The most important thing to remember when you’re getting ready for your family portrait session is that we want you to feel confident, comfortable and absolutely in love with what you are wearing! You don’t want to look at your photo ten years down the road and say: “What was I thinking?" Wear clothing that’s timeless. Feel free to bring a few changes of clothing to your family portrait session for yourself and your children so we can experiment with different looks. Stick to clothing that will look good on you no matter when you’re looking at it. Instead of wearing whatever’s in style at the time for a portrait, wear something that flatters your personality and individuality. Kids tend to look great no matter what they’re wearing, but if you’re taking a family portrait, wear something simple so you don’t take attention away from your child.
Make sure that your clothing fits well. Instead of choosing clothing that stands out, wear clothing that functions as a backdrop to your natural beauty. Stay away from stripes, patterns, bright or highly contrasting colors in your portrait session. These will distract from you as the subject. Keep your colors simple. There is no need to dress your family in all the same color, unless if that's what you're going for. However, do wear colors that compliment each other. For example, reds with browns tend to clash, while red and green screams out “Christmas.” For your family photo session, think “Banana Republic.” Darker, rich, bold, or muted tones work best. Dark colors tend to be slimming, while lighter colors can have the opposite effect.
Avoid short sleeves and tank tops, especially in executive headshots and individual portraits. Long sleeves will draw attention away from your arms and helps bring the focus back to your face. Scoops or v-necks flatter shorter necks and full faces. Turtlenecks or high-necked garments flatter longer necks and slender faces. Make sure that if you’re taking a family photo that adults have coordinated styles. If you’re wearing formal clothing, and another family member is wearing a t-shirt and shorts, your family portraits will look odd.
Also, wear location appropriate clothing. If we’re taking family photos in the studio, formal or nicer clothing works great. If we’re going to a park or the beach, casual clothing looks better, with the exception of wedding and engagement photography. For beach photography, always bring towels and a dry change of clothes. More likely than not you will end up with wet clothing, especially if you have children with you.
Ultimately, you have the final say in what you wear or how you prepare for your family photo session. Everything I’ve written here is my professional opinion, but if you know exactly what you want to wear, and it doesn’t match what I’ve said, then by all means, do what feels right to you.