What to Wear at Your Family Portraits



The clothing that is chosen for a family portrait can have a big impact on the finished portraits.
Foremost, I want people to be comfortable in their clothes. If they can’t relax in what they are wearing,
it will show. If they aren’t used to being dressed in formal wear, they will look too stiff. Casual
fashions can be a wise choice for a family group and they will have less to complain about. Feel fortunate
they all agreed to show up!



OK – here are some tips to make your large group look better:

**Wear Long Sleeves.
**Dress everybody in similar clothing styles and colors.
**Remember that dark clothing makes you look thinner.
**Avoid neon colors, large stripes, and prints.
**The clothing should fit properly, especially on young children.
Giant wrinkles and sleeves rolled up four times never looks good!
Indoor Studio Portraits

Try one of these color schemes:

1) Shades complimentary to blue i.e.: blue, dark gray, black, dark red;

2) Earth tones like: brown, gray, tan, maroon, black.

3) Dark shades of solids – I will have the most flexibility for placing people in the group.

Jeans are fine! Make sure everyone is wearing jeans or dark colored pants. People with light
colored pants will need to be placed in a back row. Solid shirts and sweaters are a good choice;
make sure they are long sleeves!

4) Light colors: White and ivory colored shirts can produce a terrific portrait of a large group
as long as everyone is wearing the same style and color!
Outdoor Portraits

Outdoor portraits can be terrific for many reasons:

1) All of the above (indoor tips) apply to outdoor family groups!

1) People tend to be more relaxed outside

2) The scenery here at the studio is excellent.

3) The lighting can be more flattering. Cloudy days are better! Think soft shadows and less contrast . . .

4) Outdoor settings tend to be more forgiving for light colors.

5) Don’t wait for the fall colors! Fall portraits can be great if you are here at the right time.
Late October is nice, but it gets dark early, and when the temperature drops, people aren’t comfortable anymore!

6) Think summer! The lighting is great after 7PM almost all summer! You are actually less busy than when the
kids are in school. Bribe the kids with a trip to the ice cream parlor afterwards!

**Don’t even think about wearing shorts unless you are under age 10 or a model . . . even then, It rarely works out!

Remember that I want you to like the way you look.

Don’t be afraid to ask me what can be done with digital retouching. We love to show off all the new ways to
make you look younger and slender.


Jay Palmer