Seven Tips for a Successful Family Photo Session

shutterstock_233227126Do you envy those family photos where everything looks coordinated and perfect? Finding a photographer that will capture your family’s character can be a challenge, but even more challenging is deciding what to wear! With some simple planning you can create a spectacular family photo that your family will cherish forever!

Location, Location, Location
To ensure the look you choose won’t clash with the room décor, first think about where the picture will be displayed in your home, or office. Next, give thought to where you would like your picture taken. Indoors, or out? Whether you choose a photographer’s studio or you favorite gathering spot in your home; a park in the fall, or a beach in the summer, your decision will help dictate the clothing you select.

What to Wear for your Family Photo
Once the venue and season has been selected, start with the women of the group. It tends to be easier to select items for women and girls and then build in the needed outfits and colors for men and boys.

Layers and textures of neutral colors can express personality and add dimension to the overall texture of the photo, especially in a black and white picture. Tweeds, lace, hand knit items, smocking and ruffles are items that will help in creating this visual. Avoid black and white clothing; however denim pants with white shirts, then a splash of color in an accessory will work well. Adding a pop of color of either one garment or an item being held is another way to change the feel of the photo.

If you plan to use pattern with your clothing, pick and choose carefully—not everyone should wear pattern in the photo. A small amount of pattern can be shown in socks, shoes, scarves and layered items underneath solid garments.

Color Code
Color coding in a multi-generational or extended family photo is an excellent way to distinguish family members. Just be sure the colors you choose complement one another.

Accessorize and think creatively! Opt for scarves, hats, costume jewelry or clothing that highlights each family member’s personality. Bring a few different accessory options to use during the photo shoot to change the picture style. And, don’t over-accessorize—too much can be distracting and take away from the main focus of your family.

shutterstock_62215480Preparing your Children
If children are involved make sure everyone is well rested and fed. If the photo shoot is longer than an hour plan to take a break; bring along a light snack and water to refuel. Also, let the children help select their outfits for the pictures, or at least give them several options to choose from. They will be much happier if they have some input with what they are wearing. Some battles are just not worth fighting and will make the photo shoot more relaxing and fun!

Include your Family Pets
Your fur friends are no doubt a part of your family and if the pets are well behaved, they can make a great addition to your family photo. A matching scarf or collar can also be worn to tie in to the whole image.

Choose your Props
Use props for a subtle addition that will add character to your family photo. Examples might be a wagon, a favorite stuffed animal, sports equipment (set on the side, not worn), or a musical instrument. Perhaps you want to show off a family quilt? Also, seasonal props are a fantastic way to add color and dimension to your family photo. A display of hay and pumpkins, or a basket of apples are good choices for fall; a beach ball or two or a beach umbrella would work well for a summer image.

Lastly, hair should be neatly styled and kept away from the face. A new hair cut is good, but let it grow out at least a week before the photo shoot.

I am confident that if you plan ahead and follow the simple tips above, you will have a pleasant experience creating your family memories!

From my closet to yours,

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