Do you have recent family photos? Photos you’ve had taken to capture your family at a certain moment in time.
We had some taken this time last year to do just that. Number one son will be leaving home in a matter of months (didn’t I just bring him home from hospital?) and teenagers in general are not fond of photos that require them to publicly pretend to express affection for someone other than their besties.
So, when Styling You reader Sharlene Harris contacted me recently for some tips on how to dress her family for an upcoming family portrait session, I thought others may be looking for a bit of guidance in this area too.
Goodness knows I needed an intervention.
If you come to my house you will see I’m guilty as charged of the white t-shirt and denim family portrait. Only saving grace from this photography cliche? The canvas is in black and white.
I may also have subjected my first two children to baby photos in the Anne Geddes theme. No saving grace on these. Anne Geddes the photographer was not. They signed me up post-partum while I wandered the baby section of our local department store. Could I possibly blame the hormones?
But last year, I think we got it almost right. We didn’t look like Family Matchy Matchy but our clothes all complemented each other to work in a beach photo shoot.
Here are a few of the shots from the talented Melissa Jean Photography.
I also contacted the photographer who earlier this year took the photos of me for this blog. I’ve long been a friend of Lou O’Brien (Images by Lou O’Brien) and we also worked together for 20 years.
She’s one of the most super-organised photographers I know. Apart from her photography, I used to admire her skill at sorting and organising a predominantly male newspaper photography team. This was no easy feat.
So, it didn’t surprise me that she actually has a pdf document that she emails new clients and part of that document includes tips on what to wear and how to style a family photo shoot.
- Don’t wear something that is ‘in’ at the moment, as it will be ‘out’ in a year’s time.
- Steer clear of logos and ‘gimmick’ printed shirts, you don’t want to take away from the person.
- If you want to wear patterns, limit patterns to one or two people in the family photo shoot and pick colours from their patterned outfit to choose that rest of the family’s clothing.
- Bring your personality into the clothes. Wear something you feel comfortable in and makes you feel like you, and not a version of what you think you should look like.
- Don’t wear the same thing, you’re not clones. If you choose to wear jeans and white tees, change the t-shirts up with singlets, blouses, bonds tees, etc and the jeans could be full length, rolled, shorts, and different tones.
- At the end of the day, the photographer wants to capture the family, their personality and relationship to each other. It’s not so much about the clothes but the way the person feels in them.
PS. For some tips how NOT to style a family photo, you need look no further than the website, Awkward Family Photos. And yes, you can upload your own.