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I'm a former elementary school teacher, a proud military spouse and soon to be mama of 2! I love helping and serving people through photography in Greenville, SC and everywhere else it takes me. I love showing people the light and love in their everyday lives!
posing tips for couples
What NOT TO WEAR TO A PHOTO session!
family reunion beach session
family beach mini session
March 8, 2022
If you follow my posts, you know I’m always talking about what to wear for your family photo session, but what about the things to avoid? Sometimes it’s easier to just what NOT to do, rather than the millions of possibilities of what would look amazing, right?
NOTE: Please keep in mind that these are JUST my opinions, and things I’ve realized I don’t necessarily love when I see them in the final galleries. Feel free to ignore any of this if you like the opposite!
Another side note: any photos I’m using in this post are not showcasing bad examples! They’re showing you what you SHOULD wear. ❤
There are really only two ways you can go wrong here.
The first one is by wearing uncomfortable shoes that you can’t move around in during your photo session (mostly for the ladies!). Most of my family sessions involve play and some movement, so if you’re in heels, it’s going to be really tough to let loose and enjoy your family. Now if this is an engagement session, bring on the heels! I also have many locations for families that require a bit of walking, which could be difficult in heels. If you really want to wear them, I’d suggest bringing another option for the more playful images, and save the heels for a few select photos.
Another way you can go wrong with footwear is to wear a style that doesn’t really go with your outfits. Specifically, any athletic shoes typically don’t look great in photos. Also, any shoes with neon on them really stick out and draw focus to them. You know what is a great color for guys, though? Brown. Really can’t go wrong with brown.
Also, don’t forget to plan for your socks! This is probably the very last thing anyone things about. But if your child is wearing bright neon socks and your colors are neutral earth tones, then the socks are going to stick out like a sore thumb. You’re all going to be moving around a lot, running, sitting, etc. Socks will show themselves at some point, I guarantee it, so plan it out ahead of time.
This could just be a personal preference, but I’ve found over time that any time clients wear a whole lot of blue, something looks off to me. Maybe because I tend to edit warm, and love to play with the sunlight, and blue takes up the warmth from the image. So if you’re wanting to add blue to your session, I recommend sticking to only one article of clothing (or two if one is a pair of jeans). And avoid bright blue! My favorite shades of blue are a bit subdued, more muted and not overly bright.
This may seem obvious, but it’s an important one. Let’s focus on the men here. Dads will be throwing their kids in the air and lifting their arms a lot, so a shirt that is too short really isn’t ideal. Try to test the shirt out at home! Lift your arms above your head and see how it looks.
Another thing to consider in this same realm is the length of the mom’s dress. Please don’t wear anything too short for the same reason… arms lifting and bodies swaying. Also because I shoot on the beach often, and if you’ve ever been on a beach, you know how windy it can get!
So this one can go wrong a couple ways. Don’t wear a pattern that’s too big because it can overwhelm the subject. At the same time, you also don’t want to wear a tiny pattern if the colors are too contrast-y (like a light and a dark color together). A classic example of this is men’s shirts that have little tiny checker patterns because it looks trippy when photographed! The same goes with very close-together stripes.
This probably goes without saying. Covering up the neck area is not very flattering and can add bulk, so if you need to add extra warmth in the colder months, I’d suggest wearing an extra layer or stylish jacket rather than a turtleneck. This applies to tightly wrapped scarves as well. We want to see that neck!
When dressing little boys in the winter especially, be careful of their collar! If you pick up your child, does the collar stick up and cover up some of your child’s face? Even if the answer is “sometimes”, I suggest you choose a different sweater. The same goes for vests and anything else that could potentially block part of your child’s face.
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of dark, black clothing items. All the details get lost in the shadows and it overall dulls your images. Gray, dark wash jeans and dark olive colors are great substitutions for black, though!
Also, a quick word about neon. Just don’t do it! 😆
Of course I’m going to say this – Always add in some neutrals (like cream, brown and gray). Choosing too much color and not enough neutrals is a mistake. For example, do NOT have everyone wear various shades of purple and yellow. Instead, have someone in a floral dress with some light purple/mauve (avoid bright purple), another person in a light yellow, someone else in cream, and another in brown. This way the colors aren’t so in your face and tacky, and everything flows nicely.
You probably already know this, but try not to wear any words, logos, or characters of any kind on your clothing. Words and logos are going to draw the eye there rather than the subject of the photo… your family! That’s the entire point of your photo session so let’s keep the attention on you and them.
These are some tiny things that sometimes go overlooked:
-Scrunchies and hair-ties on wrists
-Food in teeth or on kids faces
-Phones or keys in pockets (or anything, really. Empty the pockets!)
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