When people think of a portrait session, they often think of the traditional matching outfits – jeans or khakis and a white shirt. Environmental portraiture is a little different from traditional studio portraits and we like to see that reflected in everything from your outfits to the location. By sticking close to your own personal style you will be more comfortable and your own personality will shine through in your portraits.
Decide the Style of Portrait – Casual or Formal
- For Casual portraits, be yourselves but choose outfits that are just a little dressier than what you would normally wear (ie newer jeans and a nicely fitted top that isn’t faded from washing)
- For Formal portraits, make sure everyone is dressed at a similar level (don’t mix suites and dresses which khakis and jeans!)
Color Palette – Check out this season’s color palette here!
- Browns, blues, greens or grey/black make a neutral base while reds, pinks and purples make a bolder statement
- For a family, choose one or two base colors within the same family and go from there. If you will have small children as well as adults or older children in your portrait, feel free to choose cute patterned outfits for the smaller children (all within the same color palette) and this will help them stand out amongst the taller people.
- Stick to solids or subtle prints or patterns for the taller people in your portrait and the smaller children can be the same or a little bolder. If one adult is wearing a print their partner should wear something solid but complimentary.
Posing and how your clothing fits in
- In multi-generations portraits, the oldest generations will usually be in the center and we will build out from there. Couples/families will usually be posed together as a smaller grouping within the larger group and children or pets will either be with their own family grouping or sometimes with the oldest generation in the middle. If you have the same neutral base for everyone your portrait will look great regardless where the younger generation is placed
- Within each smaller couple/family, make sure each person compliments the other – if we have time, we will do breakdown photos of each smaller grouping.
A few final tips
- Make sure your clothing suits your body type and fits properly. Fitted always looks better than baggy. Also avoid anything that is too tight or too short, and avoid anything that might pull in the wrong direction or crease where it shouldn’t.
- Don’t forget to accessorize! Accessories are a very easy way to bring all the colors together while allowing people to express their individual style.
- Ultimately, you want to look good and everyone looks better when they are comfortable in what they are wearing.
When in doubt, bring extra outfits. We are happy to help you choose, plus if something gets dirty you will have another outfit waiting!