Family & Group Portraiture
Family and group portraits require care in choosing clothing. The key point to remember is that clothing is the frame, and YOU are the picture. The 'frame' should not overwhelm the portrait. With this in mind, here are some key points to consider:
- Avoid busy patterns and bright colors. Keep it simple.
- Light colors are best with light backgrounds and fair complexions.
- Darker colors look better with deep backgrounds and dark hair or complexions.
- White, ivory, khaki, or pastels are best with a white background.
- Avoid wearing yellow or green as they can adversely affect skin color.
- Shoes or socks should be in key with the clothing. White athletic shoes with dark clothing will be visually conflicting.
- Teens and adults should wear long sleeves to cover elbows. Sleeveless clothing should be avoided.
- Long skirts, pants are preferred to keep the eye directed toward the face.
- Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so that no single member of the family stands out because the clothing is too light or bright as compared to the rest of the group.
We have a huge variety of backgrounds and subtle props in our studio, and we can choose ones that will fit your clothing preference. Keep in mind, though, that clothing will tend to dominate the indoor portrait, so it is even more critical to make good choices. Some points to consider:
- One person wearing light colors will stand out against others in darker colors, making that person look heavier and out of place.
- A mix of colors in clothing will create a 'snapshot' like photograph; similar colors in clothing will create a timeless look.
- If the portrait is to be taken at your home, consider clothing that will fit with your home's decor.
Outdoor photography can be quite spectacular, particularly here in Colorado. In this case, the scenery frames the subjects, and the clothing should be very simple. Clothing colors should complement the scenery. A few concerns:
- Casual clothing typically works best for outdoor portraits, but not sloppy clothing; avoid shorts, baggy clothes, imprinted t-shirts; all the above rules still apply!
- Remember that nature tends to be subtle in its colors and patterns; your clothing should also be subtle to avoid fighting for attention.