If you are going to commission family portraits and your desire is to have the family wearing matching outfits, here are a few suggestions to make it work successfully without making it look awkward. The idea is not to look like creepy clones, but rather to have a cohesive, beautiful image that can still showcase individual style and personality.
Before you continue to read, please note that these tips are for the classic family portrait. Family portraits can be however you want it be: kitschy, gothic, over the top, follow a certain genre, theme, time period, etc.
- Wear solid colours, it makes it easy on the eyes. Patterns can sometimes overpower the overall image. The viewer’s eyes will gravitate towards the visual noise, and be distracting. The focus will be off the family dynamic and connection, and disproportionately on the outfits.
- If you want to wear one solid colour from top to bottom for your family portraits, white is the go-to colour. It converts beautifully if you want black/white portraits. It’s timeless and doesn’t turn the images into a one-time trend in the future. If you have any other colour, like chartreuse, for example, the colour may not age well if you want beautiful wall portraits.
- Blue jeans are a great base for a cohesive look. I often recommend the standard shade of blue or darker, so that it can contrast well with the solid colour top like white or black.
- To individualize the look, each member of the family can have a different style of top in the same colour. No need to feel obligated to have everyone wear the same t-shirt, for instance. If you notice in this post, the family portrait I had photographed has the black top with blue jeans wardrobe. The uniqueness for each member is the style of top. The mother chose a crew-neck tank cropped tank top. Each of her daughters chose a different style that fits their taste: a tube top, a sleeveless buttoned-down collared crop top, and a short-sleeved collared crop top.
In conclusion, for the classic portrait, it’s about the K.I.S.S method, Keeping It Simple and with Style.