Preparing and dressing for your family portraits | Memphis Photographer
Frequently I’m asked by my awesome clients “what should we wear for our family portrait?” or “how should we prepare?”. I’m always excited to know my clients want their portraits to be awesome, just like I do! When it comes to deciding what to wear, the goal is to make the “people” stand out in the portrait, not the “clothing”. So here are some tips and suggestions for preparing and dressing for your family portraits to help make your portraits rock!
Consider solid colors or faint patterns. Busy, loud patterns or logos tend to draw too much attention to the outfit.
Shirts and dress colors should be within the same color palette or be complimentary colors, rather than everyone in identical colors. Identical colors tend to look too “matchy”.
Pants and skirts can be similar or identical in color, for example: light denim, dark denim, tan khakis.
AVOID wearing solid white or fluorescent colors since it can be distracting, throws off camera exposure and makes a person stand out from the others in the photo. (This is ok for a Bride, of course!) Tans, off-whites or wearing a vest or jacket over the white shirt is fine.
Women’s clothing is more colorful than men’s clothing. Consider the guys in more neutral colors and gals in brighter colors. Super cute when Moms and daughters throw a splash of matching color with an accessory like a matching scarf or headband.
Everyone should dress in a similar-style, for example: All casual or all formal.
Textures and layers always look nice. Knits, scarves and sweaters for the fall and winter portraits are great on camera!
Ladies – hide those pesty bra straps! Wear a bra that hides well under your outfit.
Consider wearing dresses or tops that cover your arms partially or fully. Bare arms tend to stand-out in a photo and can expose more skin than your face, thus drawing attention to your arms, not your beautiful face!
IRON your wardrobe! I can’t stress this enough. Every detail will show up in your portraits, so be sure to iron out any wrinkles.
Men – Be clean-shaven or beards and mustaches trimmed. Put on your “handsome”!
Don’t over-do the makeup or accessories. (See below for makeup tips!) No sunglasses or hats please.
If you wear glasses all the time, feel free to bring them, but if you can do without your glasses or have contact lenses, this is a better option. Eyeglasses sometimes reflect images and light. If you have no other options and need your eye glasses, don’t worry! I’ll work around it with some little tricks of the trade!
Make hair appointments at least 2 weeks prior if possible so new cuts or styles relax a bit.
Below are some color combination ideas, but feel free to come up with your own combination. Contact me if you have any questions and remember you can always bring more than one outfit to your session if you need some help with selecting!
Makeup and Additional Tips for the Ladies!!!!
Lips – any shiny lip gloss in a color like berries or browns, avoid frosts or glitters, avoid dark colors. Bring your lip gloss along for refreshing!
Face – a light application of non-SPF foundation helps smooth out the skin and cover any blemishes. Any brand like Cover Girl or Revlon Colorstay Makeup at CVS works. The goal is for a matte finish, not a glow so avoid foundations with bronzer or shimmer or mineral makeup. Note: The reason to avoid foundations with SPF or shimmer is because it reflects light and will effect the exposure of the photo. If you can’t find a non-SPF foundation, then just go for the lowest SPF amount offered. Finally, brush a light translucent powder all over to cut down on shine.
Cheeks – light blush to add some color. Avoid bronzers or glittery blushes.
Eyes – brown eyeliner and a little waterproof mascara to bring out the lashes is fine. A soft brown always looks nice and compliments most eye colors. Avoid eye shadows with shimmer or glitter.
Eyebrows – be sure to trim, pluck if needed. The camera and lenses are very powerful, so even a rogue hair will show! If waxing, be sure to do it a week prior to avoid having redness.
Hairspray! – I can’t say enough about spritzing your hair with some spray, especially long hair! Most of my photo sessions are in the late afternoon to catch the gorgeous golden light, but it also can highlight the flyaway hairs, so please spray your locks if you can.
Manicure/Pedicure - It’s amazing the detail the camera can capture, so be sure to get a fresh manicure and coat of nail polish and pedicure (if you’ll be wearing open toed shoes). Plus, don’t you always feel pretty when you get a mani/pedi??? I do!
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