Dressing for Family Portraits

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Autumn is a busy season for family photographers, and it’s easy to see why. The fall colors make such a lovely backdrop for a family portrait. Plus, the cooler temperatures mean no sweating through your session. Also, you can add layers to your outfits and craft a fun, complementary look for your whole family.

If you are anything like me, you stress about selecting outfits for your family portrait. I’m here to give you a few simple rules to follow that will hopefully make the process a little simpler. 

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 Dorothy Buchanan Photography

 

Stick to 3 Main Colors

I already blogged about the fashion “Rule of 3” earlier this year. And yes, that still applies when choosing your family portrait outfits. However, I have another “Rule of 3” regarding your family photo session…stick to 3 main colors when selecting outfits

I’ll use my family portrait as an example:

You can see that we went with three main colors here, namely navy (dark denim), green and gray. Make sure that at least one of your three colors is a neutral (black, grey, navy, beige, white.)

Choose Colors Wisely

In order to craft a harmonious overall look, choose colors that play well together. A color wheel can be helpful here. Complementary colors are across from each other on the color wheel. Analogous colors are next to each other wheel. Both can be good choices when choosing your family portrait outfits. Analogous colors are often found in nature and since fall family portraits are often take outside, they can be a great choice for your outfits. For instance, I went with green and blue, two analogous colors, for our portraits. And speaking of nature, the fall colors can absolutely be a part of your overall colors scheme. If you are going to have a lot of orange leaves in the background, then choosing outfits with blue (a complementary color) and red or yellow (analogous colors) will create an overall pleasing harmonious look.

Let the Kids Shine

I try to keep the adult outfits a little more sedate and then really let the kids shine. You can do this in several ways. If the adults are all wearing pants, then have the kids wear shorts or a dress. You can also add accessories to the kids such as hats and scarves to bring more focus to them. I love to add a little pop of color in an accessory or shoes for the kids as well.

I hope these rules help you select outfits for your next family portrait session. Just remember, at the end of the day, you want the focus to be on your family’s faces, and not the clothes. Choose outfits that complement each other and your surroundings and you are sure to end up with a family portrait that you will treasure for years to come. 

 


Meet The Author

Contributing Writer

Jen is a Texas girl, who landed in the Midwest after 14 years on the East Coast. A girly girl at heart, she has come to embrace her inner Adam Sandler while raising her three crazy boys. Jen is an avid runner, weightlifter, and triathlete who parlayed her love of fitness into a career as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Her passion is in helping women look and feel their best, through both fitness and fashion. Jen recently launched a new venture as an independent personal stylist for cabi, a Los Angeles-based fashion house.

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