The goal of any portrait is to draw the eye to the faces. Bold patterns and bright colors will only distract from the portrait. Dark earth tones of brown, burgundy, green or blue work well with a medium dark background. Black and shades of gray also look good against a dark or even black background.
High Key portraits (read, white background) look good with khakis and white shirts. Or, pastel blues, creams, greens. The goal is to create contrast between the faces and the background. We want the faces to dominate the portrait and not the wardrobe.
A good rule of thumb for family portraits is to lay the clothes that you chose out on your bed. Take a look at them. Is any one outfit jumping out at you? If so, replace that outfit with another. One that is closer in tone to the other outfits.
Long sleeve? Or short sleeve?
Well that depends. If you've been rocking the gym and have achieved those defined arms, well then sure! If you're like the rest of us, wear long sleeves! It's the quickest way to lose ten pounds. Remember we want the faces to dominate the portrait, to be the connecting point for the viewers eye. Bare arms can be a distraction.
Here's where a consultation helps. My goal is to create a portrait, not a picture. So I need to know a little bit about you and your family. Are you looking for a very formal type of portrait? Or, are you a denim and t-shirt kind of family. We encourage our clients to bring additional outfits, so we can photograph more than one style. Where do you plan to hang your wall portrait? A well designed portrait of the right size can provide a focal point for any room, showing the love you have for your family. Give this some thought. I know you have a busy life and I want to capture the family portrait that will bring fond memories for years to come.
Avoid trendy jewelry
Avoid frosted eye shadow or lipstick
Long sleeves look best
Make sure all outfits are freshly pressed
Make sure shoes and stocking coordinate with the rest of the outfit
Men should be clean shaven or facial hair carefully trimmed
Men have hair cut several days before the photography session
Women know best about their hair
Final tip. You know why bumble bees look fat? Because of their horizontal stripes. ;)