So, this is my official first post of my new website, and WHAT a topic to be discussing. Anyone that knows me knows that I am NOT a fashionista. I am quite happy wearing yoga or sweat pants, jeans, t-shirts and sneakers every day of my life. However, I am pretty sure that is not how I would like to be immortalized in photos for decades to come and I'm sure you must feel the same way if you're still reading. Luckily for me (and for anyone that is like me and wants some good, straight forward advice on how to dress), there are a lot of great resources available to take the thinking out of the equation. Oh Internet. How I love you....
So before we get to the graphically good stuff, lets set a few ground rules. These may even seem very common sense but they're worth stating out loud.
- Be YOU! The clothes you choose should reflect your family's style in some way. Just because you're having portraits taken doesn't mean you have to alter your appearance drastically. However, what we will discuss will give you ideas on how to sculpt who you are as a family into a cohesive unit for a classy and unified look.
- Being unified does NOT mean being identical. What we are going for are colors that compliment each other using a color palette or scheme. We can "match" the other members of our family without all wearing exactly the same things. Quite frequently, I come across the advice to have one person in your photos wearing something that everyone else in the family pulls colors and inspiration from to create that look.
- Accessorize! This is not just earrings and necklaces-- these are easy ways to add pops of color in your photo by using scarves, hats, headbands, outerwear, etc. You would use these to enhance your photos, so make sure anything you choose isn't going to dominate your portraits.
- Think about layers and textures. Textures add great visual interest in a photo, and layers are an additional way to add variety to your photo session. You can achieve this by using different fabrics as well as accessories... clothing with ruffles or ribbons, embroidered details, or various accents.
- Are there any memorable props you would like to incorporate into your session? A quilt hand-stitched by grandma, or beloved teddy bear can add special meaning to your family photos. We want things that will feel part of the moment and are simple-- again as to avoid overpowering the moment we're creating.
- Don't forget about those feet!! As a self proclaimed sneaker addict, I know how tempting it is to slip on those white socks and sneakers and think to myself, "What's the worst that could happen? Nobody is going to notice my SHOES, right?" Think again. Just a single pair of shoes that doesn't fit in with the rest of a photo will really distract anyone that is looking at it. And no, that is NOT what Photoshop is for ;) This could be the perfect opportunity to add a splash of color that matches with other elements within your photo as well-- a young girl wearing flats that match dad's tie as an example. Also, please think about the surroundings of your location when choosing footwear. A beautiful summer field of wildflowers is probably not the best place to wear sandals, especially here in Texas with all those sticky burr things!
- Keep it simple, and classic. Although they can work in some instances, for the most part, you will probably be happier if you stay away from OVERLY bright colors. Not only can they cause your skin to look sickly, they will immediately draw attention in your photo and they project so they can make you look larger. Stick to mostly solid color clothing so that your face is the prominent feature, not the logo on your shirt. Limit the patterns , and remember-- these are pictures your children's children will look at one day. Yes, Rhianna has a very stylish clothing line, but we want you to be wearing clothes that look more timeless than anything.
There are some EXCELLENT blogs out there with advice on colors and what to wear, and even (gasp!!) PICTURE EXAMPLES!!!! So, I encourage everyone to read their advice. This is where your styling adventure truly begins! When in doubt, Pinterest is King. Think of this as your course in Photography Styling 101.
This first site has some great styles put together for current clothing out there. She's even gone so far as to list pricing with the items to give you an idea of what you'd be spending if you walked into a store and purchased each item piece by piece. The only things I might avoid from her suggestions are the Yellow dress for mom she has in the first photo, and the Green shirt for dad that she has in the last photo. However, if you typically wear (and rock!) those colors, then by all means, bring them on!
This second site is well known for putting together style guides and has multiple available for you to look at if you click the link at the bottom of their posting.
I hope this has been informative! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.