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Planning a family portrait session this spring? Spring is a great time to get out of the house after a long winter of being cooped up indoors. Most times, just hearing the word “spring,” gets people so excited to go outdoors that your family is likely to forget that their picture is being taken, making for a more relaxed and natural photo. They just want to have a little fun in the sun, even if it’s still a little bit chilly.
That said, deciding what to wear for your photos can be stressful. What colors to wear? How do we coordinate without being matchy-matchy? Whatever the case, spring is a great time to use colorful fun clothing to create lasting memories with your family. In case you’re not sure where to start, today we offer some pointers for choosing your spring portrait outfits.
1. Choose a Color Scheme
One of the first things to consider when selecting clothing colors is where you are planning on displaying your photos, and what colors are in that room. In many cases, it doesn’t really matter, but if you’re one of those people who hopes to hang one of these portraits in your living room which just happens to be painted blue and green or red and black or brown and turquoise, then you need to plan accordingly. On the other hand if you’re home is rather neutral, consider your accent colors and how you might coordinate with your clothing choices.
Don’t be afraid to wear bright colors. Spring is a great time of year to take advantage of colorful spring clothing and accessories. If bright colors aren’t your thing, consider fall or winter portraits.
2. Choose a Focal Point
Once you have a color scheme in mind (or even if you don’t), look through your closet to find one piece of clothing you love. Chances are that your child or children will be the focal point, so you can always start with their closet first and build around it. Think floral dresses, beautiful smocking, plaid shirts, etc.
Alternatively, you can start in your own closet and pick out something that makes you feel great. Many moms will pick out everyone else’s outfit and then choose something for themselves that just looks OK. Don’t be that mom. It’s a rare thing when you’re IN the photo, so when you are, make sure you feel awesome!
3. Coordinate vs. Match
Years ago, it was popular for an entire family to wear white shirts and denim (khaki or black) pants. These days, not so much. In fact, you should avoid overly matching at all costs, with the exception of sisters or brothers wearing matching outfits, which is still very cute.
Start with a few colors that coordinate well with each other. In general, spring colors tend to work well together, but consider mixing bright colors with a neutral color like charcoal or denim. The adult male in the family typically would prefer to be in more neutral tones, so you won’t have to fight him into anything too colorful.
4. Prints and Textures
The safest route when choosing outfits for family portraits is solid colors, especially for moms and dads. However, subtle prints like polka dots, plaids, hound’s tooth and abstract designs can add visual interest to beautiful solid spring tones and neutrals. We especially like spring prints on little girls.
On a similar note, textures you might find in knit sweaters, fun scarves, wool skirts or pants, and satin blouses add a lot of variation to your photos. Before photo day, lay out your outfits to see how everything flows together. If the look feels incomplete, add a texture.
5. Avoid Text and Logos
While prints and textures are encouraged, text and logos should be completely avoided, with the exception of small brand logos on polo shirts or sweaters, unless you are trying to commemorate a specific event. Not only is it distracting, but if there is text in a photo, you and anyone else who views the photo will immediately focus on the words instead of your beautiful family. So, unless you are going for a sports themed photo session, tell your husband to put his favorite hockey jersey back in the closet.
6. Accessories and Layers
The weather can be both unpredictable and change quite quickly in the spring. One week, it may be 80 degrees and the next, snowing. Just the sun going behind the clouds can instantly drop the temperature from warm to chilly. Layered clothing and accessories are practical and can be one more way to add variety to your spring outfits. For the men in your family, think hats, gloves, scarves, belts and neck ties. For the ladies, think cardigans, scarves, jewelry, purses and hair accessories. Almost anything works as long as it coordinates with your outfit and shows your family’s personality.
When planning your spring portrait outfits, don’t forget about your shoes. The ground may be wet due to rain showers, so avoid heels and consider rain boots instead. Also, avoid sneakers if at all possible. One of your best used neutrals should be targeted at your feet.
Try your best not to turn taking spring family pictures into a chore. And that, of course, starts with wearing fun, practical clothing that everyone will be comfortable in. If you and your children aren’t having fun, your photos will be a reflection of that. So, plan your spring family portraits around an activity that your whole family will enjoy. Keep things fun, active and natural.
Photo Credits: Ashley Sisk