The big question....WHAT ARE WE GOING TO WEAR??!!!
First things first, choose a color palette. You will need to decide a color family or color palette that you like. Consider that these pictures will be on your walls for awhile, so pick colors that you love and match your style. Start with 2 to 3 complimentary colors that work well together. Then, fill them out with some neutrals: common neutrals are blacks, grays, whites, creams, khakis, and navy denim. If you want, you can add in a pop of color to create interest and fun.
Once you have a color combination you love, start gathering options from your family’s closets that fit your color scheme. Go around the bedrooms and grab anything that fits your color scheme. Lay them all on the floor or a big bed, and and start combining them in possible outfits. You want to make sure that your color palette is distributed fairly evenly across the people in the photo. The idea is to coordinate colors, not match them!
For instance, if you have a blue and yellow theme, you don’t want everyone to have yellow shirts and jeans on. Mix it up a little bit. Can you vary colors from top to bottom, or person to person? Is there an option for a dress or skirt to add variety? Can you include a pattern or texture that ties in your different shades, instead of all solid colors?
The accessories and the details are the easiest way to elevate a simple color palette to a well rounded, balanced set of outfits! You can add texture and interest with scarves, belts, layered necklaces, big bracelets, headbands, flower clips, or hats. If you’re struggling with accessories for the males in your family, consider the smaller details like rolling up shirt sleeves, wearing a colored undershirt, tucking a shirt in, or adding layers. Accessories can also reflect the personalities of the individual members of the family, especially older children and teenagers. If you can, let them choose accessories themselves!
Don’t forget to decide the shoes for each family member… And no we can not leave your feet out of the photo, so make sure your socks and shoes coordinate with your outfit.
There’s a tendency to think family pictures require a whole new outfit for each family member. While you can absolutely buy something to finish off your outfits, remember that family photos are meant to reflect the people behind those clothes. One new item is fine, but a whole new wardrobe doesn’t usually represent someone’s individual style.
You want to be able to look back on these photos and remember how that shirt was your son’s favorite, and that skirt was worn all the time because your daughter adored it. Shopping from your closet first helps you respect each family member’s unique personality. If it’s already in their closet, it’s probably a good reflection of that person at this stage of life. And that’s what family portraits are all about!