Are you planning a family photo session? Today I’ll be talking all about what to wear for a family portrait. After years of taking gorgeous photographs of families around Perth, I realised this is a common question my clients have.

Here are my top tips to choose the best outfits for your family:

·      Dress accordingly to the setting

The first step when selecting outfits for a family photoshoot is thinking about whether it will be indoors or outdoors. Especially in the latter, it’s important to choose an outfit that will let you move freely.

In an outdoor location, consider if there is sand, rocks or grass. Dress for that setting. You will want to be comfortable sitting on the grass, so maybe light-coloured pants might not be a good option in that case. And you might want to bring a lead for the family dog.

·      Coordinate colours, don’t match them

There was a time when families were expected to match completely when they had a photoshoot ordered. Although I have taken those portraits before, it isn’t so fashionable anymore.

Try choosing coordinating colours, but not matching everything exactly. Maybe you can select a colour and everyone choose their own shade, or you select a palette and mix and match as needed

Idea: It’s always stylish to use the season to select your colour schemes. In winter, blues, whites, grey and red are a good option. In summer, light shades, blues, pinks and tans are a favourite.

·      Think about your home décor

It’s very likely you’ll want to showcase the resulting family portrait at home. Because of this, think about the general colour scheme of your place and try to coordinate the colours in your family portrait.

Again, I don’t recommend matching. Just thinking about the overall feel: If your home is very neutral, then it might be a good option to keep your patterns classic and use complementary tones.

·      Keep comfort in mind

In agreement with thinking about the setting you’ll be taking your portraits in, try to choose comfortable outfits. You will probably be changing positions often, maybe sitting and standing as well, so select your outfit accordingly.

Your portraits will look more natural if everyone is feeling great in their clothes! This is especially true for your little ones: we will have a much better chance of taking great pictures if your kids are comfortable enough to run, play and roll around a bit.

·      Stay classic

Yes, family portraits are meant to reflect a distinct time in your family’s life. But they will probably stay around for years to come. Many clients of mine have family portraits dating back more than 30 years!

This means that things that are “in” right now might not be then. To lengthen your portrait’s life and avoid hiding it in a few years, stick to classic outfits that will stand the test of time. Your photos will be forever in style!

·      Add a touch of personality with props

Even though it’s better if all outfits generally coordinate and stay classic, you want to showcase your personality. Whether that means bringing in the family dog, adding a bright scarf or doing some candid shots of the kids, it’s important to capture what makes your family unique!

On the other hand, props and accessories let you create different looks in the same photoshoot. These add texture and visual interest to the portrait.

What to avoid in a family portrait photoshoot

Just as there are some basic guidelines you should follow, there are some things I don’t recommend.

·      Hairstyles. It is best not to change hairstyles just before your photo session. Changes are best made a week or so earlier so that a new style can settle down.

·      Limit seasonal clothing. Especially if you don’t do yearly family portraits, you want to take pictures to display year-round. Skip the Santa hats if you want to showcase this portrait in the middle of summer!

·      Don’t use logos or large distracting patterns. The focus should be on your faces and your unique connection, not on that large cartoon character in the kid’s shirt. If they absolutely love to wear a specific character, bring them a second option and we can take pictures with both outfits.

What to wear on a hot summer’s day for family portrait in Perth?

After years of taking family photographs in Perth, I’ve been part of plenty photoshoots in the middle of summer. Staying cool and not sweating too much will be your goal here!

The summertime is a great occasion to take a family portrait. The kids are home and everyone has a better chance of being together. On the other hand, summer landscapes are vibrant and beautiful, giving a lively touch to your portraits.

To select the best outfits for a summer family portrait, keep in mind both the setting and the weather. Perth is known for its hot, dry summers, so choosing items that will help you fight the heat is the best option.

Here are my top expert tips on what to wear for a summer family portrait in Perth:

·       Use lightweight fabrics like cotton, sheers and lace. It’s also a good idea to stick to loose-fitting clothes to keep the airflow going.

·       Select bright and vibrant colours. Because this is a summer family portrait, you can have more fun. It doesn’t have to be formal, so if it’s your style choose bright colours.

·       Sandals and shorts are great. These can help keep the heat at bay and also add an informal touch to the final portrait.

·       Bring water. This one can sound a little obvious, but with all the planning that goes into a family photoshoot, it can be easy to forget. Bring some water bottles and maybe even a little cooler with ice. 

If you have questions about our portrait sessions and would like to talk about booking a date, call me!

Good luck, Geoff.