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[what to wear] family sessions ⋆ Lindsay Docherty Photography
August 3, 2010

[what to wear] family sessions

Family

Stumped, huh? How on earth do you reconcile all of those personalities into pleasing pictures? Well, it’s not so hard.

Sometime in the 90s it was decided that people should all wear white shirts and jeans or khakis for family pictures. Set yourself free from that idea right now! You don’t want to dress all in the same exact outfit and look like the Von Trapp family or a soccer team. You’re each unique individuals so wouldn’t you want that to come out in your pictures? You want to go for complimentary, not mirror, looks.

Here are some tips:

* Take the location and season into account. That sundress may be cute as can be but it’s just not going to cut it 50 degree weather.


* Dress in similar styles. Everyone should be going for casual or preppy or trendy or fancy.



* Choose a three or four colors and make combinations. You can have fluidity without being carbon copies (here we have brown, yellow, and white with a sprinkling of pink).


* If you want to be a little matchier, pick one color and go for shades within that color. I think this combination is perfect for a barefoot beach session!


* Beware words, logos, loud colors and patterns that might distract from the truly important aspect of the pictures: you! The human eye will locate familiar words in pictures and put them together, taking away from the true subject. Solid colors and subtle patterns are great.
Exception: Words on shirts can work if the word totally fits. A little girl with a pout, hands on hips, and a shirt that reads “drama queen” can be priceless! You might want to bring another shirt too though.

* Be aware from head to toe. Yes, your shoes will be in the pictures so avoid the super-scuffed up ones.  Babies (or even big kids and parents) that are barefoot are fabulous too!

* Accessorize! Think scarves, headbands, jewelry, belts, and hats but keep everything fairly low key and in line with the look you’re going for.


* Sparkles, sequins, or especially shimmery makeup may cause glare so use them sparingly, if at all.

* Wear something you can sit, walk, run, lay down, jump, kick, and play in.

* Pets can make great additions too but please only include them if they are well behaved off leash.

* If you’re self-conscious at all about your cleavage, arms, or legs, cover them up.

* You don’t need to spring for an updo, but it might be a good idea to get those roots re-colored.

* Themed sessions can be awesome. Use your imagination to come up with creative props or activities. A countryside tea party with antique dolls and teddy bears or a vintage picnic with a page boy cap and old books or a backyard birthday party with dozens of balloons and a cake. And I’d love do a shoot in a field with an old fainting couch and a little girl in a big, frilly tutu. Let’s make it happen!

A note on toys:
Let me know if you’re bringing them and please keep them hidden at first. We want some pictures with eyes to the camera, not focused on the toy. Also, make sure it’s a toy that you’ll be happy seeing in your picture in 10 years – a favorite blanket or a teddy bear is great, something with a lot of neon colors and buttons… maybe not.

In the end, be true to yourself. If you or your kids are not comfortable, it will be obvious in your pictures. If these suggestions don’t feel like you, break all the rules and show up in something that is completely, and totally you.

“A sly rogue is often in good dress.”
~Irish Saying

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