June 6, 2018
So, you’ve decided on a date, time and location for your photos. The next big question – what to wear?? If you’ve gone through your closet a dozen times or you’ve resorted to obsessively scanning online hoping something catches your eye, I hope this post brings calmness and clarity!
**While I am using my lavender farm families as an example, the same clothing ideas can be used for all other portrait sessions too!
IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU. This shoot is all about capturing the personality of you and your family, so wear clothing that you love – things that are comfortable and make you feel confidant in front of the camera.
LIGHT, AIRY COLORS. I always recommend light colors. Think neutrals, pastels and creams. These soft colors compliment the farm’s backdrop so nicely – they look great against the white of the barn doors as well as the sagey greens and muted purples in the field. These colors are soft, elegant and timeless and look fantastic on everyone! Steer clear of any shirts with logos or type. Even if it is the perfect shade of cream, the text will act as a distraction in your final images!
COMPLIMENT, DON’T MATCH. It is better to have different outfits that go nicely together than to have identical outfits where everyone looks the same. We want everyone’s personality to shine and complimenting outfits provide a variety of looks in your final images. For example, if you are wearing a cream top, have your husband wear plaid with the same shade of cream running through it. If you want to wear a tan hat, find a nice tan pair of pants or tan shoes for your son to wear. You’d like to wear a jean jacket over a white sundress? Your partner can wear jeans and a white button-down, and your daughter can wear a long white floral dress with a blue hue in the flowers to accent. Be sure all members of your session are equal in how formal their attire is!
THINK OF SEASON & LOCATION. Remember, we are on a farm in the middle of the hot summer…keep it cool and casual! I don’t recommend wearing a floor-length formal dress, winter coat, or your grandfather’s favorite tie. The farm is big and we do a fair amount of walking throughout your session to get a variety of backdrops. Because of this, I also do not recommend tall heels. Wearing light, comfortable shoes like sandals or flats will keep you cool, comfortable, and they fit in great with the farm theme. If you are worried about the gravel, closed-toe shoes are best. If heels are a must, carry them with you until we reach out first picture location. There are no trees blocking the field, so it can get hot and breezy. Wear light layers. Sun hats, sundresses and long skirts are gorgeous. Dresses and skirts provide a beautiful soft, flowy look and sun hats look stylish while keeping the sun off of your face. For the guys? A light button-down or short-sleeved polo are great options that can be dressed up or down – and are usually already in the closet!
PATTERNS BEWARE. Large patterns like chunky plaid, large polka dots or florals look great! Be careful of small patterns like pinpoint dots or thin pinstripes as they tend to distort in the camera and distract the eye. Make sure not everyone in your party is wearing a pattern – remember, compliment don’t match!
MULTIPLE OUTFITS. I love outfit changes! This is a great way to get the most variety out of your session. If you are thinking of wearing two different outfits, it is nice to have them 1. Compliment each other and 2. Vary in formality. Choosing a light blue sundress and then a white blouse with light washed capris will keep the look of the session consistent even with multiple outfits. It is also a great way to use both a casual and dressier look. If you’re thinking, “It was hard enough choosing the first outfit!” Don’t worry. Stick to one outfit but accessorize. Choose a necklace or scarf and take it on and off throughout the session. Bring a sunhat or bandana and only wear it for half of the photos. For guys, simply putting a blazer overtop a nice dress shirt allows for two easy looks, and you won’t even have to change! *Keep in mind, multiple outfits will require time for changing, so plan accordingly with your session length!
ACCENTS! I go on and on about light pastel colors here. But you can always dress them up with a pop of color to show off your personality and add a bit of excitement to your photos. Bold-colored blankets, necklaces, scarves, shoes, lipstick, nail polish, cardigans – all great options for adding color! For kids? Lavender accents like nail polish, bows, bowties, long socks and bracelets are always super cute. 🙂
THINK OF YOUR SPACE. Do you already have plans to hang your favorite image over the family room couch or make a collage wall going up the entry stairs? Great! What are the colors in that space? Would a horizontal or vertical shot work best? I have sessions with a family each year who has gorgeous muted grey-blue tones running throughout their home (the front door, stone on the exterior, blue walls, grey pillows and accent blankets). They almost always wear some form of cream, khaki and grey-blue to their sessions so the photos keep a consistent look that compliments their home.
PINTEREST IS YOUR FRIEND. I look at Pinterest for session ideas all of the time! It is a great resource for looking through massive amounts of outfits in a timely manner. Hopefully, you will find something that jumps out at you – an “I can totally wear that” or “I already have that in the closet” moment!
I hope these tips helped! If there is anything else you and your family ran into while choosing portrait outfits that you think would benefit others coming to the farm, leave a comment below and I’ll add it in!
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