Choosing clothes for a family portrait is probably one of the most important aspects of the photo. You want to choose what you wear carefully, and ones that “won’t be the most noticeable part of your picture” says Joy Ximenez, owner of A Moment of Joy Photography, in Elk Grove, Calif. You want the focus on your family and not the clothes. With every rule, however, you will find an exception.
Keep It Simple
Choose neutral colors and simple clothes to accomplish simplicity. Moreover, make sure every family member coordinates his or her clothing. Otherwise, all attention will be drawn to the one member who wore red while everyone else wore white. Ximenez says she recommends white, black or brown shades, because nearly everyone looks good in them.
Consider the Background
Choose a basic black or white background and then wear the same color. This helps bring attention to your face. Ximenez says, “People get very afraid to do this thinking they may be too pale, but it really captures the subjects. It takes away all the clutter and makes you focus on the people.”
Avoid Trendy Clothing
Wearing the lasted and trendiest styles of today will make the portrait look dated in just a few short years. Choose basic clothing and outfits that will not date the portrait. This is a photo you will have hanging in your home for a long time; you will enjoy it more if the clothes do not make it look old.
Coordinating the grandparents, your sister or brother’s family and other extended family members for the portrait can make the clothing choices even more challenging. For extended family portraits, Ximenez recommends that each family group be assigned a color theme. For example, your family may wear blues, your sister’s family tans and the grandparents wear red. While this does go against the keep it simple rule, for an extended family portrait it helps define the various family units, making the picture interesting and a piece of the family’s history.
Make Young Kids Stand Out
Of course, you can go against the keep it simple advice to suit your family’s personality as well. With babies and toddlers, you may want the kids to be the focus of the portrait. To do this, have the parents dress in coordinating neutrals, such as khaki colors, and the kids in brighter colors.