If you’re one of those families who gets family photos taken every year, you know the challenges that come with the experience. Small children can be difficult during the photo session because they don’t sit still. Older children think it’s lame to get family photos, so they usually have a bad attitude. As parents, we just can’t win! It’s bad enough that our children don’t cooperate, but when you try to coordinate everyone’s outfits, it can be frustrating. Arguments breaks out about the colors to wear, the styles to wear, and everything else related to what to wear.
While I can’t help with your family’s disagreements over attire, I can offer a few suggestions that might make the outfit planning a bit less stressful. Follow these tips to get the best photos of your family, and hopefully the experience will be worth it the next time you plan a photo shoot!
1. Coordinate, But Don’t Match
It’s important that you look “put together” as a family, but you don’t want to match so much that you blend in with each other. Choose one or two colors to focus on, and have each person wear varying shades of those colors.
Maybe you’ve decided on a tan and light pink combination. As long as everyone is wearing at least one of those colors, you’ll look like you belong together. Try not to mix really bright shades with really light ones, but select either light or dark in whichever colors you choose. Mixing colors with dramatically different shades will not look cohesive the way that similar tones will.
2. Add Accessories
If you’re worried about your outfits looking boring, an easy way to add personality without being too distracting is by adding accessories. Small pops of color, texture or print will liven up your look without overpowering it. For fall or winter photos, try adding a scarf or hat. Spring or summer photos could use jewelry or belts. Men could also add a tie or a watch.
3. Limit Prints
Since you want the focus of your photos to be on your family members, limit your prints to one per outfit collection. In other words, only one person should wear a busy print. Too many prints or patterns is very distracting and takes the focus off of your family. The rest of the family members can pull colors from the printed piece to wear, so that everyone’s outfit coordinates.
4. Combine Different Textures
When you’re all wearing similar colors, it can feel very blah. But if you choose pieces in different textures, your look will be more interesting. You can wear two different pieces in the same color that have different textures. Maybe you’ve got a pair of corduroy pants and a leather jacket in the same shade of brown. Pair the two together to give your outfit dimension without taking away from your look. Don’t go overboard with textures, but if you have a few pieces weaved into your family’s ensemble, you’ll be good to go!
5. Avoid Bold Graphics
Just as prints can be distracting, so can graphic tees and other graphic pieces. These shift the focus onto the pieces themselves, instead of onto you and your family. Graphic tees are different from printed pieces because they are much bolder and you can’t really coordinate with them.
You should also avoid advertising certain brands, characters, shows or bands (even though I’m sure they would love the free promotion). Family photos are meant to be special and memorable, and you don’t want your crazy shirt to be the thing that you remember the most.