I specialize in timeless, fine art photography and my passion is combining traditional and lifestyle portraiture while photographing families, seniors, maternity and branding clients in Cle Elum, Washington and surrounding areas.
When it comes to creating gorgeous family portraits, what you’re wearing is just as important as all the other details such as: lighting, location, and posing. But when it comes to Selecting Your Family Portrait Outfits, it can be overwhelming.
Should everyone match?
What colors work best?
How much is too much?
This can be even more complicated when you’re planning outfits for an extended family session! This is why we put together these helpful tips for selecting your family portrait outfits.
Knowing what colors to wear for family photos can be tricky. I recommend choosing at least 3-4 colors to work from and that coordinate well. You can pull color palette inspiration from Pinterest, or browse my blog to see what other families have worn. Jewel tones like dark blue, maroon, and emerald go well together, especially outdoors. For those who like a more traditional look, neutrals like cream, light grey, and khaki also photograph beautifully.
One of the most important things to remember is that you want to coordinate without matching. It’s possible to be cohesive without everyone wearing the same thing. In fact, “matching” really dates your photos. While the idea might seem good in theory, you do not want to have everyone in blue jeans and white shirts.
I recommend each individual family styles themselves according to an agreed upon color palette. And, that everyone remembers the following “do’s and dont’s”.
Accessories and texture can make a world of difference in your portraits. When you are looking for clothes for the family, keep in mind that textured fabric, buttons, ties, belts or suspenders will add layers and texture to your outfit for a more “complete” look.
I suggest keeping jewelry minimal for women & girls. Keep in mind, big, flashy earrings or a chunky necklace can date photos just the same as matching outfits.
This way you’ll have a good idea about how the outfits coordinate and look together. It will help you see if one color is dominating the outfits or if you need more pieces to better tie in another color. It will also tell you if there are competing patterns.
Cle Elum and the surrounding area is known for it’s beautiful, lush foliage and rustic landscape. Selecting a color palette for your outfits that will complement the setting is important.
Pick out items of clothing in colors that will complement your background and not compete with it.
Each season is associated with different colors, weather, and landscapes which will be an important item to consider when picking out what everyone will be wearing. For example, you might select warm tones like oranges and reds in the Fall, but cooler tones like light blue, green, and purple for Spring portraits.
This is an important item to keep in mind for every family member but, especially when dressing the younger members of your family. If your kids are not comfortable in what they’re wearing, it’s going to show in the photos. In the cold months, be sure to add extra layers for little ones.
Also, be thoughtful about footwear choices, as most outdoor locations in Cle Elum, Ellensburg, and Suncadia require slightly more practical shoes, due to the terrain.
Choosing classic family portrait outfits will help you to create timeless portraits.
Styles come and go but, your photos are forever.
In fact, I suggest avoiding any logos at all! They’re very distracting in portraits and will date your family photos. Likewise, really strong patterns or small repetitive patterns can be distracting in your portraits. Small repetitive patterns are especially problematic, as they can produce an unintentional moiré pattern. Stick with larger patterns, florals, or solid colors.
Last but not least, neon colors should be avoided at all costs.
Feel free to send sample outfit combinations my way! I am already looking forward to your session.
Mary Maletzke Photography
MARY MALETZKE PHOTOGRAPHY IS A LUXURY FAMILY & PERSONAL BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHER SERVING CLE ELUM, Ellensburg, SUNCADIA, (AND BEYOND!)
We SPECIALIZE IN AN EXCLUSIVE FULL SERVICE PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE beginning WITH SESSION PLANNING, STYLING AND LOCATIONS, AND CONCLUDES WITH THE CREATION OF HEIRLOOM QUALITY FINE ART FOR FAMILIES TO ENJOY IN THEIR HOME FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.