It’s fair to say that the weather in our little corner of the world in the north east of England can be somewhat…erratic. It can be hot and sunny outside your house but two miles down the road at the coast it’s ten degrees colder and foggy!
Dressing for an average day can be a challenge at the best of times, but what about the added pressure of a photo shoot?! Keep these guidelines in mind when deciding what to wear and it should remove some of the more stressful decisions!
Be an onion
OK, I know us northerners are meant to be hard as nails and don’t know the meaning or function of the word “coat”, however I am not your typical northerner.
I absolutely hate being cold and I’m sure you will hate it too if you’re trying to look happy and nice for a photograph while your bare arms are pimply with goosebumps. It’s a fact of life that we get all four seasons in one day so wear layers!
Not only will a t-shirt under your shirt or blouse help keep you warmer, it also offers a quick new look if you don’t want to be wearing the same top for the whole shoot.
Jackets and coats with pockets are not only good for an extra bit warmth and to hold your essentials, they are also handy places to put your hands to add a bit of variety to a pose.
Please don’t dress the same!
Unless you’re going for The Simpsons dressing in Uncle Sam outfits in an all-singing, all-dancing, stars and stripes jamboree look? No? I didn’t think so.
Mums, I know it sometimes happens that when you lay out the clothes for your little ones that day, you don’t realise until everyone is sitting together at the breakfast table that you’re all wearing plaid / stripes / blue tops / denim in an unplanned coordination. Break free from this trap today of all days!
Try to wear mostly neutrals or light toned clothing. This will give us more freedom and creativity in utilising the various backdrops at our chosen session location.
By this I don’t mean: “go and buy lots of beige clothing in sizes to fit the whole family”. Neutral can be anything from off white, stone, light grey, all the way through to earthy reds, oranges and browns, even a dark khaki green.
Gentlemen: avoid wearing loud, branded clothing or sports tops that have more logos that Lewis Hamilton’s F1 racing gear. A small, unobtrusive logo on a chest pocket or sleeve is fine.
For the kids, if they have any t-shirts with statements that reflect their personality like “Here Comes Trouble!” or “Ninja in training”, bring them along and they can be worn for their individual portraits.
Be selective about how to wear colour. Find jewel tones like burgundy, teal, amber or amethyst, avoid bright primary colours that pull the viewer’s eye straight to the person wearing it.
For a touch of coordination, pick a colour, then Mum can wear a necklace in that colour, Dad can wear a t-shirt (under a neutral shirt!), the kids can wear a belt, bag, shoes or hat in that colour! It brings you all together nicely without being overbearing throughout the images.
Wear comfortable shoes!
Be practical. We are holding our session outdoors after all! Ladies, please wear flats. Unless you are Bryce Dallas Howard who can outrun the 32mph Jurassic World T-Rex in Louboutins (Howard wears Louboutins, not the Rex…) I don’t want you tottering along in Shard-like heels that pinch your toes and get stuck in damp grass. You will feel uncomfortable, feel miserable, and that will show up in the images no matter how skilled the photographer.
Same for if you try to cram little Johnny’s feet into his Sunday best shoes that are now two sizes too small. The best I’ll be able to manage is a pained grimace mingled with hate because it is sort of my fault he’s stuck out here in the the middle of a field in shoes that squish his feet.
Time for a change
Bear in mind that these suggestions are guidelines. The main thing is for you to look and feel great in comfortable clothing that you enjoy wearing, so bring something with you to change into for individual portraits.
If you have a pretty summer dress in bright, sunflower yellow that reminds you of your favourite holiday, bring it! That sharp, tailored suit that makes you look like James Bond, hang it in the car for a different look.
If the kids have their favourite dressing up outfits or the teenagers have their own “look”, let them express themselves.
Do not match.
Wear neutrals with jewel tones.
No loud brands or logos.
Wear comfy shoes.
Bring along something you love to wear.