Part 1: What to wear to your professional photo shoot ~ Colors

by Debra Wallace

You may be tempted to reach into your closet for your favorite outfit, but before you do that, it may be worth reading a few tips that could take your photo session from mediocre to outstanding with just the change of a t-shirt.

Color is everything.  Unless you're expecting black and white photos (which you really shouldn't be, but that's another post), color is the single most important consideration when you pick out clothes for your session.  Dressing independently from the other members of your family can reduce the cohesiveness of your images considerably.  In terms of coordinating, you have a few options.

1.  Traditional: Some families go the more traditional route and dress in completely matching clothes such as the lovely family below.

If you're a more mainstream family this is perfect.  You definitely want your clothing to match your personality as a family and to represent who you are.  The red motif works really well for these guys (and the red bush in their backyard was providential!). 

2.  Modern:  Another approach is more of a blending method.  Beth used her son's plaid shirt as inspiration for the rest of the colors her family wore.  To me, this is inspired.  Straight out of Eddie Bauer.  All seven plus colors go together, but they're not strictly matching.  This is great for families with this type of personality (and for moms who can pull off this type of thing - I am so impressed!).

3.  Shades of a Color.  You can also go with more muted colors and match, but not look quite as matchy, such as the family below.  I love this too - it really does have the feeling of both.  It is matching, but you don't look at the picture and think "wow, they match!" It's definitely subtle, and Sarah's scarf gives the image a modern feel.

4.  Boys & Girls.  Another great option is to have your boys and girls match each other, so you can have two themes going on at the same time.  It's still important that they don't clash with each other, but it does give you more liberty.  I don't know where Deborah gets all of these matching clothes but this is definitely her "go to" approach to family photos and I love it!

5.  The Three Color Approach.  This is usually what I tell families to do because it's super simple to say over the phone without overwhelming people.  Pick three colors such as blue, white and grey, and everyone wears one or all of those.  It works every single time.  This is especially great with larger groups and extended family pictures.

6.  Color Splash.  It can also be fun to have the adults wear one color and the kids wear something bright and attention grabbing.

I love how the red dresses bring attention to the kids and to Christmas.
Here too Liz and Bernie have a dark black/blue theme and Lexi's red shirt draws the focus to her.
 7. In the Buff.  And of course, if you're a baby (and sometimes if you're a dad), you can wear nothing at all.

That's it for color.  Coming up next: Part 2: What to Wear to Your Professional Photo Shoot ~ How to Forget What You Wore in 1990 (or 80, or 70, etc.).

Or if you're interested about what colors make you look awesome, check out "How to Get Free Clothes."

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