One of the most frequently asked questions is what to wear during a photo shoot. The answer is not that simple. In choosing the perfect outfit, there are a few steps to consider:
STEP 1- Wall Color
The first step in coordinating your outfits for your family shoot is knowing what color is the room you’re putting the picture in. For example, a room with Navy blue walls and hardwood floors would need a pop of a bright color. To go for a similar color scheme, blue’s complementary color is yellow. (As shown on the color wheel below) My personal suggestion would go for “like colors” in the room. If you have accents of yellow and white, consider wearing a yellow shirt and light blue jeans.
STEP 2- Shoot Location
The location of your shoot is very important. By knowing where you are and what the surroundings will be like, can help you in deciding what you should wear. For example: Here at Townsley Portraits, we shoot at many parks. All the parks have 3 main colors: Green, Blue, and Brown. (Grass, sky, and dirt.) Saying this, wearing these colors will make you blend into the picture, instead of popping out. My suggestion for what to wear to all of our park locations is bright, bold colors. Let’s say that your portraits are being taken at the Santa Monica Pier. The main 3 colors at the Pier are: Tan, Grey, and White. Yes, there are a bit of light blues, because of the water; but overall, most colors at the Pier are muted neutrals. (Refer to the color wheel below.) By knowing what colors are at your shoot location, you should be able to find complimentary colors and easily make your picture beautiful and vibrant.
STEP 3- Avoid Matching
Having everyone wearing the same shirt with the same pants can sometimes make a beautiful picture look too uniform. By switching pops of color with each person, you can keep a fantastic color scheme while making it look classy and clean. For example: There’s a family of 4 getting their portraits taken at the Santa Monica Pier. There’s a dad, mom, daughter, and son. Room color: White and Navy. Accent color: Yellow.
An example outfit would be:
Dad: White undershirt, Yellow over shirt, Dark Jeans, White sneakers
Mom: Yellow tank top, White ribbed tank, Navy cardigan, Light jeans, Yellow shoes
Daughter: Navy dress, yellow hair accessories, White sandals
Son: Navy shirt, White shorts, Yellow shoes, Yellow accessories
Notice how every member is wearing something different that is yellow. This allows the family to seem unified, while having subtle hints of individuality.
Step 4- Know Your Product
By knowing what you are planning on using these photos for can also play a key role in how to plan your wardrobe. If you want to use the pictures for Holiday cards, wearing red is most likely a preferred object. You can easily use the above method to incorporate red into each outfit. If these pictures are being used as spring décor, pinks and purples could be the defining characteristic in a statement canvas.
Step 5- The White Shirt and Jeans
Even though wearing white shirts and jeans is considered a “classic look”, and it can be people’s last resort if they cannot decide what would make the picture look timeless. However, wearing white can actually be harmful to the picture due to natural light. Since we prefer to use gorgeous foliage as our backdrop, wearing neutral colors (tan, black, white, etc.) can take a potentially amazing picture and make it look dull. If it would be easier to wear the white shirt and jeans, my suggestion will be to create accents of color throughout each family member by using step 3.
By using these above steps, you and your family are guaranteed to look amazing in every single picture you take.
Props can add character to all pictures, and can make your shoot 100% more fun! Here at Townsley Portraits, we encourage, all sorts of awesome such as: balloons, bubbles, flowers, etc.
Remember that pops of bright colors can significantly change any portrait.
Pets are a part of your family too! Though some locations don’t allow you to bring the furriest addition to your family, they are always more than welcome in our eyes and can make any family portrait complete.
If you do need any help or have any further questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to call our office! 323-786-6019