What shall we wear for our family photos? Well the answer is whatever captures the ‘real you’ - however, saying that there are a few useful rules you can follow. Here, photographer Paula Deegan, lists her top tips for coordinating family outfits for family photoshoots outdoors.
Colours & Patterns
1. Choose a palette of 3-4 colours that complement each other. Muted colours tend to work best but think about the background you’re being photographed on and pick something that will either stand out or complement it. The background may well change colour if it's outdoors, along with the seasons, so check with your photographer if you need more info.
Here are some colour guides for each season.
2. Solid colours work well. Subtle patterns or stripes are great for adding interest to the shoot but avoid wearing patterns that are too large and bold they will draw attention to the clothes, rather than you.
3. You don’t need to wear identical clothing unless that is the look you are going for. Aim for co-ordinating outfits instead of matching ones.
4. Choose light colours if you’d like your photos to have a light and airy feel.
5. Avoid large logos or anything very trendy as they will date the photos quickly.
6. Make sure your items are from the same season e.g. don’t have one person dressed for summer and another for winter.
7. Wear layered clothing because layers are great for photo shoots! They add interest to the shots and make it easy to vary outfits during the shoot.
8. Include a mix of trousers and skirts/dresses for added variety. Long dresses add a romantic feel to the images.
9. Don’t forget to accessorise with scarves, necklaces, earrings, hats. Accessories can be great for adding a pop of colour!
10. When in doubt, choose demin, a timeless classic!
11. For women: Go for natural looking make-up, applied slightly heavier than usual.
12. Choose clothes that fit you well and suit your body shape.
13. Wear sleeves to at least the elbow or long trousers because they tend to be more flattering than sleeveless shirts or shorts and lots of bare skin draws attention away from your faces.
14. Make sure your footwear is stylish and clean. No crocs people, absolutely no crocs.
15. Above all, choose clothes for your family photos that you feel comfortable and look good in – clothes that make you feel confident.
A few days before the shoot, lay everything out on a bed and see how it all looks together and make sure everything is clean, ironed and ready to go before the day. If in doubt, send me photos of what you'd like to wear or bring a few things to the shoot and we can go through them on the day.
Paula is a Photography Institute graduate & founded Paula Deegan Photography in 2014. Paula creates beautiful, expressive portraits for warm hearted families & professionals across Epsom, Surrey & London.