Thursday, September 2, 2010

Family Session Wardrobe Tips

       I have had a few people tell me they just don't know what to wear for their session. When photographing an individual the wardrobe choices and options are very different than when photographing a family of 3 or more. I do consult with each client about what they plan to wear the day of their session because it is such an important and influential aspect in how their final images will look. Too many colors or patterns and it becomes more about the clothes and less about the people in them. Here is some general advice to consider when planning your next family session with Drabek Photography. This is meant to give most people a little direction in their decision making. I have not gone into as many options as could be possible in fashion - dresses, Capri's, layers - or into the fact that your location can make a difference too. I am just providing this as a basic tool for a place to start from. Of course each family is unique and different! Your family's special charm, personality, and happy smiles are what will set you apart from everyone else, not your clothes. Let those unique qualities be what people see in your pictures!

          With parents participating in a session I usually say pick what you feel comfortable in and then dress the kids to that! But I think most people choose the kids and then themselves because the kids are pickier or harder to find something for. Don't shortchange yourself, you deserve to look and feel your best too! Also, look for what the majority may already own so you don't have to add the stress of shopping for head to toe new outfits for everyone. Keep it simple!

Bottoms: Choose a neutral colored bottom - black, denim, khaki, gray, navy, brown.
Then decide will:
  • everyone be the same - same color and same style - i.e.  black pants on everyone.
  • boys and girls be different - boys shorts/girls skirts.
  • kids the same and parents different - kids shorts/parents pants
  • the boys wear one color (khaki) and the girls wear another (brown)
I wouldn't mix up the bottoms too much more than this, if you are looking for variety, because it will look too busy and be distracting. Neutral patterns on bottom can also be done. Bottom style can vary (leggings, pants, long skirt) but I would try not to vary the length if possible. All long or all short is better. All long is best.

Tops - Choose a rich somewhat neutral color. Good colors to think about would be navy, forest green, maroon, sometimes black, cream possibly, sometimes white.
Then decide will:
  • everyone do the same color, one that is flattering on the whole group
  • boys wear one color and girls wear another.
  • parents wear one color and kids wear another.
  • kids in one style (sweaters) and parents in another (button downs).
I suggest not doing patterns on top on anyone if possible, if you do do patterns try to keep them neutral and not too busy - for example: everyone in plaid, would not be good! It will be too busy with many people wearing it and again distracting. Small logos are fine but words, writing, and characters on shirts is discouraged. I wouldn't do more than two colors on top in a small family if possible. This tip truly depends on number of people participating. I would not do head to toe one color (black top/black bottom). Top style can vary (sweater, button down, long sleeved polo) but I would try not to vary the length if possible. All long or all short is better. All long is best.

         My reasoning for these suggestions is as follows - when you look at a photo your eyes are instinctively drawn to the lightest colored part of the photo. If your arm and leg skin is covered your faces become the lightest part of the picture and everyone will be drawn to look at them. The neutral clothing then also showcases every one's face and it becomes less about what you are wearing and more about seeing each person, their features, and your collective expression!

I hope this helps a few of you. Feel free to still ask questions if you have them and email me snapshots if you would like specific feedback.

Angela Drabek

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