the puddles.

If you know you won't be able to keep the kids out of the puddles then dress them to play in the puddles.

6) Practical

If you have a shoot out on location somewhere and you know you won’t be able to stop the kids climbing trees, then allow them to dress to climb trees.  I promise you will ultimately prefer to have images of them in the tree than worry that they looked a bit scruffy on the day.  Likewise, if we go to the beach, wellies are far more sensible than ‘sunday best’ shoes.

7) Display

Think about where the final images are going to be displayed in your home and what the colour scheme is in there.  If you have a vivid red feature wall, you may not want anyone to be wearing bright green.  Neutrals are never going to clash with each other or with the room you want to hang the images so you are always going to be safe there.

8) Newborns

For the most part, the same rules apply.  Avoid massively complicated patterns.  White babgrows with a tiny motif make for a sweet little addition that can be enhanced or faded in post processing as the situation requires.  If you want images of tiny feet and hands then footless baby grows are more manageable.  Likewise front buttoning babygrows without a vest underneath mean that we can grab some shots of beautiful newborn skin without disturbing a sleeping baby.

9) Small Details

 Favourite accessories can enhance an image if used appropriately

Favourite accessories can enhance an image if used appropriately

As well as the big things, take time to think about little details that you might overlook.  If you usually wear your hair loose but it’s a windy day, a hairband might come in useful to get long hair out of your eyes.  However, if, like me, you often put a spare round your wrist, find somewhere else to store it.  A recently removed band can cause an unsightly mark on your wrist.  If you are going to want close ups of parents holding a newborn, then take a few minutes to ensure that your nails are clipped and neat and you aren’t wearing finger plasters.  Although some things can be taken out in post processing, not having them there in the first place makes for a cleaner image.

10) Accessories

If you have any accessories that you would like to include then bring that along and we can see what we can do.  For example, my son has a simple red bucket that always comes to the beach.  We now have so many pictures that include that bucket that I’m planning to make a multi-aperture frame of images including the bucket.  It holds so many happy memories for us.

If you want to get some further ideas, have a look at my galleries.

 

Remember the Golden Rules:

Classic, Co-ordinated, Comfortable