What to Wear for Your Family Portraits | Maine Family Photographer

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Planning Your Family Portraits and Clothing Choices!

What to wear for your family portraits is probably the number one question we get asked before family portraits. As a Maine family photographer, the answer can vary greatly depending on where you've selected to have your portraits taken. It can be pretty confusing and stressful trying to decide what outfits work best. But don't worry! We are here to help all the way through the planning process with styling tips and tricks to select clothing and accessory options that are perfectly tailored to your family portraits.

I recommend to our families to shop places like Old Navy, Target, and the Gap for your portrait outfits. A lot of the time stores like those will carry a similar theme throughout for the season. You'll likely be able to find coordinating colors or even matching patterns in the adults and kids sections. And as a bonus, they have a great return policy so you can grab a bunch of options and bring them home for everyone to try on there and return what doesn't work. As a mom of two littles I know the challenges of getting even a moment in a changing room!

York Beach Family Portraits, York Photographer -

The Do's and the Don'ts

Do avoid outfits that are "matchy matchy". Unless your family typically goes out for dinner all dressed in khaki's and polos - then go for it! Choose a color palette and let everyone have their own take on it. This will create a photo that is coordinated and classy.  A good way to start planning a photo session is to choose a color scheme. Try to choose a palette that has a mix of neutral shades and a bright color. Another option is a color scheme with one main color and different variations of that color. Pick accessories that coordinate - if you decide navy is your main color, accessorize with a bright pop like kelly green or magenta and sprinkle that throughout with your accessories such as belts, jewelry, etc.

Don't have more than one person in the portrait wear a pattern. Mixing patterns may be all the rage in fashion these days, but for a timeless look don't put mom in a floral dress and dad in a plaid shirt. In person it will look great, however in a photograph those patterns will not be pleasing to your eyes later on. Trust me!

Do let the kids choose! To ensure that the children are happy and at ease during photos, let them pick their own clothing. They’ll pick something that shows off what their preferences and interests are. If you are worried about what they’ll choose, try selecting three or four main outfits that you would be happy with your child wearing for a photo and let them pick a favorite. Bring along a favorite costume/dress-up outfit for the end of the session! Nothing is more fun than your little ones running down the beach in princess dresses or superhero costumes. Or something they can get dirty in! It gives them something to look forward to after the formal poses are done! If your session is on the beach, we will be playing in the water by the time the session is over!

Old Orchard Beach Family Portraits, Fine Art Portraits -

Don’t choose clothing that has large pictures, labels, logos, or words on it. This often looks too casual for a photo shoot and detracts from the overall feel of a photo.

Do be prepared to kick off your shoes! Most of our sessions take place on the beach and our families like to take off their shoes and walk in the water and play in the sand. Make sure your pedicures are fresh!

Don't be afraid to get dirty - at the end of your session of course! We love candid images of everyone so be prepared to play a little at the end, you might even get a little wet. If you plan on going out to dinner after your session just make sure to have a spare set of clothes in the car.

Drakes Island Wells Maine Family Portraits -

Don't worry! If you have a specific look in mind, we may just have something in our studio! We have a rack of gowns ranging from size 2 to plus size, and even a few maternity gowns. Along with a wide range of kids clothes (mostly girls) from gold and burgundy tutus seen below, to boys newsboy caps, suspenders and bow ties in a few colors. Accessories too! Crowns, floral crowns, tea party sets, snowman kits! And we are always up to adding to our wardrobe collection so lets talk about any fun ideas you may have!! If you're super nice, my little girls might even let you borrow a princess gown or two.

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