Family Wardrobe Guide

What you wear for your portrait session is one of the biggest factors in the tone that your images will have. We want to find that balance between representing the true personalities of each member of the family and embellishing a bit to really tell a story with your images! We want to choose clothing that is visually interesting but not so much that the clothing becomes the star of the show.

The Basics

My three fundamental rules for choosing great clothing for family sessions are…

  • Choose a limited color palette of three to five related colors
  • Balance the colors throughout the family
  • Avoid distracting elements

The eye is drawn to the point of most contrast in an image – meaning the thing that looks most distinctly different from other things! In portraits, we want the viewer’s eye to be drawn to faces and interactions happening in the image. That’s why it’s important to choose clothing that doesn’t become the most “one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other” part of the photo. Imagine everyone wearing beige and one person wearing purple, or everyone in solids and one person in stripes — our eyes would be immediately drawn to the stripes or the surprise color, not moving around from one face to the next.

Color Palette Inspiration

Use the arrow buttons to browse through examples of color palettes in related colors. Related colors are ones in the same tonal range, or you might think of them as the same season, feeling, or brightness. For example, you might hear people referring to light, pastel colors like soft pink, light blue, olive green, and light beige as a a spring color palette. Or combinations like navy, maroon, olive drab and gray as a renaissance palette or brown, mustard and plum as a fall palette.

Tips for Visual Balance and Avoiding Distraction