Family Photography Common Questions and Answers
What to wear
Deciding what to wear can be quite tricky, I would suggest trying to keep things fairly neutral – not too smart, not too scruffy. Try to wear something you might normally wear. I want these images to be natural and a slice of life, but some clothes work better for photos than others…
The main rule is : Simple, non-patterned (no checks/ no stripes) clothes for everyone. Wear clothes you are comfortable in. Try to coordinate colours so that your colours work well as a group.
As we might be out and about somewhere, firstly pick clothes suitable for the weather and location.
Plain colours are your best choice. Patterns or prints distract and date your photo. Choose mid- tone colours in blue, green, wine and purple because they are universally flattering. Avoid wearing tops in flesh tones (cream, beige, pastels, peach or yellow) as they will blend your face into your clothes. Unless you’re feeling super confident, pass on bright red or orange. Stark black and white are not great choices. Substitute black with richer neutrals like chocolate, navy, maroon and forest green. Black is sombre, safe and guarded, not likely the vibe you want to project. A fail-safe tip is to pick a top that accentuates your eyes. That’s why jewel tones work so well.
- For the ladies – in general wear something that covers your upper-arms. Long- or 3/4-sleeve tops are very flattering. A modest v-neck is universally flattering because it lengthens the neck and displays the décolleté. Opt for blouses with sleeves. Fine to medium gauge knits work really well too because they introduce textural interest. If you choose to wear a jacket, pair it with a collarless top. This is modern and keeps the neckline simple and sleek. Crisply ironed shirts by themselves frame the face really well.
- Neutral colours (grey, beige, etc.) look classy and timeless and never go out of style.
- Make use of textured fabrics (like lace, denim, or suede) to add an interesting visual element to your photos.
- Make use of accessories, such as hats, headbands, scarves, and jackets to really add to your look.
- When dressing a younger baby (a few months old), avoid clothing that might “swamp” them. Stick to simple, somewhat tight clothes like a cute, funky onesie or romper or cool, colourful nappy covers.
- A fun little tutu makes a great accessory for little girls. Flowing tulle skirts or other items made of similar material can add a wonderful sense of movement to your images.
- Generally layers (thermal vests,etc) are much better than coats, unless it’s the middle of winter.
- If you wear jewellery, aim for subtlety, and be aware of it twisting or turning.
- Dads, have a shave or a trim. For wardrobe, go for jeans or chinos, tucked polo or dress shirt with a belt, or go casual with just a T-shirt or untucked polo, button-up short sleeve, etc. In general, whatever your wife tells you to wear. Again you don’t have to perfectly match the rest of the family, just wear something that coordinates.
- One last tip – if you imagine holding your baby, check your clothes don’t have distracting elements anywhere around that area (big white collars, HUGE branding, 1 different coloured banded stripe, etc)
- Don’t wear an outfit you’ve never worn before. You’ll want to feel comfortable and confident, and if you’re unsure of how that skirt will act when you get down to your child’s height … Instead go for your favourite outfit, the one that makes you walk taller and feel like you can conquer the world!
- Don’t make your clothes too matchy-matchy and avoid all-white or all-black combos. Instead, try to find outfits that compliment each other in both colour and design.
- Avoid clothes with logos/characters or loud patterns. They act as distractions and draw the viewer’s eyes away from the photo’s main subject– you!
- Don’t forget about your shoes!! They might well also be showcased in your photos. Boots, for example, look great with many different outfit combos (jeans, leggings, skirts, etc.) and can really tie your family’s outfits together. Avoid trainers, crocs, and white socks.
- Avoid distracting hair accessories. If you don’t want to wear your hair down, a simple bobby pin can work very well.
- Dads – avoid a mobile phone in a front pocket during the shoot (it creates strange line patterns on your trousers)! If we are out and about somewhere – pop your phone and wallet in your wife’s handbag.
- Nude is best for baby, I have a series of tasteful wraps and fabrics that we might use.
- For Mum, I know this is not necessarily a time you are going to feel at your most photogenic. I would urge you to have some shots with your baby, as much for them to look back on as for you. A black or white tank-top/vest, short-sleeved shirt, or tube-top work well. Keep it simple, avoid patterns or logos.
- For dads who are comfortable going topless, I would urge you to do so– skin-on-skin images are a wonderful way to show the bond between dad and baby.