The fall season is a busy time for photographers. Many families start scheduling their end-of-year portrait in time for their holiday cards and newsletters. As a photographer one of the most common questions I get asked is “What should we wear for our photo session?”
The best way to answer that is with photos, of course! I also have a few rules that work for any season and any venue. The key is to keep it simple, coordinate colors and perhaps the most important, be comfortable.
Rule #1 Pick two or three main colors to coordinate everyone’s outfit
The key to having a unified family photo is to coordinate colors with everyone’s outfit. That means selecting two to three main colors and then picking tops and bottoms that reflect one or all of those colors.
In the photo below, we see blends of grey, maroon and blue. And even though the colors are not identical they are within the same color hue, which adds subtle distinction and yet unifies at the same time.
Rule #2 Add accessories to highlight or cover-up
In the “What to Wear” board below I’ve included a scarf for mom using a color that coordinates with the daughter’s top. The scarf gives a bit of color pop for mom and red is a great color to bring out the blush. Scarves can also help disguise some minor flaws in the neck or upper torso area. As for jewelry, I recommend taking off your bulky watches and bracelets as they add too much weight and detract from everyone’s faces. Keep earrings and necklaces simple and coordinate them with what you are wearing.
Rule #3 Use the same color hue for tiered coordination
In the second version of the “What to Wear” board I made a subtle change from the board above. In this example I picked tops for the boy and girl that are in the same color family. This creates a ‘team within a team’ effect. Even with identical twins I prefer they dress differently but within the same color hue to provide this subtle distinction. This rule works well when you have a multi-generation portrait. Use colors and color hue variations to achieve a coordinated look.
Rule #4 Use plaids and prints with caution
Plaids and large prints can be distracting in a photo. If you choose to have a plaid or print rather than a solid color top be sure to choose subdued patterns. If two or more people are wearing plaids or stripes it’s important that they work well together. Avoid T-shirts with logos and large symbols on them because they distract the eye from the person’s face. Flowery or paisley prints should be very subdued. Below is an example where a small print works well. The girls’ dress has a subtle print and yet ties in nicely with the mother’s dress color. The blue in the father’s shirt adds a nice pop of color and compliments the red tones nicely.
Rule #5 Keep it comfortable
Most of all when you are having your family portrait taken be sure to dress with comfort in mind. I advise people to wear clothes that they can move freely in because when you’re comfortable it’s easy to have a natural and relaxed expression. If you have uncomfortable clothes it will show in the grimace on your face and you will look stiff and unnatural. Make it a point to try on what you’re going to wear before your photo session to avoid any unnatural creases, folds or tight areas that might cause discomfort.
Next time you’re going to have a family portrait session be sure to review these handy tips. And let us know if you have a great tip that works for you.
Tina Case is an Adoramapix Ambassador and is a writer and photographer out of the San Francisco Bay area. She co-writes for the photography blog Moms Who Click where she shares photographer tips, tricks and interviews. Tina shares her parenting stories and more on Yahoo! where she is a featured “Parenting Guru.” Check more of her photos at Tina Case Photography, on Facebook and Instagram.
As photographers, we all know now is the busiest time for family portraits. As much as we love to photograph happy families, we also sweat bullets wondering how we can get a great picture and keep everyone happy. There are a few tips you may want to keep in mind when tackling the family unit.
1. Get it Off the Bat
I find that with new clients and old clients one thing always seems to work. Get the formal shot right off the bat when everyone is listening and ready. You can get the casual shots later when they all relax and they start to lose interest. I typically will take dad and have him sit in his position so I can get a good meter reading. This way I’m not wasting valuable time by trying to have children sit still while I figure out my exposure. Next, I’ll place mom and lastly the kids. I photograph full length and 3/4 right off the top. This way the first 10-15 minutes I spend getting the posed shot and knowing everything else is extra. The following image was the 8th photo I took of the family.
2. Keep it Short
With younger families especially, time is crucial. Ever notice you start to lose the little one’s attention about 10 minutes in? It’s not you… it’s them. They need to be constantly moving and active. Anything more than 10-15 minutes and you’ve already lost your window. Break after a few minutes, let them run around and relax. Plan your next pose and start all over again. The next image, I made everyone stand up just moments after everyone was sitting.
3. Don’t Cut me Off
You have a lot of people in the portrait. That means you have a lot of feet and hands as well. Keep in mind to not cut off the feet or hands or fingers on full length portraits. This is not to say you can’t get artistic and try different things. Just make sure on the family formal portrait you get everything included in the first round, then you can experiment. Here you’ll see ll fingers and toes are accounted for in this image.
4. Hold On
Little ones are active. It’s hard for them to sit still. Telling a child to put their hands down constantly while everyone else is ready is stressful to the family. Keep it simple and give the little one something to hold in their hands. Give them something seasonal, like say for instance a leaf or a pine cone to play with, this will keep their hands busy. If you look closely at this image, you’ll see the youngest has a small leaf in her hand.
5. Loosen Up
Every family is quirky. It’s important to capture this as well. You know you got the formal pictures right off the top of the session, so now it’s time to have some fun. Loosen up and let them to hug or kiss. I typically say, tickle the funniest person in your family. The images are fun and relaxed and unexpected. It’s ok if not everyone is looking into the camera, the smile on their faces is worth a million bucks.
written by Michelle Libby for Adoramapix
Everyone says it’s good luck when it rains on your wedding day. However, if you’re the wedding photographer, you might be sweating bullets to make sure your couple gets as many fantastic images as if it were a sunny day. What your couple wants is to have spectacular shots and more specifically fantastic shots outside. So as the photographer, how do you accomplish what you may think is the unattainable. It’s not as hard as you may think — here are some tips from our wedding photographer friends in the rainy upper North and NorthWest.
1. Be Prepared
That means, don’t place 100-percent confidence in the weather forecast. If you see rain is in the forecast, even for the day before or day after, do your research. Find locations where you can take your bride and groom where they will be undercover. Think about opportunities like doorways, under bridges, under big trees. These locations will provide for a beautiful backdrop and keeps your couple dry.
2. Use Umbrellas
You don’t have to hide the fact that it’s raining on your couple’s wedding day. Talk to your couple about the possibility about getting some matching umbrellas. Play with the umbrellas. Change your perspective with umbrella shots. Photograph down at the umbrellas or have them take up a small portion of the frame.
3. Protect your Gear
Most camera gear is water resistant, this does not mean it is waterproof. There is a huge difference. There are a lot of gadgets and products out there to help you protect your body and lenses. Here are some other ideas, when photographing your couple or have your assistant or even someone from the wedding party hold an umbrella over your head. You can’t handle an umbrella as well as a camera. If you are in a pinch, use a ziplock bag to protect your gear. I typically tear a small hole in it and I am able to fit my camera through it. It’s not ideal but it’s saved me a few times.
4. Close Ups
Now is the time to focus on close ups. Make sure your couple gets in tight for shots. You can usually squeeze under a awning if it’s raining. It may be tight on space, but you can go in tight – play with the veil or focus on the bride’s eyes. It’s always fun to get in for tight shots.
This is the perfect time to take advantage of puddles! Yes, puddles. The reflection you get is something that is artistic and different than you would get on a rainy day. Instead of fighting the rain, embrace it.
We hope these tips help you get inspired when the rain falls on your couple’s wedding day.
We are thrilled to welcome back Natascha Lee of Natascha Lee Studios to our webinar roster. Last year, Natascha Lee hosted one of our most successful webinars to date. The reviews on her Family Affair Webinar were outstanding so we asked her to join us again and she kindly agreed to share her knowledge and expertise with us.