Oh my gosh, what clothes am I going to wear?
I know for me, this is my least favorite thing to think about. "What to wear????!!!" I'm not a fashionista, and LL Bean and Title Nine are my favorite places to shop. And if you know what Smartwool is, you're a kindred spirit. But we all want to look "put together" at times, especially for a photograph that you'll have for decades. You want to look like you, you on a really good day. :) I totally get it!
The information below will help you look good whether it's for a professional portrait session, or even just heading off to a wedding or family gathering where they'll be taking photos!
So I've put together some tips that I've picked up. Plus I add things to my Pinterest page to help people out visually. I think they all did a great job of looking good and still looking like themselves.
Just a few rules. No all white (or all black, or all blue, etc.). Trust me, you'll thank me in a few years. Please avoid clothing with writing or prominent logos on it—it's distracting to whoever views the photographs. Earthy neutrals always go together (browns, yellows, dark dark reds, greens). If it suits your family's personality to wear bright colors and prints, my suggestion is that only the kids wear the bright prints and the parent(s) coordinate off of the colors in their children's clothes. (The family above had a clothing change, and the bright colors worked well for them. The fall colors in the background made for a really nice image. So obviously these aren't hard and fast rules.)
You can see above that everyone coordinates, but doesn't exactly match. That's a good thing. Each person can have their individuality, yet you still look like a well put-together group.
I strongly encourage you to wear clothes that fit you nicely. Wearing clothes that are too tight or too baggy, neither looks good on most folks, and usually accentuates what you are trying to hide.
If you need a hair cut, don't wait until the day before. But if you color your hair, that should look fresh and pretty with no "skunk" part. You'd be surprised how much that grey hair looks like an airport landing strip on a head. :)
No practicing/coaching your child or spouse to smile. They already know how. :)
If a child or pet will be in the photos, consider bringing their favorite toy. Not only will this add meaning for you to the photograph, it might also help them feel more at ease.
Help! I have no clue!
I'm happy to offer my advice if you're having a tough time choosing. Just lay out your clothing ideas on the bed and snap a photo and email it to me. I can let you know if you're doing great, or offer a suggestion to improve your choices.
~Barb Kellogg, photographer, tea drinker, and dark chocolate lover firstname.lastname@example.org