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How to prepare for your family portrait

The preparation for a family portrait session is very important. I always have a telephone consultation with my clients before they come in, so we cover everything from clothing to expectations about the shoot.

One of the most frequently asked questions is “What to wear?”.

My main advise is: keep it simple!  By using plain clothes, you allow for the focus to stay on you and not draw the eye to patterns and colours in fabrics. Your wardrobe should be free of logos, stripes, pictures and writing.  For black and white photos – black, white and mid-toned pastels work  really well.

If you are planning to hang your family portraits in a specific spot in your home, you can incorporate the colour scheme in that room into your clothing. Colour makes photographs alive and vibrant, so it’s always good to have one set of colourful outfits for the shoot. Primary colours like red, blue and green work particularly well, but most other colours are fine too.

You should also think about matching outfits. Coordination is key. If you want to be smart, you can all wear shirts. You can’t go wrong with T-shirts, just get either coordinated colours (i.e. blue for boys and pink for girls), or all different colours.

I recommend everyone to be barefoot. Also make sure you are all very comfortable, as you would want your clothes to allow you freedom of movement and poses.

Remember, your portrait should reflect how you are as a family. So go for what you feel comfortable with. Here are some examples:

  • White tops and blue/black/beige jeans
  • Colour tone coordinated tops (shades of blue, green or reds) and matching colour trousers
  • Plain colourful T-shirts and tops
  • Cute matching dresses for girls

See some examples of family portraits on my website.

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